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A Saturday showdown at Tommy’s Ham House

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Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) are jockeying for first place in tomorrow’s South Carolina primary.

But first, they’ll have to jockey for a spot at Tommy’s Country Ham House.

Philip Rucker

Philip Rucker

Mitt Romney supporters hold up pro-Romney and anti-Newt Gingrich signs at Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday.

No sooner had the candidates’ primary-day schedules been released Friday night when it became apparent that the two White House hopefuls had somehow managed to book appearances at the same popular Greenville eatery at the same time: 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

What’s a GOP presidential hopeful to do?

As of Friday night, it looked like South Carolina primary voters might be in for a ham-off. According to multiple reports, the Gingrich camp is not backing down, arguing that their candidate firmed up his plans to campaign at Tommy’s far in advance.

“We are more than happy to buy Governor Romney ham at OUR event. ... It’s been confirmed. Governor Romney’s schedule that came out today was the first we’ve seen him talking about it,” Gingrich spokesman Nathan Naidu told reporters, according to BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller.

But the Romney camp, per Kasie Hunt of The Associated Press, called the scheduling mishap “a coincidence” and said that the former Massachusetts governor is not expected to change his plans.

With tensions running high less than 24 hours out from what could be the most decisive contest in the primary race, at least one (former) candidate’s camp appeared to be taking things in stride.

”Tentative huntsman sked for Saturday had us at Jerry’s ham house at 1045,” tweeted Tim Miller, a spokesman for former Utah governor Jon Huntsman (R), who dropped out of the race on Monday. “Would’ve been a nice contrast.”

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