Republican GOP debate takes place tonight in Florida, airs on NBC at 8:00 p.m.

POSTED: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 5:17pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 7:37pm

In Tampa, Florida, it’s day one of a former frontrunner's comeback bid, polling second in this state after losing South Carolina, Mitt Romney is going after Newt Gingrich.

"He's gone from pillar to post almost like a pinball machine, from item to item in a way which is highly erratic," said Romney.

Romney, who's under fire about his finances and says he'll release some tax returns tomorrow, stepped up his attack on Gingrich's business links to the mortgage crisis.

"The speaker made $1.7 million in his enterprises from providing services to Freddie Mac,” stated Romney. “He ought to give it back."

Romney's new television ad in Florida targets his rival; this afternoon in Florida, Gingrich fired back.

"It's such baloney,” stated Gingrich. “It used to be pious baloney, but now it's just desperate baloney."

Tonight’s debate at South Florida University in Tampa will air at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.

Florida is a large and diverse state, and a win by Newt Gingrich would prove his electability.

Debates proved decisive in South Carolina, and the one tonight could be the most important of the campaign.

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