Did Mitt Romney pack the debate last night?

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Did Mitt Romney pack the debate last night?

One would conclude so because the crowd even cheered the individual mandate. Also, yesterday Romney asked supporters to “storm” the debate.

Jonah Goldberg says if Romney did pack the room that would be smart politics:

There were definitely moments when Romney deserved the applause and cheers he got. But he also got applause and cheers for lines that have elicited no such response in the previous 8,000 debates. If Romney did pack the room with ringers, it was smart if also devious. Gingrich exposed a key vulnerability to his debate superpowers: he feeds off the energy from the audience. If Romney and his team figured that out and tampered with his energy source, that’s smart politics. It’s not like the President of the United States never has to speak to audiences that don’t cheer attacks on Saul Alinsky.

David Frum adds:

The complaint reminds what a highly strung mechanism the Gingrich psyche is. If a condition as mildly adverse as a less-than-enthusiastic audience can so disable Gingrich’s performance, you do have to wonder what real adversity would do to him. Actually, you don’t have to wonder. We learned in the 1990s. Real adversity utterly disorients and defeats him.

Relatedly, Romney surrogates are now systematically “infiltrating” Gingrich campaign events.

Jon Ward has more.

H/t to The Daily Dish.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.