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Afternoon Fix: Gingrich issues challenge to Romney

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Gingrich wants Romney to denounce his supporters, Bobby Jindal helps Rick Perry out, Scott Brown is still after the House GOP, and Obama isn’t playing poker.

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EARLIER ON THE FIX:

Dole says Romney campaign didn’t know about VP chat with Branstad

President Obama’s middle-class momentum

Why a Newt Gingrich comeback won’t be easy

Bob Vander Plaats endorses Santorum. Does it matter?

Name that District contest: Pennsylvania’s 7th district

R.I. Rep. Cicilline gets help in contentious redistricting battle

Gingrich ‘baggage’ under attack in another ad

Republicans’ authenticity problem

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Former House speaker Newt Gingrich went (sort of) negative in his criticism of negative ads today, calling the attacks on him “disgraceful” and saying that if his opponents “don’t have anything positive to say, they shouldn’t be running.” He challenged former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to denounce his supporters at the super PAC Restore Our Future, which has been running anti-Gingrich spots. Romney criticized super PACs today, but he actually took advantage of a loophole in campaign finance law to fundraise for the group.

* Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) joined Texas Gov. Rick Perry on the campaign trail in Iowa today and ended up correcting the presidential candidate on his own flat tax policy. “Thank you for correcting me on that, not that I ever make a mistake,” Perry joked after he mistakenly told a woman he would eliminate the standard deduction.

* President Obama made a surprise appearance today in the White House briefing room to pressure House Republicans to support a two-month payroll tax cut extension. “This is not poker, this is not a game,” he said. “We have more important things to worry about right now than ... saving face.” The bill was voted down in the House today.

* Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is still not happy with House Republicans for voting down a payroll tax cut extension. “It angers me that House Republicans would rather continue playing politics than find solutions,” he said in a statement today. “Their actions will hurt American families.”

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* In a speech in Bedford, New Hampshire tonight, Romney will accuse President Obama of trying to create an “entitlement society” and aiming “ to use the invisible boot of government to bring us all down.”

* Longtime Gingrich aide Rick Tyler, who quit the former House speaker’s campaign in June, is now heading up a super PAC in support of the candidate. “I've gotten my perspective back,” Tyler told the Post. “The truth is that Newt, at these debates, is a Pavarotti among pop stars.”

* Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore (R) is running for Kentucky’s 4th district seat, being vacated by retiring Rep. Geoff Davis (R). Democrats are bullish on this district, where Democrats technically outnumber Republicans although voters often side with the GOP. Republican state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington is already in the primary.

* Influential Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaats, who endorsed former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum today, reportedly tried this past weekend to get Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to drop out of the race.

* Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) is so confident that he’ll win a primary with Rep. Mark Critz, he’s telling Democrats in the state House to go ahead and vote for a GOP-drawn redistricting map that pits the two together. Democratic Reps. Bob Brady and Mike Doyle also support the plan.

THE FIX MIX:

Why you shouldn’t dance on the subway.

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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

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