Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry got in each other's face during Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, but the personal attacks didn't end with the debate, they just moved online. Both candidates used the debate in online ads to highlight various gaffes made by the other — but Romney pulled his hard-hitting spot, a mix of awkward Perry debate moments and clips of TV analysts trash-talking the Texas governor. (Watch the ad below) The Romney campaign said CNN, which hosted the debate, asked that the ad be pulled due to copyright issues — CNN confirmed the request — but not everyone's buying that explanation. Did Romney cross a line?
Romney just jumped the shark: Romney's selective editing of debate footage to make Perry look like "blithering idiot" is simply "disgusting," says Bryan Preston in Pajamas Media. And his decision to "throw a punch well below the belt, then pull it," tells us a lot: Romney is rattled, he's willing to tear his party apart to win, and he's scared of Perry. "This ad may mark a turning point in the GOP primary, and the beginning of Mitt Romney's fall from frontrunner status."
"Romney launches disgusting attack ad against a fellow Republican..."
No, this "brutal" ad could cripple Perry: Team Romney probably knows what it's doing with this "Rick Perry's a moron" ad, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. No doubt Romney will try to spin this "symphony of Gump-ishness" as a critique of Perry's debating skills, but it's pretty clear that the real point is that "he's stupid." If the impression sticks, it could be devastating to Perry. Being a bad debater doesn't disqualify you from being president, but "being an idiot in general does."
"Brutal new Romney ad: Rick Perry's a moron..."
This smells like a stunt: Romney could have yanked the ad because it "didn't get a glowing reception among right-wing blogs," says Max Read in Gawker. Or perhaps it's a sort of "we pulled this ad out of the decency of our hearts, so please, stop replaying it constantly" sneak play to make it go viral. But the whole episode is weird. "The ad's not really that 'brutal,' as these things go," but it's personal and direct enough to give Perry enough of a sympathy boost to revive his campaign.
"Here's the 'brutal' ad attacking Rick Perry..."