Smart move if you ask me. Bachmann killed her campaign (and made a fool of herself in the process) when she went nuts on Perry. Romney also went negative, further alienating him from the base. Newt’s invoking Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of thy fellow Republican.”

Via RCP:

From his more than three decades in Washington, Newt Gingrich has an overstuffed rolodex of political counselors to draw on when he needs them, and he exchanges e-mails religiously with a wide range of Washingtonians. But now that his campaign — left for dead over the summer — has gained enough steam to vault him into frontrunner status, he’s beginning to tap those sources for a greater organizational network of informal advisers, many of whom trace their political roots back to the Reagan administration.

This morning from Des Moines, Iowa, Gingrich held a conference call with some of these advisers and his senior staff to discuss his campaign going forward and to give his advocates some direction in light of the news that Mitt Romney’s campaign is preparing to attack. According to campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond, “In response to the dynamics over the last 24 hours about the attacks coming our way, his instructions to us were to not say anything bad about Mitt Romney.”

Hammond explained that the campaign has been getting a series of inquiries about how they will respond to attacks coming Gingrich’s way, given the searing Web ad Ron Paul’s campaign has released, and the “tea leaves” that the Romney campaign is preparing to attack. And so, in the course of a regular morning call with his staff and advisers, Gingrich said to keep the focus on a forward-looking campaign and President Obama.

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Update: Right on cue.

(WSJ) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is going where Mitt Romney is not: a full-on attack on the newest challenger to Mr. Romney’s claim to the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich.

Campaigning for the former Massachusetts governor in South Florida Thursday, Mr. Christie showed he may be the Romney attack dog.

“Speaker Gingrich has never run anything,” he told FLDemocracy2012.com, a Scripps Howard website. “And he’s been a legislator. I have to tell you, I don’t think being a legislator is the best calling card. Look at the guy we have in the White House now. He never ran anything and was a legislator.”

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