Romney is coming out swinging against Gingrich with a new ad attacking him for ethics violations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cuNkI7pzLM&feature=player_embedded
It's a pretty hard hitting ad, reminding voters that Newt has a past and not a pretty one. It also goes to Newt's principles and values, framing him as a hypocrite. It's an effective charge because it comes not from the campaign itself, but it comes from a third party, a trusted unbiased source.
This approach has stirred some controversy as NBC and Tom Brokaw have objected to the use of use footage in the ad. It's not the first time this type of issue has come up, and I have to say it seems disingenuous of NBC to object to the ad. Look, Brokaw said it, he said it to make a point, to get ratings, to report the news, whatever the reason, it a part of the public record, and I think it's entirely fair for Romney to use it in an ad. It's one thing if it's not true or if they edited it to make it appear that Brokaw was saying something other than what he actually said on the air. But that's not the case here.
For NBC or Brokaw to cry about it now is sanctimonious bull. Brokaw claims this use compromises his role as a journalist, how is that exactly? Did he not mean what he said? Or does he regret saying it? There's no implication that NBC or Brokaw endorsed the campaign (and it's not like news organizations don't endorse candidates anyway) or in anyway said it other than to report the news. In fact by using the motif of the tv screen (a common element of the negative ad genre) it makes it pretty clear this is a political ad -- the Romney campaign didn't need to present the news report like this, but doing so, is really going out of their way to make this look like an ad rather than try to fool the viewer into thinking this is an actual "unbiased" news report they're watching.
If Brokaw or NBC believe this is mudslinging then why did they report it this way initially? It's factual and effective precisely because they present the clip unedited and without commentary.
It's the type of ad where the execution stays out of the way of the message, and while it's not breaking new ground, my best guess is that it'll be pretty effective at reminding people what they don't like about Newt.