Nightly News | December 04, 2011
>> on decision 2012 , let's bring in cnbc's chief washington correspondent john harwood . we witnessed plenty of surges in this race. you had bachmann, perry, cain, all had their turn. how does gingrich's rise differ, if at all?
>> reporter: it is a bigger threat to mitt romney because of how close it comes to when voting starts in january. because of newt gingrich 's national track record as the leader of the 1994 republican revolution , gingrich starts way behind in organization to convert popular support into delegates and money for tv ads and mitt romney has just begun to advertise.
>> we heard it a moment ago, some white house attacks seem to presuppose romney as the nominee. might that change?
>> reporter: i wouldn't expect the white house to change tactics at all. they clearly fear mitt romney more than any other republican candidate. they believe as democrats do generally that the background and record of newt gingrich makes him an easy target, but we have seen that the white house doesn't always calculate those things correctly as we saw in 1980 when president jimmy carter 's aides wanted to run against ronald reagan .
>> john harwood , appreciate the insight. thanks.