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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bachmann slips into Florida, attack mode on

1

December

MIAMI — Michele Bachmann popped unexpectedly into South Florida on Thursday and started throwing haymakers at Republican presidential frontrunners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

Bachmann called Gingrich an "influence peddler" and said he has flip-flopped just like Romney. And voters won't buy it, she said.

"They want to know what's the truth," she said at an appearance at the Weston Fort Lauderdale. "They're not interested in a chameleon."

Just the day before, Gingrich took umbrage at Bachmann's criticism of his immigration plan and called her "factually challenged" — a comment that highlighted the Minnesota congresswoman's penchant for gaffes and misstatements.

The verbal tussles between the candidates is becoming more common as the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses draw closer, followed by New Hampshire and South Carolina. Florida — the largest and most influential swing state — holds its primary Jan. 31. Amid the criticisms of each other, all the candidates say President Barack Obama has been a failure. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 10:58pm]

    

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