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Charles Dharapak, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets residents as he campaigns in front of a foreclosed home in Lehigh Acres, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney came to ground zero of the housing crisis to assail rival Newt Gingrich over his ties to a government-backed mortgage company that helped make it worse. And he continued what's become a habit of comparing companies to people.

Romney on Tuesday was standing outside a Fannie Mae-foreclosed home in a struggling Florida neighborhood telling a small crowd why they're having so much trouble.

Romney said, in his words: "The banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now."

The comment echoes the now-famous line Romney delivered from a hay bale at the Iowa state fair: "Corporations are people, my friend!"

They're part of a string of comments Romney has made that his opponents have used to pummel him as wealthy and out of touch.