Mitchell Reports | December 21, 2011
>>> are super pacs the bad cops of 2012 ? that's the question that politico is posing today. given that super pacs tied with mitt romney and rick santorum blitzing iowa right now with negative ads. listen to what gingrich said about the ads and how romney answered the criticism.
>> if you see one of these candidates who is running negative ads, ask them to stop it. just look them in the eye and say, this is not worthy of iowa and it's unworthy of america.
>> super pacs have to be entirely separate from a campaign and a candidate. i'm not allowed to communicate with a super pac in any way, shape or form. if we coordinate in any way whatsoever, we go to the big house . we have to let campaigns raise the money they need, and just get rid of these super pacs .
>> charlie matessian is the senior politics editor with politico. my favorite part of the last clip is was that mitt romney said my goodness and big house , just proving that he really is a leave it to beaver guy. but we're not talking about that. we're talking about super pacs . look restore our future, which is the romney super pac has spent massive amounts, $2.5 million. hammering newt gingrich . gingrich obviously upset in the last clip about it. is there anything aside from being upset about it he can do about it?
>> no, there's nothing he can do, chris. you can imagine why the guy is so frustrated. here he's surging in the polls, he's got all the momentum in the world and all of a sudden, he's getting carpet-bombed in iowa and watching his numbers fade hard. and there's nothing he can do about it. that's the system that's set up and i think that's sort of the subtext of what mitt romney is saying, that's the system and i'm going to operate within those boundaries. he's though it's not him who is actually spending the money.
>> we talk about campaign financing and super pacs . i always think of my parents, they live in connecticut, they see lots of ads. do average people in iowa , new hampshire, south carolina , florida, do they differentiate? do they have any idea about restore our future versus mitt romney ? does, can gingrich make any ground up is i guess what i'm asking by focusing on super pac spending money?
>> i don't know that you can because in one sense it's a process story. people have enough problems in their life without life process stories and who's behind what ad. think what makes them particularly devastating is it enables the candidates to wear the white hat and spend their money on positive ads, framing themselves in the best possible light. while meanwhile the henchmen at the super pacs are spending this money torching up and lighting up their opponents without any real consequential ties to the candidates who are benefitting at the end and i think that's at the heart of gingrich 's frustration.
>> it's the deniable plausibility defense. charlie, thank you for your expertise.