A new Democratic ad tying Newt Gingrich to the tea party might actually be benefiting him in the primary.
The ad, intended to portray Gingrich as pandering to the far right, calls the former House speaker the “original tea partier.”
Amy Kremer, the chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, said today that she’s gotten “a number of emails” from supporters who say they think Gingrich has better standing among them because of it.
Gingrich has been involved with the tea party since practically the beginning of the movement, said Kremer, who started organizing tea partiers in Atlanta, where Gingrich represented a district when he was in the House.
“I understand what they’re trying to do, but I think it helps him,” Kremer said.
That could be welcome news to Democrats, who have recently turned their P.R. machine on responding to Gingrich.
DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell responded that Gingrich is “leading the charge” with the tea party.
“The Republican candidates have been fighting to be the most extreme, most far-right and Newt Gingrich is leading the charge in promoting extreme Tea Party policies that hurt the middle class, slash Social Security and end Medicare as we know it,” she said in a statement. “The Republican candidates’ pandering to the extreme Tea Party wing of the Republican party stands in distinct contrast with President Obama’s record of fighting for the middle class and whoever wins the nomination will have to answer to the American people next November.”
The Tea Party Express hasn’t endorsed a candidate. Kremer said she wanted to publicly support one after hosting a debate with CNN, but that tea partiers are now “all over the board on who they support.”
She said the group will probably scrap its plan to endorse a candidate before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.