MANCHESTER, N.H.— Newt Gingrich arrived in N.H. today, ready to run a different kind of campaign than the so-called positive campaign he ran in Iowa, where Gingrich finished in fourth place.
Gingrich’s arrival in the next primary battleground was heralded by a full page ad in the New Hampshire Union Leader comparing a “Bold Reagan Conservative” to a “Timid Massachusetts Moderate.”
The ad compared Gingrich’s policies on taxes, abortion, guns and his conservatism, using quotes from Romney or clips from newspaper editorials attacking Romney’s stances on those issues.
And instead of alluding to Romney as Gingrich often did during the Iowa campaign, he mentioned Romeny by name more frequently, and described the former Massachusetts governor as a person who “accommodated liberalism in Massachusetts.”
In an obvious shot at Romney over his “flip-flops” on some social issues, Gingrich told a crowd today in Laconia that he could speak from a “lifetime” of being conservative.
“I’m not in any way confused about my beliefs,” Gingrich said. “There’s an enormous difference between somebody who has spent their entire career as a Reagan conservative and somebody who has spent their entire career as a Massachusetts moderate.”
”In terms of beating Obama, having a clearly defined conservative is vastly more likely to win than having somebody who’s confused.”
Gingrich said he and his campaign were meeting about the TV ads this evening and would have ads up on the air this week.
Gingrich’s offensive comes with less than a week to go before next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and at a time when Romney holds a substantial lead in the polls.
Gingrich said he recently held a meeting with a group of 30 to 40 state legislators and speakers of the house who endorsed him. ”All of them agreed that if we communicate clearly he’s a Massachusetts moderate, that it will have a substantial impact in the outcome of the primary next Tuesday,” Gingrich said.
The ad in the Union Leader was likely a preview of the TV ads that could surface from the Gingrich campaign. Romney’s “flip-flops,” the installation “Romney-care” health program, and deeming Romney the “Massachusetts moderate” are all possible talking points for the Gingrich campaign to broadcast into the New Hampshire airwaves.