Romney’s supporters sense that their candidate must go after Gingrich’s broader campaign themes, not only details of his past. Tonight, look for Romney to mention more than Reagan’s diary, and to come armed with details of Gingrich’s less-than-friendly quotes about Reagan, most from Gingrich’s early days in Congress, including Gingrich’s 1986 potshot, when he said Reagan was “failing” to meet the Soviet threat. If Romney finds a way to instill doubt in viewers’ minds about Gingrich’s lofty Reagan recolllections, his campaign believes that Gingrich could be crippled.
The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century. Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.