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Tuesday
Dec062011

Change of Plans: Romney Revamps as Gingrich Closes

Ethan Miller/Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The Mitt Romney campaign is making an immediate shift in tactics, a move that is necessary because, as one Republican close to the campaign put it, “What they are doing now isn’t working.”

At an event in Arizona, Romney himself said you will see more ads, you will see him making sure the contrasts between himself and Newt Gingrich are “loud and clear.” And Romney himself said you will be seeing more interviews and press conferences.

Some other changes you will see soon?

Integrity: When former Vice President Dan Quayle spoke about the importance of Romney’s integrity “when he’s in public life. When he’s in private life,” that was no accident. Romney will not go after Gingrich on personal issues, but ABC News has learned that you can expect to see Romney surrogates making fairly direct references to Gingrich’s tumultuous past, in the vein of what Quayle did. You can also expect to see Ann Romney and the Romney family on the trail much more, especially in South Carolina, to create a visual contrast. Their presence on the trail “speaks for itself.”

Temperament: The Romney team sees Gingrich’s temperament as a weakness. Romney himself will highlight the importance of temperament by discussing his record as a leader. Surrogates are likely to go after Newt directly. The question that will be posed is, “Who do you want to make decisions?” One Romney adviser added, “Gingrich is everything people don’t like about Washington.” Romney might not try to directly rough up Gingrich at the ABC News debate Saturday in Iowa, but he will try to establish that contrast in leadership and temperament and hope Gingrich digs a hole for himself. “Gingrich never does well when he’s doing well,” a Romney aide said.

Money: You will see the Romney team begin to utilize their huge financial advantage. One Republican says expect ads in South Carolina soon. Not because they think it will guarantee victory (polls show them trailing there), but because they are concerned with keeping it close. Florida and South Carolina are shaping up to be areas of concern right now.

Organization: The Romney team will flex its organizational muscle, especially in Florida where they have an extensive infrastructure. The campaign just sent out an email blast touting its support in West Virginia, which does not hold its primary until May.

These are changes you will see starting Tuesday. The Romney campaign is not said to be running around scared, but as one Republican put it, “They know Newt Gingrich is someone who can win elections.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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