Romney, Gingrich Attacks: Are They Effective?

James Carville and Matthew Dowd discuss the race for the Republican nomination.
4:36 | 12/13/11

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Transcript for Romney, Gingrich Attacks: Are They Effective?
From our war room veterans James Carville and -- -- and James let me Begin. We -- this was a shift for the Romney campaign -- latest Saturday night he really wasn't willing to go personal on Newt Gingrich they come out of the debate they see Newt Gingrich has momentum. Cannot Romney unleashes. Yet -- we're gonna see -- -- remember. Sometimes I wish I was a Republican in 2008 -- when Obama said to -- the Clinton said. You know I like to -- -- good enough Hillary and it read a collective connection and a democratic audioblog autism most negative thing with -- -- -- And how we see what -- negativity looks like coming. And it just it's gonna get more and more and that -- commercial -- you showed a snippet out. That's his blistering negative -- politics on me and really really tough on Gingrich it is going to be interest in this eight minute thing plays what -- comedy Emmy it's. Certainly isn't the second one for Ron Paul Mathieu -- let me bring you in here -- gave as good as he got. Yesterday going straight. And Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital. Now what would interest to me about this he was using the same argument that Ted Kennedy used to beat Mitt Romney back in 1994 the same argument the Barack Obama would like to use. In the general election this is this is something needs stayed away from so far it's -- showing that he's going to be ruthless to get this nomination. We had this -- Actually that this is -- nomination that everybody in the Republican Party knows his worth having they know that the president is vulnerable they know that the president can be be. And now that you have basically two titans going at it. Knowing that whoever gets the Republican nomination has a good shot at going to the White House and so I think that's what it is but -- -- -- Newt needs to stop. I -- think -- needs to stop this and get above this and go back to -- how he performed in the debates over the course of the summer and the fall because that's when he rose -- -- forty gets dragged down into this I think the worst for him that may be right put out that truce less -- but I wonder and you did work for president. George W. Bush and his war room is there any danger here you're seeing both the attacks from Romney. And from Newt Gingrich these you can now imagine President Obama quoting. Either Romney or Gingrich in the general election -- -- gets the nomination. You yet that's part of the problem -- this you provide fodder for the Democratic National Committee and for President Obama they don't have to just say it now we can repeat does take its -- of Republicans said XY and Z. About either Mitt Romney or about Newt Gingrich that's a problem. But you know to me and James knows this very well -- heated primaries are not necessarily determinative of the general election. As you all both -- and James knows very well in 1992 after the primaries were done. Bill Clinton was in third behind Ross Perot and George Bush after a heated primary and after -- took on a lot of water. And so it these things -- to have a tendency to measure out over the long -- it's not a good thing but they're not determinative of a general election and James so far these attacks have pretty much bounced off. A speaker Gingrich even though the Romney campaign earlier thought that his past baggage in their words would would would make him implode so far that is not. Happening more upset that the national poll that showed some slippage after as a cup while polls and not -- -- dramatic but but what she started to -- -- opiate of the interest and see if this continues. And I'm almost certain that the Romney people and other people in the Borough lot more -- -- speaker Gingrich out of -- -- I think we're about the third inning. Here between not now caucuses that if you but look he's been very effective -- beating this stuff back and have been very effective at counter attack it. But -- -- -- got to see a lot more in and a truth about it and I think need to Matt and I are you. Know who's gonna win this thing in in in Iowa it's it's really up that man is going to be after losing the social conserve. His -- there's just no way to know me know even Ron Paul you mention -- that he could could come on very strong maybe I'm glad. -- picking up -- James his point about some other things coming out I was struck. Yesterday by Newt Gingrich taking that -- fidelity pledge pledging that he's going to be remained faithful. To his wife. Calista and the Mitt Romney was asked about -- -- -- in the in the debate he didn't seem to take the bait on this whole issue of fidelity -- yesterday -- I have no plans to go at that issue yet. Do you think this issue is it's been put away for -- for the rest of the nomination -- Not. I think it's been pretty much put away for the rest nomination -- there may be quietly talked about quietly but as you know asking the questions are going through that I think. Newt Gingrich answered it well everybody else had there have their time to talk about it so I think that's put away but -- -- the negatives they got about a Mitt Romney's got about a week. For this to happen and then it shuts down for the Christmas holidays -- you get -- yourself if he's gonna make something stick. He's got to make it stick in the next six to seven days because -- we going to this Christmas holidays and you can't really do it during that time so it's going to be a ferocious we thank you both very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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