Romney ad strategy gives clues to general election

By BETH FOUHY | March 29, 2012 | 12:15 PM EDT

FILE - In this March 23, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Metairie, La. The unemployment rate doesn't matter to Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich has “more baggage than the airlines.” Both are compromised Washington insiders who have bent their principles for money and influence. So say Mitt Romney and his allies. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — According to Mitt Romney and his allies, Rick Santorum doesn't care about the unemployment rate and Newt Gingrich has "more baggage than the airlines." Both GOP presidential candidates are also compromised Washington insiders who've bent their principles to gain money and influence.

These campaign claims are typical of Romney's ad strategy: Attack your opponents and release a few positive ads about Romney's biography and business experience.

The strategy devised by Romney's campaign and an allied outside group has been focused and unforgiving. It has helped the former Massachusetts governor become his party's likely nominee and offers a preview of what could be in store for President Barack Obama in the general election.