Alberts: ‘Super PACs’ and U.S. politics’ era of limitless mud slinging (13)

CHARLESTON, South Carolina — The assault on Newt Gingrich’s character began in early December and was as methodical as it was merciless.

In the month before Iowa’s presidential caucuses on Jan. 3, Republicans in the Hawkeye State couldn’t turn on a television, open a newspaper or listen to their radios without being confronted with negative advertising depicting the former House Speaker as nothing less than a lying, cheating, mean mistreating, good-for-nothing Washington insider.

Some of the ads came courtesy of Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s campaign, others from Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

But the overwhelming majority — more than $4 million worth — was produced and paid for by a political action committee called Restore Our Future, operated by deep-pocketed friends and former aides to Mitt Romney.

“Newt has more baggage than the airlines,” the announcer said in one of the anti-Gingrich spots.

“Watching local newscasts, it was just one negative ad after another,” says Dennis Goldford, a political-science professor at Drake University in the Iowa capital of Des Moines. “Gingrich just got washed away by this tsunami of negative ads.”

As it was in Iowa, so it is in South Carolina.

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US election 2012: Marianne Gingrich interview fails to land killer blow on Newt

Afternoon Updates:

12:10 pm EST, January 20th, 2012 — Hurt: Why use ‘despicable,’ clueless left-wing media to moderate GOP debates?

12:13 pm EST, January 20th, 2012 — Limbaugh: Drudge Screwed Up ABC’s Plans for the Marianne Gingrich Interview

12:19 pm EST, January 20th, 2012 — Shapiro: Why Does the Media Keep Underestimating Newt?

12:21 pm EST, January 20th, 2012 – Palin: ‘Dumb arses’ in media ‘overplayed their hand’ with Gingrich

12:33 pm EST, January 20th, 2012 — The Breakfast Meeting: At G.O.P. Debate, News Media in the Cross Hairs

2:09 pm EST, January 20th, 2012 — Strange How the Media Didn’t Care About Infidelity in 1992 and 2008

2:21 pm EST, January 20th, 2012 — Can We Spare Newt Gingrich? He Fights. (Video Added)

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