SNELLVILLE, Ga. - Mitt Romney took an indirect swipe at GOP rival Newt Gingrich today during an appearance in the former speaker's home state, telling a crowd of hundreds that he won't "pander" to voters and promise them a certain gas price if he's elected.
"I'd like to get gas prices down, all right? That's number one. And I don't think we want to see them go up. We have a president and his secretary of energy who like the idea of higher and higher gas prices. Americans are really suffering because of the direction of gas prices and I'm afraid that what you're going to see over the coming months and perhaps even years will reflect the fact that this president has cut back on licensing in federal lands, cut back on drilling," said Romney, answering a question at a pancake brunch at Brookwood High School.
Gingrich, who is leading in the polls heading into Georgia's primary on Tuesday, recently began promising that if he is elected Americans will not have to pay more than $2.50 for a gallon of gas under his energy plan.
"I want to take advantage of our energy resources by opening up drilling, offshore, [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], create more licenses in federal lands, get people drilling for more energy in this country," said Romney, who in recent weeks has veered his attention away from Gingrich and on to Rick Santorum, who also did not get a by-name mention in today's speech. "It's going to take a while for that to come into the system. I want to get that pipeline coming in from Canada.
"I'm not going to come here and pander to you and say here's what your gasoline price will be if I do all those things," Romney said. "But I can tell you this: If we develop that energy here in the United States, we'll help hold prices down, we'll also keep the money here in the United States, creating jobs here instead of outside the United States."
Romney seemed to be referring to Gingrich's energy plan and his subsequent new campaign slogan and logos unveiled in February that tout his promise of a $2.50 per gallon gas price.
The new logo shows a gas pump with the price set at $2.50 with the "Newt 2012? logo on the pump. He also promised a new hash tag on Twitter: #250gas.
ABC News' Elicia Dover contributed to this report.