Primary Day Showdown in the Works? Newt, Mitt Double Booked

Political News

0  Updated at 6:39 pm, January 20th, 2012 By: ABC Digital
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Charles Dharapa-Pool/Getty Images(GREENVILLE, S.C.) — A primary day showdown may be in the cards this Saturday, as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to be at the same venue, at the same time, for dueling campaign events.

The location for the event is Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville, a popular breakfast and brunch spot.

At 7:45 p.m. on Friday night, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign sent out the press advisory schedule for Saturday, noting a 10:45 a.m. event at the restaurant.

Then, approximately 10 minutes later, the Romney campaign sent out their own advisory, with the very same stop listed at the same time.

Friday night a aide from the Romney campaign said, “the scheduling conflict is a pure coincidence and we are not changing our schedule.”

The Gingrich campaign confirmed to ABC News that they were aware of the scheduling situation, but refused to budge.

“We’ve had this event on the books. Our schedule went out first. We are confirmed at our event. We are more than happy if Gov. Romney would like to join us at our event have some ham. We would be more than happy to treat Gov. Romney to ham at our event. This is the first we’ve seen that Gov. Romney is attending,” read a statement from the Gingrich campaign.

Later Friday night, Deputy State Director Leslie Gaines indicated Tommy’s Country Ham House had not confirmed the Romney event.

“The Gingrich campaign Greenville Regional Director, Caroline Vanvick, called her close friend Tommy Stevenson, THE Tommy of Tommy’s Country Ham House, woke him up. Tommy told Vanvick he is the only person through the bookings go and Romney has NEVER contacted him. Newt Gingrich is confirmed, Romney is not,” Gaines wrote in an email.

The possible run-in between Romney and Gingrich comes on the eve of a primary that shows the two GOP candidates in a heated race for the nomination, the gap between the two shrinking in national and state polls.

Romney and Gingrich spent most of Friday trading barbs about releasing tax returns and ethics reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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