Everyone on Twitter and in the blogosphere this morning seems to be talking about Ron Paul's new video ad attacking Newt Gingrich, the latest anti-Romney surging the GOP presidential field, collectively characterizing the spot as "brutal." "Newt Gingrich: Serial Hypocrisy" blasts the former speaker for his litany of well-documented improprieties, splicing together various clips from primary debates, Fox News segments, Rush Limbaugh's radio show, and Newt's climate-change PSA with Nancy Pelosi to paint Gingrich as a big faux-conservative hypocrite. It goes to town on him for acknowledging global warming, switching his stance on Wall Street bailouts, getting a seven-figure payout from Freddie Mac, and acting like a lobbyist (while not technically being one!) for healthcare companies. The Wall Street Journal reports that the spot will not run on television but instead will sent "to a far-reaching email list of conservative voters," according to a Paul spokesperson.
Firstly, the fact that Paul chose Gingrich to attack confirms the latter's status as the man to beat in the GOP field who isn't a former Massachusetts governor. Secondly, judging by people's reaction to the ad, it's one of the harshest campaign spots to date. It leaves virtually no reported impropriety of Gingrich's un-attacked (with the notable exception of his affairs), and people seem to be reacting because of how well it summarizes the case against Gingrich in two and a half minutes. "We'll see who, if anyone, actually puts clips like this up on television, but at the very least Paul's well-produced video shows how much damning source material is available" against Gingrich, writes Politico's Alexander Burns. Mediaite's Tommy Christopher, calling the ad "absolutely brutal," comments on how the ad might impact:
The production is slick, if a bit cliched, but the overall effect is devastating.
Ordinarily, a web ad wouldn’t figure to have much of an impact, but Ron Paul’s supporters are a highly motivated, resourceful lot who will doubtless make sure this spot reaches maximum eyeballs.
Joan Walsh at Salon, who wrote that she was "awestruck" by the ad, adds that Mitt Romney should be going after Gingrich like Paul did. "Ron Paul served up Gingrich’s goose instead. Paul showed similar flair with an ad taking down Texas Gov. Rick Perry, touting his ties to Al Gore. Whether on foreign policy or in the ad war, Paul keeps this race interesting."