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Bachmann goes after Gingrich on his abortion record

Charlie Neibergall/AP

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., greets audience members Saturday after the Thanksgiving Family Forum sponsored by The Family Leader in Des Moines, Iowa.

By NBC's James Novogrod and Carrie Dann

Although the Family Leader Thanksgiving forum held on Saturday night had far less inter-candidate fireworks than a typical Turkey Day family reunion, Rep. Michele Bachmann launched an attack even before the candidates walked off stage.

The Bachmann campaign sent an email skewering the newly surging Newt Gingrich’s record on abortion.

“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has failed to uphold a consistently pro-life stance throughout his career in public life,” the email reads. Team Bachmann accuses Gingrich of being "open to watering down the Republican Party's commitment to the inalienable right to life."

The candidate told reporters that she only intends to draw a contrast with other candidates' "surprises."

"What we're trying to do is underscore again the fact that there are differences in the candidates and you won't find surprises with me," she said.

Asked after the forum to comment, Gingrich appeared incredulous.

"I have no idea what she's talking about," he said, later adding "I'm not going to comment randomly on emails I haven't read."

The attack from Bachmann is the second time this week that she has targeted Gingrich. She honed in on reports about his consulting for Freddie Mac earlier this week, telling voters she "wasn't shilling" for the mortgage giant before the financial crisis.