Also on Wednesday, in hopes of reviving a flagging rival campaign, Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched an ambitious effort to compete against Gingrich for the support of Christian evangelicals by emphasizing his Christianity in a flood of new commercials in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa. Separately, Texas Rep. Ron Paul pressed his contention that former House Speaker Gingrich was simply a Washington insider who would eventually flame out.
“He’s the flavor of the week,” Paul said dismissively on CNN. “Our growth is steady.”
The sharper tone — limited to TV for now — marked a pronounced shift in the Republican presidential race away from policy differences and toward character distinctions, with the new GOP leader in state and national polls — Gingrich — clearly the focus a month before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. The former Georgia lawmaker is getting a second look from Republican voters across the country after his campaign imploded earlier this summer, and time is running short for his opponents to slow him before the voting starts.