Has Andrea Mitchell appointed herself hall monitor of the 2012 elections? On her MSNBC show today, Mitchell asked Mitt Romney whether he had "an apology to make to the voters" for the negative ads against Newt Gingrich being run by Romney-friendly Super PACs.
For good measure, Mitchell scolded: "is that the kind of campaign you want to run: a negative campaign?" Video after the jump.
Anyone care to speculate whether, next time Mitchell's granted an interview with Barack Obama, she will similarly scold him for the barrage of negative advertising his campaign will unleash?
ANDREA MITCHELL: Newt Gingrich has tanked, and by all accounts it's because of the Super PAC barrage of ads from both you and some of the other campaigns. But the Super PACs that are supporting Mitt Romney have just been savage against Newt Gingrich. I know you've said you'd go to the Big House if anyone can establish that you were involved, but the fact is it's your former colleagues, your friends, former colleagues contributed anonymously a million dollars. Do you have an apology to make to the voters in Iowas and around the country for the kind of negative advertising that's been run?
MITT ROMNEY: Actually, Speaker Gingrich's numbers have gone done more in New Hampshire than they have in Iowa. And I don't think there are any negative ads in New Hampshire at all.
MITCHELL: But they've really plummeted here, Governor --
ROMNEY: They've gone down even more--
MITCHELL: Because of those ads.
ROMNEY: They've gone down even more in New Hampshire than they have in Iowa. And the nature of a campaign is that you're going to have attacks coming from the Obama team. Their Super PAC has already gone after me, the Obama PAC has. If you can't stand the heat in this little kitchen, wait until you get Obama's hell's kitchen. It's going to be a battle of ideas, but of course, recognize that campaigns are going to point out distinctions between the candidates. And I can handle the heat. I've got big shoulders. I know there are tough blows that will be coming my way. But I know how to deal with it.
MITCHELL: Is that the kind of campaign you want to run: a negative campaign?