It’s On! Newt, Mitt to Hold Dueling Ham House Events

Jan 20, 2012 8:23pm

GREENVILLE, S.C. – A primary day showdown may be in the cards this Saturday, as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to be at the same venue, at the same time, for dueling campaign events.

The location for the event is Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville, a popular breakfast and brunch spot.

At 7:45 p.m. on Friday night, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign sent out the press advisory schedule for Saturday, noting a 10:45 a.m. event at the restaurant.

Then, approximately 10 minutes later, the Romney campaign sent out their own advisory, with the very same stop listed at the same time.

Nobody at the restaurant answered the phone Friday evening. A Romney campaign aide said the scheduling conflict is a “pure coincidence” and “We are not changing our schedule.”

But the regional director of the Gingrich campaign for Greenville, Caroline Vanvick, called her close friend Tommy Stevenson — the Tommy of Tommy’s Country Ham House — and woke him up. Stevenson told Vanvick he is the only person that bookings go through and that Romney has never contacted him.  Newt Gingrich is confirmed, Romney is not.

“We’ve had this event on the books,” said Nathan Naidu, spokesman for the Gingrich campaign. “Our schedule went out first. We are confirmed at our event. We are more than happy if Governor Romney would like to join us at our event have some ham. We would be more than happy to treat Governor Romney to ham at our event. This is the first we’ve seen that Governor Romney is attending.”

Throwdown!

The possible run-in between Romney and Gingrich comes on the eve of a primary that shows the two GOP candidates in a heated race for the nomination, the gap between the two shrinking in national and state polls.

Romney and Gingrich spent most of Friday trading barbs about releasing tax returns and ethics reports.

ABC News’ Elicia Dover contributed to this report.

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