Gingrich Barbs Rivals While Campaigning in Nashville

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is campaigning in Nashville today ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday primary. Gingrich is hoping to turn around a campaign that’s been trailing in recent Tennessee polls.

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Gingrich sneaked in jabs at his rivals in a string of downtown events. He equated the healthcare plan Mitt Romney backed in Massachusetts to what Gingrich called ‘Obamacare.’ And he targeted Rick Santorum as a quote ‘big-labor Republican.’

“I suspect when you get to Memphis and you say to people ‘Gee, this is a guy who wanted to guarantee that FedEx gave in to the unions,’ Santorum won’t be quite as popular the following morning.”

Gingrich says he thinks the Republican primary race could stay competitive all the way to the GOP convention this summer. But before that he says he has to do well in his home state of Georgia next week. He then hopes to rebuild momentum in Alabama and Mississippi.

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Gingrich took aim at Romney over the state healthcare law the former Massachusetts governor supported:

“I think intellectually there’s no question. Romneycare is Obamacare. The differentials are very tiny. The people who designed Romneycare say that. Romney doesn’t, obviously, but the people who designed it do.”

Gingrich also defended Sarah Palin’s controversial “death panels” claim, which the web site Politifact rated its “lie of the year” in 2009.

EARLIER: A recent Vanderbilt poll ranks Santorum as the leader in Tennessee. The former Pennsylvania senator has a fundraiser scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville. Meanwhile officials with Romney’s campaign in Tennessee plan to unveil their game plan for the state this evening.

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