It wasn't cheap, but Mitt Romney, coming off a feisty showing in Thursday's debate, is enjoying a surge in popularity in the run-up to Florida's Republican presidential primary. CBS News reports Romney has pulled ahead with a nine-point lead over Gingrich. But Romney, who trailed Gingrich by 15 percentage points in South Carolina's primary, is leaving nothing to chance. In an attempt at maximizing the newfound momentum, Romney has been crisscrossing the state for a series of spirited appearances. He addressed the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami on Friday, hit Cape Canaveral after that, and plans to spend every hour until Tuesday's primary "flying and driving across the state," according to The New York Times; compare that to Gingrich, who has a lighter plate and whose mood the Times describes as "subdued."
And in keeping with Romney's fighting posture, here is his latest campaign ad, and a pointed response to Gingrich's "What Kind of Man" spot that painted Romney's debate performance as that of a pathological liar. In "History Lesson," Romney lets a Tom Brokaw report from January 21, 1997, do the attacking for him. That was the day a bipartisan House Ethics Committee overwhelmingly voted to discipline and fine Gingrich $300,000 for the 84 ethics violation charges weighed against him during his term as Speaker of the House. Of the 84, only one would be dropped.