Dissent v. Debate In Romneyland

Jonathan Martin of the Politico reports this morning about an internal dispute between two members of Mitt Romney's television ad team. One side, led by McCain campaign exile Stu Stevens, worries about "going negative." The other, led by cornerman Alex Castellanos, is worried that Giuliani's negatives need to be exploited AND SOONish.

As Martin notes, such strategic disagreements are common.

Aides to Romney don't deny that different advisers have different thoughts about important decisions. And kudos to Romney campaign manager Beth Myers for speaking candidly about Romney's preference for health internal debates.

Still, advisers believe that Martin's story is sensationalized. An aide compared the disagreement to quibbles among editors about what to put on the front page of a newspaper.

But rarely do the minutes of those page 1 meetings leak!

Romney's campaign has been extraorindarily disciplined about keeping in-house disputes buttoned up. Usually, such discipline breaks down when one faction has no other recourse but to pressure the other in public.

In this case, some Romney advisers want the campaign to take on Rudy Giuliani more clearly; Romney himself and his inner inner circle -- which does not include Alex Castellanos -- have balked. Clearly, some Romney advisers believe that Giuliani's invincibility needs to be tested.