Newt’s Closing Argument: Just Glad to Be on the Team

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Michael Scherer directs me to this new ad from Newt Gingrich, an upbeat composite of debate talking points on the economy. It’s reportedly a “major buy” scheduled to run through next week in Iowa–his closing argument. It’s also a very odd choice for this moment in the race.

The ad, entitled “Winning the Argument,” basically has a general election thrust. Obama sucks. The economy sucks too. Small government will fix it. But there’s already a candidate winning with that particular argument, and he’s the one standing between Gingrich and the nomination. Mitt Romney gets a lot of screen time here and not the bad kind, he’s just smiling or nodding in the background.  Newt ends up looking like he’s just glad to be on the team, as much surrogate as candidate.

That might be in keeping with the encomiums Gingrich has bestowed on positive campaigning this year, but it’s not in keeping with the sharper tone his team has pledged to take in recent days. Nor is it any way to win the nomination.