Mitt Romney Chats with Media, Attacks Gingrich

Mitt Romney courts the media in effort to boost his campaign.

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Mitt Romney, struggling to re-emerge as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has abandoned his media-avoidance strategy.

Romney is now granting interviews to news organizations at a suprisingly rapid pace as he seeks the widest exposure for his attacks on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has overtaken him in the polls.

This week, Romney has talked to the New York Times, Fox News, Washington Post, CBS News, Politico, and conservative commentator Sean Hannity on his radio show. And his attacks are getting lots of news coverage.

The about-face comes less than three weeks before the GOP's first nominating event, the Iowa caucuses on January 3, and less than a month before the first primary, in New Hampshire on January 10. New Hampshire is considered a make-or-break contest for Romney, who was the governor of neighboring Massachusetts and whose lead has eroded recently amid Gingrich's surge and some limited gains by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

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Romney has been on the attack against Gingrich, another change in his tactics from his former insistence on focusing on President Obama and not engaging with his Republican rivals.

Romney didn't take the offensive against Gingrich in the GOP presidential debate Thursday night in Iowa. He preferred to stay above the fray. But in recent days, Romney hasn't been so gentle in his media appearances. He attacked Gingrich for spending too many years as a Washington insider, for being inconsistent on conservative issues, for taking $1.6 million in consulting payments from controversial lender Freddie Mac, and for being a "zany" politician whose outlandish ideas are too far outside the mainstream.

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Romney is expected to continue his interview blitz and to reinforce his attacks with paid television ads in Iowa and New Hamphire during the next few weeks.

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