(CNN) – Mitt Romney compared rival Newt Gingrich to the indecisive character Goldilocks Friday, saying the former House speaker couldn’t decide whether he wanted debates with silent audiences or rowdy crowds.
“Speaker Gingrich said the debate before last night that the crowd wasn’t allowed to cheer, and so he couldn’t do so well because the crowd was too quiet,” Romney said in Orlando Friday. “Then last night he thought the crowd was too loud. It’s like Goldilocks, you know, the porridge is too hot, the porridge is too cold.”
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On Friday, one of Gingrich’s campaign advisers told The Huffington Post he thought the debate crowd at Thursday’s CNN Florida debate was stacked in Romney’s favor, saying the Romney campaign “definitely packed the room.”
On Tuesday, Gingrich said in an interview on Fox News he would protest if debate moderators required audiences to be silent. Gingrich participated in an NBC News debate Monday in which the audience was nearly silent.
"I wish, in retrospect, I'd protested when Brian Williams took them out of the debate. It's wrong," Gingrich said on Fox News.
At the CNN Southern Republican Debate ahead of the South Carolina primary, many of Gingrich's responses drew long applause lines from the audience of Republicans. Other candidates also produced reaction from the audience, both positive and negative.
On Friday, Romney dismissed the debate-crowd discussion, saying he was focused solely on defeating the incumbent.
“I’m looking forward to debating Barack Obama,” Romney said. “I’m not going to worry about the crowd. I’m going to make sure we tell the truth to Barack Obama and we get him out of the White House.”