Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich rode a strong performance and crowd enthusiasm at a debate in South Carolina to victory in that state’s primary, but the crowds at two debates in Florida this week haven’t been as wild for Gingrich. Now his campaign is claiming that rival Mitt Romney’s campaign stacked the audience at Thursday’s debate with its supporters to shift the energy toward Romney, the Huffington Post reported.
“They definitely packed the room," Kevin Kellems, a Gingrich adviser, told the Post.
But that’s not the case, according to both the Florida Republican Party and the Romney campaign. The party, which doled out 900 of the 1,200 tickets, says most of them went to “rank and file” Republicans.
“We did a very thorough job of getting them to the rank and file, vetting them to make sure they went to registered Republicans and then making sure they went out to people that were not knowingly affiliated” with the campaigns, Party spokesman Brian Hughes told the website.
A Romney spokesman said the campaign was given a number of tickets that he assumed was the same number as the other campaigns received.