HENDERSON: They've been doing it the old-fashioned way. They've been listening to what the candidates are saying on the stump. And they're listening to these campaign ads. I think that's why you've seen Gingrich fall so precipitously. He didn't have a debate performance to sort of reassure Iowans that he was a guy who could carry their message forward.
TAPPER: And, Jon, Romney and his allies, the pro-Romney super PAC, plus, of course, Congressman Ron Paul, they have been attacking Newt Gingrich viciously on the airwaves. According to one study that we talked about earlier, 45 percent of the TV ads run in Iowa have been anti-Newt Gingrich. His response has been to almost turn the other cheek. Can he continue to still have this nice guy policy?
KARL: Absolutely not. And I'll tell you right now, Jake, that Gingrich himself is looking at this very carefully. He's made much of his promise to be positive. In fact, when you go out with Gingrich on the stump here, he gets applause when he says, we stay positive. So he's doing this, but he's called it a wonderful experiment. Can somebody who's been hammered remain positive, at least in his television advertising? That's about to change. Look for a new Newt Gingrich after Iowa. I think he's going to go on the attack and on the attack in a very big way in South Carolina. And it's going to be aimed at Mitt Romney.
TAPPER: And, Jon, just to stay with you for a second, as somebody who -- who covered Capitol Hill, as have I, Newt Gingrich is not historically known for sweetheart, powder-puff politics. I mean, this is -- this is a guy who has been rather tough in years past, right?
KARL: Yeah, you know, some would say he's invented this -- this thing that he now condemns. And listening to him now, he talks about what a mean, nasty, cruel business politics has become. And there's a big question of whether or not he's the messenger to actually deliver that.
And, you know, Jake, if you look -- dig down into that Des Moines Register poll, you look at to the question of, who most relates to ordinary Iowans? Gingrich comes in dead last, followed by Mitt Romney. But, you know, his message of being positive out here, people like the idea in Iowa of being -- you know, of a positive campaign, but -- but it is an interesting one coming from Newt Gingrich.
TAPPER: You know, it's funny, Kay, because covering the Iowa caucuses four years ago, it was almost as if any time anybody said anything negative, the press corps, you know, we -- we all shrieked and couldn't believe the horror that people were going negative. But when you're out in Iowa, as -- as I've been on this campaign season, voters listen to these ads, and -- and they read the fact checks in the newspapers and on TV, and they consider this just another source of information.
HENDERSON: Indeed, they do. And in particular with Gingrich, what it did is it reminded them that they had problems with his marital history, they had problems with his legislative history, they had problems with his history after he left Congress. And so it was kind of a multiple choice, and they got to D, which is, I'm nervous about him for all of the above. And that's what the ads did. They reminded people about the things that they didn't like about Newt Gingrich.