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Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich reported to have had secret meeting in New Orleans last week

WASHINGTON -- By all public appearances, the three men seem to want little to do with one another. But in private, three of the remaining four Republican presidential contenders communicate often, according to a spokesman for one of the campaigns.

“Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney speak frequently,” R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for Newt Gingrich, said in an email.

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Are they talking sports? Discussing one of their exits from the race? It’s anyone’s guess. But the subject has received new attention amid reports that Gingrich and Mitt Romney met secretly in New Orleans on Friday.

Hammond wouldn’t directly address the meeting, and representatives from other campaigns cagily wouldn’t offer any immediate comment. Hammond also didn’t elaborate on how frequently the candidates are speaking. The last time the three candidates were together publicly was March 3, when they participated in a televised forum hosted by Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee. The fourth candidate in the race, Ron Paul, wasn’t at the forum.

Gingrich told the Washington Times, which first revealed the meeting between him and Romney, that he hasn’t made any deal to end his bid for the nomination. He hasn’t been offered a position in a potential Romney administration, Gingrich said, and there was no deal afoot to have Romney’s campaign help him retire his campaign debt.

“There is no agreement of any kind, and I plan to go all the way to Tampa,” Gingrich said.

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.
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