Mitt Romney vs. Newt Gingrich: GOP Candidate Compares Former House Speaker To Lucille Ball

12/27/2011 04:16 pm ET | Updated Dec 27, 2011

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney compared former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to Lucille Ball Tuesday over his failure to qualify for the Virginia GOP presidential primary ballot.

"I think he compared it to Pearl Harbor. I think it's more like Lucille Ball and the chocolate factory," Romney told reporters in Portsmouth, N.H. "I mean, you got to get it organized." Romney was referencing an "I Love Lucy" episode where she has trouble keeping up with a chocolate assembly line.

(Video above via YouTube.)

Gingrich's national campaign director, Michael Krull, compared the failure to get on the ballot to Pearl Harbor in a message posted on the campaign's Facebook page Christmas Eve. "Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action," he wrote.

Gingrich is a Virginia resident and has lived in the tony Washington suburb of McLean for over a decade. Texas Gov. Rick Perry also failed to qualify for the Virginia ballot, while Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) did not submit petitions to the Virginia Board of Elections Thursday.

To qualify, candidates had to submit 10,000 signatures from registered voters, with 400 signatures coming from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) have both qualified.

UPDATE: Gingrich responded to Romney's joke on CNN's "The Situation Room" Tuesday afternoon. "I'd love to have him say that to my face," he said, repeating his offer to have a one-on-one debate with Romney.


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