A Chat With Newt and Callista at Tommy’s Ham House

Jan 21, 2012 1:47pm

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Amidst the insanity of dueling appearances by Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich at Tommy’s Ham House, I spoke briefly with Newt and Callista Gingrich.

“Where’s Mitt Romney?” I asked him. Romney had been scheduled to stop by Tommy’s Ham House at the same time as Gingrich, but ended up leaving shortly before Gingrich arrived.

“What happened?” Gingrich said. “I thought he was going to stay. I think he had to go to debate coaching. You know Monday night [the next debate] is coming up pretty fast.”

Are you going to win here? I asked Gingrich.

“We hope to,” he said. “It’s up to the people of South Carolina, but certainly if you go around here it looks encouraging.”

When I reminded him that he called South Carolina a must-win state, Gingrich responded, “It just might happen.”

Separately, Callista, who almost never says anything on camera to reporters, told me she is “encouraged” about the possibility of winning, adding, “We’ll see what the voters say.”

Gingrich also had a brief exchange with Tommy Stevenson, owner of Tommy’s Ham House.

“Listen, I got you all the free advertising I could today,” Gingrich told Stevenson as they looked at the massive crowds at the Ham House.

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