Newt Gingrich’s Iowa Chairwoman Linda Upmeyer and former Iowa Congressman Greg Ganske, who co-chairs Gingrich’s finance committee and served with Gingrich while in Congress, held a conference call yesterday to defend Gingrich from the barrage of attacks leveled by surrogates of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“This negativity is likely to backfire,” Upmeyer said, in reference to the $3 million worth of negative ads a SuperPAC supporting Romney have been running against Gingrich.
Upmeyer described Romney’s negative attacks as “desperation and panic” and said that in Iowa, “when people go negative, without offering a positive, they lose elections.”
“Iowans are not stupid, we understand a load of crap when we see it,” Upmeyer said. “It is not what wins you caucus or elections.”
Ganske said that Gingrich has been steady and disciplined and that Gingrich will not be baited even when “Mitt Romney and his minions go negative.”
Ganske also wondered where Romney has been in Iowa. Among the candidates, Gingrich has held more events in Iowa than everyone except for Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.
“Maybe he wants to tear down Gingrich in Iowa and win in New Hampshire,” Ganske said, in reference to Romney.
Ganske also criticized Romney’s leadership skills for not being able to control John Sununu, who went on the attack against Gingrich and questioned Gingrich’s capacity to effectively govern.
“If he can’t control a subordinate in a campaign, what does that say about his ability to control surrogate if he gets to the White House?” Ganskey asked.
Ganske also said that Gingrich is a lot happier now than he was during the 1990s and Ganske said he advised Gingrich to treat campaigning like a marathon and not a sprint and mix in some rest on the campaign trail. Ganske continued, saying that Gingrich’s campaign schedule has a good balance to it to keep Gingrich fresh for the stretch run as he tries to maintain his lead over Romney in nearly every state and national poll conducted in the past week.