It's about time. The super-PAC backing Newt Gingrich is going up with a new television spot in Iowa today to help counter what spokesman Rick Tyler estimates as nearly $6 million in attack ads against the former House Speaker.
Tyler went so far as to suggest that if Iowa Republicans cast their lot with Mitt Romney, it would spell the end of grassroots campaigning in the state.
"Iowans need to decide whether they want to keep their first in the nation role in presidential politics where candidates spend time and effort traveling to the 99 counties...'' he said in an e-mail. "Or are they going to reward the northeastern establishment's candidate who has spent the least amount of time in Iowa and the most on false advertising? The later would lead future candidates to abandon grassroots campaigning in the Hawkeye state and simply run negative ads instead.''
It's true Romney has spent little time in the state -- 13 days according to The Des Moines Register -- but he's not the only top-tier candidate with a soft footprint. Ron Paul has been there 42 days, while Gingrich has spent 57 days in the state. The real workhorses -- Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, have spent 99 and 77 days in the state, respectively, but their poll numbers have yet to reflect their investment.