Democrats Blast Newt Gingrich in First Video Ad as ‘Original Tea Partier’

Matthew Putney/ABC

For the first time in the presidential primary campaign, Democrats are turning their web video and "rapid response" email attack machine on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Just hours after the ABC News presidential debate in Iowa Saturday, the Democratic National Committee blasted the GOP front-runner in a 90-second ad, labeling him the "original Tea Partier."

You can view the video HERE.

While top Democratic and Obama campaign strategists had made a rhetorical shift in recent days - abandoning their previously exclusive focus on Mitt Romney - the video marks a new phase in their offensive and recognition of Gingrich's rise in the polls.

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz underscored the new line of messaging in a statement following the debate, calling the former Speaker "a Tea Party politician even before there was a Tea Party."

"He supported gutting funding for education and Medicare to fund a tax cut for millionaires and shut down the government over it and those are the same policies he supports today," she said.

Earlier this week, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod launched the first direct Democratic attacks on Gingrich, labeling him the "godfather of gridlock" for his role in the federal government shutdown of 1995 and the partisan battle to impeach President Bill Clinton.

R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign said it's  "always a nice gesture of the DNC to recognize Newt's efforts to advance the conservative agenda."