Gingrich's Attack on Romney Finds Financing: The Ticker

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By Francis Wilkinson

Everyone will be scrutinizing the polling numbers coming out of New Hampshire tonight. But perhaps the most important political number I've seen all week was reported by Politico on Tuesday afternoon.

Politico says that Winning Our Future, a super-PAC that supports Newt Gingrich, just purchased $1.4 million of cable and broadcast time in South Carolina, a hefty buy in a state where media is relatively cheap and the primary is just 10 days away. The group said it plans to spend a total of $3.4 million on television ads in the state.

It appears that reports of Gingrich's rescue by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson weren't greatly exaggerated. Adelson was said to be donating $5 million to Winning Our Future to salvage Gingrich's campaign. Money like that doesn't necessarily make a candidate a winner. But it can sure help to create a loser.

Last week, Gingrich was an emotionally volatile candidate with a grudge against rival Mitt Romney, whom Gingrich blames for derailing his campaign with negative ads. Next week, Gingrich looks like he will be an emotionally volatile candidate with a grudge and millions of dollars to spend on negative ads of his own.

Winning Our Future looks poised to run ads attacking Romney's career as an executive at Bain Capital LLC, using footage of workers who lost their jobs after Bain came on the scene.

Romney hasn't had a great week, but he bears few scars from the primary season thus far. Gingrich and his allies look determined to change that.

(Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board.)


-0- Jan/10/2012 21:25 GMT