NY Times Calls Gingrich “Useful Obama Surrogate”

Who benefits the most from Newt Gingrich’s class warfare-themed attacks on Mitt Romney in Florida? According to a New York Times report, it might be the Obama campaign, which has been sitting back while Gingrich blasts Romney on everything from his low tax rate to his time at Bain Capital:

In recent weeks, Mr. Obama has had a useful surrogate in Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, who has accused Mr. Romney of destroying jobs while at Bain and pressured him to release his tax returns.

The extent to which Gingrich has picked up the language of the left is astonishing – and it actually appears to be effective so far with Republican voters. Newt continues to climb in the polls, and now leads Romney by seven percent nationally. While criticizing Romney’s immigration stance in Florida today, Gingrich’s lines sounded like something you’d hear from Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

When asked about Romney’s position on immigration, Gingrich said that deporting all undocumented immigrants is unrealistic.

“You have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and making $20 million for no work, to have some fantasy this far from reality,” Gingrich said.

Here’s a depressing thought: Whether or not Gingrich wins the nomination, is he helping to reinvigorate a populist, anti-business, suspicious-of-the-rich strain in the conservative movement, just in time for Obama’s reelection campaign? And if even Republican voters are now persuaded by attacks on low taxes and creative destruction, then how much hope is there the GOP can win over independents?