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Romney, citing 1950s TV series 'I Love Lucy', compares Gingrich to Lucy in chocolate factory


PORTSMOUTH N.H. -- With just a week to go before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney said Newt Gingrich's failure to qualify for the Virginia GOP primary ballot indicated a disorganized campaign effort.

“I think he compared it to Pearl Harbor. I think it’s more like Lucille Ball and the chocolate factory,” Romney told reporters at a campaign stop at Geno's Chowder House. “I mean, you got to get it organized.”

Romney was referring to an episode of "I Love Lucy," during which Lucy has trouble keeping up with an accelerating chocolate candy assembly line.

This was the second time today Romney swiped Gingrich. This morning in Londonderry, Romney called Gingrich's Virginia primary miss "not the best hour" of his bid for the White House.

"He's running his campaign in a way he thinks best," Romney said. "Obviously the Virginia setting was not the best hour of his campaign."

Gingrich failed to collect the necessary 10,000 signatures required to appear on the ballot in Virginia, where he lives. When Virginia state primary officials announced it, his campaign manager Michael Krull likened it to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected setback, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action,” Krull wrote in an email.

This also comes just one day after reporters unearthed a 2006 memo penned by Gingrich, praising the health-care reform law Mitt Romney championed as governor of Massachusetts.

The barbs are the latest in a back and forth, beginning last week when Romney questioned Gingrich's ability to survive a general election against Barack Obama. Gingrich hit back, saying, he could indeed "take the heat" and challenged Romney to a one-on-one debate, which Romney declined.