DUNEDIN, Fla. – Even with polls showing him with a comfortable lead over Newt Gingrich heading into Tuesday’s Florida primary, Mitt Romney on Monday couldn’t resist getting in a few final shots at his chief rival.
At a rally in this city in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, Romney mocked Gingrich for complaining about Romney's ads and attacks. "He's not feeling very excited these days," the former Massachusetts governor said, as the crowd let out a collective "Aww." Romney continued: "I know, it's sad. He's been flailing around a bit trying to go after me for one thing or another. You just watch it and you shake your head. It's been kind of painfully revealing to watch."
Romney went on to criticize Gingrich for his relationship with mortgage giant Freddie Mac, something that’s been a constant theme of his throughout the state. "If you are part of the housing crisis, you are probably not going to get elected president,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Rick Tyler, senior adviser to pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future, told reporters at a Romney rally in Tampa that their campaign intended to proceed all the way to the Republican National Convention. "That's usually an indication that you think you're going to lose,” Romney said of Tyler’s statement. “When you say, 'I'm going to go on, no matter what happens,’ that's not a good sign.”
At his final Florida event of the day at The Villages, a retirement community north of Orlando, Romney didn't even bother to bring up Gingrich. Instead, he returned to his earlier pre-South Carolina theme of concentrating solely on President Obama.