Gingrich blasts Romney as 'Obama lite' in fiery Vegas speech

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"Obama is big food stamp, he is little food stamp. They both think food stamps are OK,” Gingrich said. “I don’t think food stamps are a future for America. They’re a necessary bridge back to getting a job and back to being independent of government.”

He also referred to the safety net as a "spider web" that traps the poor.

"And we think it is the left which has abandoned and betrayed the poor because its safety net is actually a spiderweb and it traps people in dependency," Gingrich said. "My goal — the exact opposite of Governor Romney. My goal is not to ignore or forget the poor. My goal is to turn the safety net into a trampoline to allow the poor to rise and be like the rest of us and have a job and buy a house."

Romney's campaign dismissed Gingrich's attacks as last-ditch attempts for attention.

“Newt Gingrich’s flailing attacks are the sign of a candidate trying to distract from his own record to save his sinking campaign. Newt Gingrich would rather make misleading statements about Mitt Romney’s record than tell Nevada voters suffering from the housing crisis why he took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac or why he filmed a climate change ad with Nancy Pelosi that was funded by George Soros," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. "Newt Gingrich is so detached from reality that he doesn't even know the current jobs numbers. Maybe on the moon it doesn't matter, but it does in Nevada.”

Gingrich went on to reference a new Web ad put out by his campaign Friday that suggested Romney was "approved" by liberal fundraiser — and conservative boogeyman — George Soros. Gingrich played an excerpt from a recent interview with Soros in which he seemingly suggests that he sees little difference between Obama and Romney. That quote is the centerpiece of Gingrich's new Web campaign.

“Every once in a while, the clouds part and enlightenment comes in,” Gingrich said.

Still, Gingrich badly trails in the Nevada polls, with a PPP survey released Friday showing him 25 percentage points behind Romney. The campaign, still reeling from a tough loss in the pivotal Florida primary, told Fox News Friday that they had hired a new chief of staff — Georgia attorney Patrick Millsaps.

Gingrich also did not address an encouraging jobs report expected to be a boon to President Obama's campaign, telling CNN after the event that he had not seen the numbers.

Nevada's caucuses will be held Saturday.