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Inside the Boiler Room: Does Romney take Gingrich's rise in the polls seriously?

Inside the Boiler Room NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro debate how serious the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is taking GOP hopeful and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's rise in the polls, and whether the Romney camp will now reconsider Iowa.

Thanks to phinephancy-4252115 for the question! Keep an eye out for the next editions of Inside the Boiler Room and don't forget to post your questions for Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro. You can also tweet us, @NBCFirstRead,@mmurraypolitics or @DomenicoNBC, or post on our Facebook page.

Video edited and transcribed by NBC's Morgan Parmet. 


MARK MURRAY: Welcome to the latest edition of inside the boiler room. I'm Mark Murray joined by my colleague Domenico Montanaro. Domenico, we have a question from phinephancy. This is phinephancy's first question, I think, inside the boiler room. How serious is the Romney campaign taking Newt Gingrich's rise in the polls? Will they now reconsider Iowa?

DOMENICO MONTANARO: Well, we know they're reconsidering Iowa a little bit. They went up with their first TV ad. So they're actually going to play there a little bit. I think they're taking New Gingrich's rise a little bit more seriously than they were a week ago. You know we've started to see a back and forth over about two or three days. Newt Gingrich called Mitt Romney the former front runner.


DOMENICO MONTANARO: And Romney hit him back calling him a lifelong politician. Newt Gingrich hit him back. Romney hit him back. So, you know, I think it's going to be a really interesting next 30 days. 

MARK MURRAY: Right, the only question is is this two man race going to stay? I mean remember it wasn't too long ago we thought we had a two man race between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney in August and September. Look how that ended up turning out. One other thing about Mitt Romney. He's actually going to have Chris Christie campaigning for him. I mean yes, there is a play going on for Iowa. They might not be all in, but this is now a significant contest and the stakes are very high.

DOMENICO MONTANARO: They're like two legs in. 


DOMENICO MONTANARO: One other small thing, The Hill newspaper today had a blind item from a member of congress Republican saying Newt Gingrich's finger is always six inches away from the self-destruct button. 

MARK MURRAY: (laughs)

DOMENICO MONTANARO: So, you know, that's what a lot of people are talking about. If he's able to maintain the message discipline and he said himself he needs to be more disciplined. If he maintains that discipline, maybe he can be the guy over the next 30 days to compete with Romney head to head. 

MARK MURRAY: We have about 30 days to go until Iowa.


MARK MURRAY: We'll see. Thanks.