“People ought to be able to applaud if they want to,” Gingrich told Fox News. “I think [Williams] took them out of it because the media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they’ve done in every debate.”
Romney has not attacked the media for limiting participation, but his attempt to rally supporters who might be in the next debate audience could be a signal that Gingrich won’t be the only candidate playing to the crowd on Thursday night.
"We are going to have some choice times talking about the president and his failures," Romney said.
“We may talk about the differences between ourselves as well,” he
added, without naming any of his fellow Republican candidates by name.
“There may be some give and take. That's always fun and entertaining, I
Earlier in the speech, Romney previewed an attack line on President Obama that will likely come up in Thursday night’s debate, as well.
"This has been a 'Groundhog Day' presidency. He keeps saying the same things and we keep waking up with the same things going on. Nothing changes," Romney said, referring to the 1993 Bill Murray movie. "He keeps saying these great things he’s going to do and yet it’s the same picture every single morning. It’s been a ‘Groundhog Day’ presidency and that’s going to end if I’m president."
Romney, fighting Gingrich neck-and-neck in the polls for the primary vote in Florida, nevertheless has launched a series of focused attacks against Obama this week. He gave both a prebuttal and rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union and has been staging his speeches at closed factories to highlight the state of Florida’s economy.
“If you believe things are on the right track in America, then you ought to vote for Barack Obama,” Romney continued in Thursday’s speech at Paramount Printing, a Jacksonville company that is going out of business. “If you believe, like I do, that he has not put things on the right track, that we’re on the wrong track and that we need to change course in this country and to get back to American values and American principles, then I want your vote.”