By KASIE HUNT
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Newt Gingrich's campaign hit back at GOP rival Mitt Romney, saying attacks by the former Massachusetts governor's campaign seem desperate.
"It looks like a panic attack," Iowa state Rep. Linda Upmeyer, a Gingrich campaign surrogate, said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.
Gingrich's campaign was holding a conference call later Friday to respond to attacks from Romney's campaign and his allies. On Thursday, Romney surrogates assailed the former House speaker as irrational and unfit to lead, and Romney allies started airing a TV attack ad against Gingrich in Iowa. It's part of a $3.1 million campaign by Romney supporters.
"That's as much as the Superbowl," Upmeyer told the AP. She said Gingrich offers positive solutions and a positive message and that the negative ads won't resonate with caucus goers in early-voting Iowa.
Upmeyer planned to speak along with a former Iowa congressman, Greg Ganske, on the conference call.
Such calls, a routine tactic for most campaigns, are uncommon for Gingrich and represent an evolution in his campaign.
Romney tried to claim the high ground Friday in Cedar Rapids, letting his supporters' attacks resonate while offering only mild criticism of Gingrich on the issue of Medicare.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)