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Republican Presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney met privately with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich before last week’s Louisiana primary but claims no secret deal was struck.
Gingrich fired a third of his staff and reduced his campaign after a disappointing showing in that primary but a campaign aide claims the meeting with Romney had nothing to do with the decision.
“Newt does speak to Santorum and Romney on a regular basis,” Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond told ABC news.
On Sean Hannity‘s radio show Thursday, Romney said:
We’re pretty much in regular communication between the different campaigns and I said hello to Newt. Nothing new, nothing exciting except we keep a friendly discourse open. We do meet from time to time and I’m sure that the Speaker meets with Rick Santorum as well but we don’t go off and report the discussions. But they are friendly and we discuss the issues, we discuss the way forward but we don’t reveal our secret campaign strategies.
The meeting was a little more than just saying “hello.” Gingrich traveled from his hotel, 30 minutes away, for a 6:30 a.m. confab with Romney at the former Massachusetts governor’s hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
“Newt is thinking about the future,” a longtime GOP operative told Capitol Hill Blue. “He’s making peace with the man who will win the nomination.”