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Romney pulls ahead in Florida

Polls show Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is pulling ahead in the republican race for the White House, with a Reuters/Ipsos poll showing the former Massachusetts governor with a 12 point lead over his closest rival Newt Gingrich ahead of Florida's primary on Tuesday. At a campaign stop in Jacksonville Romney continued to focus on Gingrich. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY SAYING : "He said after the first debate he didn't well because the crowd was so quiet, it threw him off. The second debate he said he didn't do so well because the crowd was so loud. I think the real reason he hasn't done so well connecting with the people of Florida is the people actually saw him in those debates and listened to his background and experience and they learned for instance that he was paid $1.6 million to be a lobbyist for Freddie Mac. And they said that's not what we want in the White House." (LIGHT CHEER - ROMNEY REACTS AND LAUGHS TO COMMENT BEHIND HIM) "What was that back there? Send him to the moon he says well. (laughter) The idea of the moon as the 51st state is not what would come to my mind as a campaign basis for here in Florida." But Gingrich -- the former House Speaker -- is not backing down. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE NEWT GINGRICH SAYING : "I'm very excited, I could feel it over the last three days as we begin to close the gap...just as we had in South Carolina there was this huge wave of dishonest Romney ads...for a little bit people backed up and went wow. Frankly if all that stuff were true...I wouldn't vote for myself." Florida is the fourth state-by state contest of the Republican race and by far the biggest of the states to vote so far. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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