Nightly News   |  January 23, 2012

Analysis: Romney v. Gingrich

NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ moderator David Gregory and Chuck Todd discuss the upcoming Republican debate.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in this wild gop campaign so far, let's talk about where we are tonight with the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory and political director and chief white house correspondent chuck todd . david, you talked about it yesterday morning on "meet the press." what kind of shape does the romney campaign come in here tonight in?

>> i think they've got two primary problems. one, they have to make gingrich weaker. you look at the gallup numbers i've seen late today. it is gingrich surging and rom romney 's lead vanishing. he's got to weaken gingrich here. that's not enough. he's got to strengthen himself, define himself. he's releasing his tax records tomorrow. he's got to do more than rely on his biography as a businessman. he's got to chart a course to take on some of the claims the president will make against him if he's the nominee. two real things he's got to accomplish. it's going to start tonight.

>> chuck, on the gingrich side of the ledger, you talk about how the calendar spreads out now. the lag time becomes longer, which as you pointed out, can either be good or bad for the gingrich campaign.

>> it could be. it will be good for him if he wins florida . you are seeing the romney campaign while claiming they are prepared for the long haul is acting as if it's do or die here in the state of florida . if gingrich loses this, there is a huge gap in february, just one competitive primary he can compete in. that would be arizona before you get to super tuesday. we saw what happened when he didn't have debates to rely on when there was a big gap in arab. that's where he started to nose dive again. he's got a financial problem. money is not coming in the way you might expect for somebody surging. he's got help with a super pac last night, but he's got that fundamental organizational and resource problem. that's why a win for him in florida may be a must-win if he is going to survive the next sort of vacuum that we'll see in february.

>> as always, it will be interesting to see the roles played by santorum and paul on this stage tonight. gentlemen, thanks. we'll look for you later. our nbc news debate begins tonight at 9:00/8:00 central. we hope you'll join us