I'm not sure there's any way to avoid it. Romney's money is his weakness. And pretty much everything about Gingrich is his weakness. You can try to keep your campaign focused on ideas, but at some point, it's hard not to pander to the lowest common denominator, aka why the other guy stinks. From Jonathan Martin at Politico:
Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman and leading GOP strategist, said: “I do think there is concern amongst a lot of Republicans that the nature of this debate has become counterproductive. I don’t think it’s something that won’t be overcome, but I’d say there’s frustration that [the campaign] is not more focused on the issues.”Yeah, cuz Ms. Death Panels is really an authority on civility.
Even Sarah Palin, who has been a vocal advocate for a long race, decried the tone Tuesday night.
“It diminishes the energy headed into the general,” Palin said on Fox, describing a “process that hasn’t been attractive to the electorate.”