Nightly News | January 28, 2012
>>> go until florida republicans have their say and while it is not officially a two-man race, it sure feels that way in the sunshine state . mitt romney and newt gingrich spent the day crisscrossing florida trading sharp attacks. meantime, ron paul ditched the sunshine for a snowstorm up in maine today looking ahead to that state's caucus vote next weekend. and rick santorum went back to washington, d.c. to raise some much-needed campaign cash. our political team is in place tonight. let's begin in panama city , florida . peter alexander is traveling with the romney campaign. peter?
>> reporter: kate, good evening to you. the campaign officials believe what the campaign is doing is working. they say the candidate has a renewed focus after his loss in south carolina . and has done a better job being more aggressive, consistently against newt gingrich and emphasizing their belief that he is the best candidate to improve the american economy . mitt romney says he's feeling like the front-runner again.
>> i just feel that things are going in our direction. i'm hoping for a big turnout on tuesday. and i think we're being to win here. i sure hope so.
>> reporter: in front of a packed crowd along pensacola's famed shores, romney focused on the president and mocked newt gingrich 's complaints about the crowd participation in last debates.
>> speaker gingrich said he didn't do so well because the audience was so loud. and the one before it was too quiet. it's like goldilocks you have to it right.
>> reporter: and an all-out assault on gingrich , including john mccain who called him desperate.
>> a desperate candidate is a candidate who attacks someone who succeeds in the free enterprise system .
>> reporter: while romney may be leading in the polls he's still battling to win the support of the party's conservative base. on friday night, it was florida 's influential hispanic vote he was after. and the ad wars continue. the latest romney ad lifting a 1997 clip of " nbc nightly news," the day the former house speaker was found guilty of ethics violations. nbc news has asked the romney campaign for the removal of all nbc news material from their ads. tom brokaw responded saying, i'm extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad . i do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign. at a shipyard in panama city this afternoon, romney tried to convince voters that gingrich had his turn to run the republican party but failed.
>> he was fined for ethics violations. he ultimately had to resign in disgrace. he can't rewrite history . we have to go back an look at history and he may by a great guy with a lot of great ideas but he's not the leader we need at a critical time.
>> reporter: and as for that ad with the "nightly news" clip in it, tonight the romney campaign tells me they have received the letter from nbc news and are eare viewing it. but that they believe they still have the right to air that clip and is skeldcheduled to air through tuesday. which is primary day in florida .
>> yes, it is.