Romney surges in Fla., but Gingrich attacking
The two leading candidates in Tuesday's crucial Republican presidential primary in Florida, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, were to hit the campaign trail hard in the Sunshine State Saturday.
With polls showing Romney surging, Gingrich was pulling out all the stops, including a new attack ad, to catch up.
But after two strong debates this week, Romney was sounding confident.
At a campaign stop in Titusville, he told the crowd he's "had the fun of having two debates where I had to stand up and battle. And battling was fun and battling was won."
The latest polls give Romney reason to smile -- he has pulled back out front, with 9 point lead over Gingrich.
But those numbers can change -- and fast. So both frontrunners and the Super PACS that support them are spending millions on ads, such as a Gingrich attack featuring 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee in which the former Arkansas governor is heard saying, "If a man's dishonest to get a job, he'll be dishonest on the job."
Huckabee later took issue with that, saying his words were taken out of context, and used without his permission.
The candidates and their surrogates also continued to spar over the issue of immigration.
Romney said the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country should return home and get in line behind those waiting to come here legally, and says many will do so voluntarily if they're denied work.
On Friday, Gingrich scoffed at that, saying, "The idea that grandmother's not going to be supported? The idea that she's going to self-deport? This is a fantasy."
But Romney already had a response for that in Thursday night's debate, when he said, "Our problem is not 11 million grandmothers. ... Our problem is 11 million people getting jobs that many Americans, legal immigrants would like to have."
Romney was to spend most of Saturday stumping in Florida's panhandle, a very conservative part of the state, a region you'd think Gingrich would have almost locked up. So it shows Romney is going to take it right to Gingrich.
To see Jan Crawford's report, click on the video in the player above.
- Jan Crawford
Jan Crawford is CBS News Chief Political and Legal Correspondent. She is from "Crossroads," Alabama.Follow on Twitter »
- Boston bombings suspect left note in boat he hid in
- Tim McGraw on aging, getting in shape and his favorite song
- Watch: Deer crashes through windshield of bus
- Mark Harmon: Humor and characters make "NCIS" a hit
- American engineer's death suicide or cyber-espionage?
- Vegan firefighter on his "Beef With Meat"
- Emmy-winner Jim Parsons on his "Big Bang" success
- Incurable bacteria destroying Fla. citrus industry
- Amy Grant on success and the inspiration for her music
- Russia offers more evidence in alleged CIA spy case
- Geist: Parkinson's revelation "very difficult"
- Identity of mystery man in Bill Gates photo revealed
- U.K. casino accuses U.S. poker champ of cheating
- THE Dish: Chef Jet Tila's drunken noodles
- What's for lunch? In Japanese schools it's always healthy
- Immigration reform: Lawmakers say tentative deal reached