Naples, Florida (CNN) - Keeping up his attacks on Newt Gingrich, a fiery Mitt Romney suggested Sunday that the former House speaker "look in the mirror" to understand why his campaign seemed to be faltering in Florida.
The former Massachusetts governor, who polls show widening his lead over his rival in Florida, accused the former House speaker of "finding excuses everywhere he can" and likened him to President Barack Obama.
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"He's on TV this morning going from station to station complaining about what he thinks were the reasons he thinks he's had difficulty here in Florida," Romney told an audience of roughly 2,000 at an outdoor rally. "But you know, we've got a president who has a lot of excuses, and the excuses are over, it's time to produce."
The cause of Gingrich's drop in Florida polls was simple, Romney continued.
"If we failed somewhere, if we failed the debate, if we failed to get the support of people, it's time to look in the mirror. And my own view is the reason that Speaker Gingrich has been having a hard time in Florida is that people of Florida have watched the debates, have listened to the speaker, have listened to the other candidates and have said, 'You know what, Mitt Romney's the guy we're going to support,'" he said.
Romney's effort in Florida was also aided by millions of dollars spent on ads attacking Gingrich and an aggressive push by Romney to savage his rival on the stump and in nationally televised debates.
On Sunday, Romney revived an attack on Gingrich's past consulting work for troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac, and in doing so, highlighted the housing crisis that has ravaged Florida.
"Your problem in Florida is that you worked for Freddie Mac at a time when Freddie Mac was not doing the right thing for the American people," Romney said. "And that you're selling influence in Washington at a time when we need people who will stand up for the truth in Washington."
At the balmy winter rally in thriving downtown Naples, where voters wore t-shirts and some brought homemade signs, a father-son surrogate duo took swipes at Gingrich as they introduced Romney.
Former Sen. Connie Mack III and his son, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, both jabbed Gingrich without mentioning the former speaker's name.
Rep. Mack alluded to a charge by Gingrich that Romney was "dishonest" during a debate Thursday, telling the audience not to believe other candidates who "tell you that somehow he's not honest."
"There are others in this race that have a very checkered past when it comes to ethics and honesty," Mack said. "But not Mitt Romney. He's someone we can believe in and trust."
♫ Romney to Gingrich: 'Look in the mirror' ♫
I'm asking you to change your ways
No message can be any clearer
If you want to make the world – a better place – take a look at yourself – and make the – CHANGE!!!
Dang, maybe ALL of the candidates should look in the mirror and stop the LYING and "make-believe appeasement” each of them do at that moment in time where they stand. Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate on the stage that does not do this (and I am saying this as a pure FACT!!!). Say what you say and mean what you say – Don’t base it on non-beliefs just to get by the day!!
Obama 2012 – Because he will say it the way IT IS!!!
For me, I can't bring myself to vote for someone who thinks Jesus is the twin brother of Satan (Romney). Our spiritual views say everything about our character. Right now I think Gingrich has the best chance to knock out Obama.
Mitt, Newt is looking in the mirror and he sees you.
He is you!!! Ask captain Priebut.
Gingrich is bizzarre. Does he listen to what he says? I haven't heard him say a sensible thing in at least a week!
He does look in the mirror. But all he sees is, "you are the prettiest, greatest person here. You're more normal because normal husbands cheat on their wives and lying about it to the nation is okay because you weren't under oath."
Romney is a dirty politician!!
obama or romney , they are one in the same