NBC NATIONAL NEWS — It's official: Newt Gingrich is leading Iowa and nationwide, and facing fresh attacks from his opponents.
The media is bringing up his past; other candidates are questioning his views. And Ron Paul has launched the toughest attack ad yet.
Several big polls now show Newt Gingrich leading by double-digits in both Iowa and nationwide, prompting opponents like Ron Paul to attack:
The latest Ron Paul advertisement says this: "He [Gingrich] went the other way when he got paid to go the other way. He's demonstrating himself to be the very essence of Washington insiders."
Ethics violations, misusing funds, forced out by his own party, but Gingrich argues that having worked in Washington actually helps: "I am the only person in your lifetime--the only Speaker of the House in your lifetime who has balanced the budget for four consecutive years," Gingrich said on CNBC.
Mitt Romney, endorsed by former vice president Dan Quayle, is tied for second and says it's not over. "We're making our closing argument. You'll see me campaigning aggressively. I've still got I think about seven more days of fundraising," said Mitt Romney, (R) Presidential Candidate.
But the focus is on Gingrich: "They are peeling back the layers of Newt Gingrich and they are taking a look and finding out that he is not a conservative," said Michele Bachmann, (R) Presidential Candidate.
Gingrich says he'll attend the controversial Donald Trump debate later this month in Iowa, and now, so will Rick Santorum. "I saw that Gingrich had said he was coming and at that point I said 'I'm coming,'" said Santorum.
But Mitt Romney told trump "no", pressured by top Republicans who think it could turn into a media circus.
On the other side, President Obama lost a key endorsement from the SEIU, one of the biggest unions. They backed him just three weeks ago but now say he's talking change, but hasn't delivered.