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Gingrich, Romney Surrogates Clash

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    Gingrich, Romney Surrogates Clash

    After Romney campaign surrogate Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) showed up at a Gingrich campaign event at Mount Dora, Florida to talk to the media about Gingrich’s speech, Gingrich campaign manager R.C. Hammond decided to fight back.

    The Hill

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) found his own tactics turned against him during a Newt Gingrich event here Friday afternoon.

    Chaffetz, a Mitt Romney supporter, has been turning up at Gingrich events during the past two days, though he denied in a brief interview with The Hill that he was doing so in order to goad the former Speaker. He said he was merely there to “offer some perspective.”

    But Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond decided it was time to do some goading of his own, as he briefed reporters. Hammond first waved with faux-glee at the Utah congressman and invited him to join the briefing. When Chaffetz ignored him, the spokesman instead marched the press over to where Chaffetz was standing with fellow Romney supporter Bay Buchanan.

    Hammond told Chaffetz that Sen. John McCain, a Romney supporter and former GOP nominee, has expressed distaste for the tactic of having campaign surrogates shadowing an opposing candidate’s events. Chaffetz replied, “I am just here attending.”

    Hammond would not let the matter rest, though, teasing an increasingly uncomfortable Chaffetz that “I didn’t even have to pay at a fundraiser to see you — that’s exciting.”

    Hammond continued for several minutes in a similar vein, asking Chaffetz with fake bonhomie, “Where are you going next? Do you want our schedule for tomorrow? Are you going to join our charter to Tampa?”

    As the barrage continued, an exasperated Chaffetz asked Hammond, “Are you serious?”