Gingrich challenges Florida's winner-take-all delegate plan

Newt Gingrich is challenging Florida's winner-take-all primary, arguing in a letter that is being sent Thursday that since the state held its primary early it must award delegates proportionally under existing Republican National Committee policies.

"The RNC already has an existing rule that any contest held before a certain date ... need[s] to award delegates proportionally," said Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond. "We are writing the state party of Florida to ask them to enforce that rule."

Gingrich was tromped by rival Mitt Romney in Tuesday's primary, with the former Massachusetts governor winning by 14 percentage points and receiving all of the state's 50 delegates.

But under the RNC's rules, any state that holds a primary or a caucus before April 1 is to award its delegates on a proportional basis rather than giving  the winner a lump sum.

Florida was already stripped of half its delegates by the RNC for holding its primary earlier than it was supposed to.

Hammond made the remarks to reporters after Gingrich held a Latino town hall meeting at a restaurant here.

The Republican Party of Florida rejected Gingrich's complaint.

"Florida was winner-take-all before election day, we were winner-take-all on election day, we will remain winner-take-all," party Chairman Lenny Curry said in a statement. "It is a shame when the loser of a contest agrees to the rules before, then cries foul after losing."

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