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US Sen. Bob Bennett taps Gingrich to improve image

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — GOP U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett is hoping Newt Gingrich can help fend off challengers from within Bennett's own party this spring.

Bennett formally launched his re-election campaign Wednesday, although he's been in campaign mode for at least a year.

Gingrich was at Bennett's Salt Lake City campaign event to endorse the three-term incumbent.

Bennett's support of a bailout of the nation's financial system has put him among several Republicans across the country who are under attack from within the party as not conservative enough.

Gingrich is a former U.S. House speaker who helped lead the GOP's takeover of the House in 1994. Gingrich has said he considers himself among the top Republican prospects for the 2012 presidential election.