They want to rough him up enough to remind conservatives how much he has disgusted them at various times over the years, but not so much that his path to the nomination is destroyed.
Here's my theory:
I think Mitt Romney is being pushed by the left and the right. The left has directed their vitriol everywhere except towards him and it’s obvious that the GOP already picked Mitt many months ago. Every potential candidate has risen up only to be systematically torn back down by both the left wing and right wing media outlets except Mitt Romney. Some of them only needed to be given the rope and they hanged themselves of course but the media has been right there all along ensuring that all obstacles in Mitt Romney’s path are removed. Newt is the last of them and, as expected, both sides are attempting to derail his candidacy. He’s the last of them unless you think Huntsman or Paul is all of a sudden going to surge which seems unlikely to me. I’m going to vote for Newt when the time comes and my hope is that, should he win, he picks Michele Bachmann as his VP.
I am concerned about this as well.
However, on the flip side, the only candidate, save for maybe Cain or Perry, who won’t be afraid to utter words like “Solyndra” and “Bill Ayers” is NEWT.
Newt can counterattack. The others can’t, or won’t.