Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is acknowledging that he meets from time to time with rival Newt Gingrich. He calls their interactions part of an ongoing, friendly discourse and not secret strategy sessions.
Romney told radio host Sean Hannity on Thursday that his campaign and Gingrich's have been in regular communication and that he and his wife, Ann, have met with Gingrich and his wife, Callista. Romney offered no details about what they've discussed.
Romney has a commanding lead in convention delegates and is on track to win the nomination.
Pressure is growing on Gingrich to abandon his bid and support Romney. Gingrich has curtailed his cash-strapped campaign but has vowed to take his fight for the nomination to the national convention if Romney hasn't won enough delegates before then.
“We’re pretty much in regular communication between the different campaigns and I said hello to Newt,” Romney told Sean Hannity in a radio interview. “Nothing new, nothing exciting except we keep a friendly discourse open.”
A source close to the Gingrich campaign confirmed to ABC News that the meeting happened early on Friday morning at around 6:30 a.m. at Romney’s hotel in the French Quarter district of New Orleans. Gingrich was staying at a hotel about 30 minutes away from Romney’s hotel and met with him before heading to the southern part of Louisiana to campaign in Port Fourchon.
“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,” Romney said. “But they are friendly and we discuss the issues, we discuss the way forward but we don’t reveal our secret campaign strategies.”
Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told ABC News that he was not the source of other reports that the two candidates had met, however, “Newt does speak Santorum and Romney on a regular basis.”
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