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Gingrich bemoans Romney's Florida 'carpet-bombing'

On the defensive after a barrage of attacks from Mitt Romney and a political committee that supports him, Newt Gingrich said Romney had lied and the GOP establishment had allowed it.

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Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks to the media after attending a church service at the Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida, Sunday January 29, 2012.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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Newt Gingrich slammed GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney for "carpet-bombing" his record ahead of Tuesday's presidential primary in Florida, trying to cut into the resurgent front-runner's lead in the final 48 hours before the vote.

On the defensive after a barrage of attacks from Romney and a political committee that supports him, Gingrich said Romney had lied and the GOP establishment had allowed it.

"I don't know how you debate a person with civility if they're prepared to say things that are just plain factually false," Gingrich said during appearances on Sunday talk shows. "I think the Republican establishment believes it's OK to say and do virtually anything to stop a genuine insurgency from winning because they are very afraid of losing control of the old order."

Despite Romney's effort to turn positive, the Florida contest has become decidedly bitter and personal. Romney and Gingrich have tangled over policy and character since Gingrich's stunning victory over the well-funded Romney in the South Carolina primary Jan. 21.

Showing no signs of letting up, Gingrich objected to a Romney campaign ad that includes a 1997 NBC News report on the House's decision to discipline the then-House speaker for ethics charges.

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