Newt Gingrich Rallies First Coast GOP for Mitt Romney and Connie Mack

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 13, 2012 3:55 AM
Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich hit the First Coast on Thursday to promote the candidacy of Mitt Romney, the man who beat him for the Republican presidential nomination.

Gingrich spoke to volunteers at the Republican headquarters in Jacksonville, encouraging them to continue to push for the former governor of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, the favorite to emerge in the August primary to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

Saying it was the most important election since Abraham Lincoln‘s triumph in 1860, Gingrich said the stakes were high in November.

“Four more years of Obama will wreck the country,” Gingrich said.

The former congressional leader said that the Sunshine State would be in the political front line in November.

“We have to win the White House and we have to win the Senate,” Gingrich said. “Florida plays a major role with both. ... No Republican is going to win the presidency without carrying Florida.”

Gingrich also said Romney and Mack need to do well on the First Coast.

“For a Republican to carry Florida, they have to carry Duval County by a large margin,” Gingrich insisted.

Slamming President Barack Obama, Gingrich said the Democrat in the White House is better at making excuses than running the nation. “Obama’s gone from ‘yes we can’ to ‘why we couldn’t,’” Gingrich said.

Gingrich insisted that Romney would do a better job than Obama on national security and the economy -- though he insisted that the presumptive Republican candidate had taken a page from his playbook.

“Governor Romney has a plan for the economy,” Gingrich said. “I think he frankly got it from our campaign.

“I’m an old teacher,” Gingrich added. “If I can get you to imitate, I’m pretty happy.”

Ripping Obama as a “liar” over whether the federal health-care plan is a tax, Gingrich warned Republicans they will face a dirty fight in the election.

“They can’t win if they tell the truth,” Gingrich said. “From the Democratic convention on, we are going to drown in liberal mud.”

Despite their bitter fight for the Republican nomination, the Romney team had good reason to have Gingrich rally the base in Jacksonville.

After winning the South Carolina primary, Gingrich was riding high going into Florida, but Romney went on the attack. Romney took 46 percent while Gingrich finished second with 32 percent in the Sunshine State’s primary at the end of January. While Romney carried Duval County, Gingrich did well on the First Coast, finishing ahead of the former Massachusetts governor in Baker, Clay and Nassau counties.

Introducing Gingrich, Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), noted that it was a “really tough primary” between Romney and the former congressional leader.

Still, party unity was clearly on Gingrich’s mind on Thursday and he campaigned for Mack as well as Romney.

Gingrich said electing Mack over Nelson is important. Noting that Rasmussen Reports released a poll earlier in the week showing Mack up on Nelson by 9 percent, Gingrich said he is “not surprised” because, he insists, Floridians are finally realizing that the Democratic incumbent is a liberal.

“It’s beginning to sink into Floridians that Bill Nelson is a Barack Obama Democrat,” Gingrich said.

The crowd, which included many supporters of Gingrich’s presidential bid, cheered the speaker numerous times and chanted his name.

Curry praised the former congressional leader and insisted that Gingrich remains an important Republican leader despite losing out to Romney in the primaries.

“This is the type of person we need in the party, an idea person,” Curry said.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (7)

8:03PM JUL 13TH 2012
Yes, Gingrich is all about ideas. Here's some he's had about Romney:

1 - "He ought to release his tax records," Gingrich said, "because how do we know what he paid? All you’ve got now is his consultants' spin." [South Carloina primary]

2 - "The Bain model was to go in at a very low price, borrow an immense amount of money, pay Bain a great deal of money, and leave. Now, I'll let you decide if that's really good capitalism. I think it's exploitive. I think it's not defensible," Gingrich said about Bain Capital. [SC BIPEC 2012 Candidate Forum]

3 - "Those of us who believe in free markets and those of us who believe that in fact the whole goal of investment is entrepreneurship and job creation,” Mr. Gingrich said about Bain Capital, “we find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company, leaving behind 1,700 families without a job.” [New Hampshire primary]

4 - About the possibility of being picked as Romney's VP: “ Would you pick me? I am so much my own agent, it would be - it's inconceivable.” [Face the Nation; May 9, 2012]

5 - “We discovered last night that Mitt Romney has picked up Charlie Crist’s campaign manager. I thought that told you everything you need to know about this primary. As governor of Massachusetts [Romney] was pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-tax increase and pro- gun control. Now that makes you a moderate in Massachusetts but it makes you pretty liberal in a Republican primary. That’s probably why he hired Charlie Crist’s staff.” [January 26, 2012]

6 - About Romney: “This is a man whose staff created the PAC, his millionaire friends fund the PAC, he pretends he has nothing to do with the PAC -- it's baloney. He's not telling the American people the truth.” [January 3, 2012]

7 - “I would just say that if Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him. I’ll bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won’t take the offer.” [December 13, 2011]

8 - "I've been Romney-boated.... Somebody who will lie to you to get to be president, will lie to you when they are president." (Jan. 1, in Waterloo, Iowa) "[Romney's] not telling the American people the truth. It's just like this pretense that he's a conservative.... I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points." [Jan. 3, 2012]

9 - To Romney: "Can we drop a little bit of the pious baloney? The fact is, you ran in '94 and lost. That's why you weren't serving in the Senate with Rick Santorum. The fact is, you had a very bad re-election rating, you dropped out of office, you had been out of state for something like 200 days preparing to run for president.... So this idea that suddenly citizenship showed up in your mind — just level with the American people: You've been running for — at least since the 1990's." [Jan. 8 Concord GOP debate]

10 - "Is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of other people and walk off with the money, or is that somehow a little bit of a flawed system?... I do draw a distinction between looting a company, leaving behind broken families and broken neighborhoods, and leaving behind a factory that should be there." [Jan. 9, Manchester, N.H.]

11 - "We're not going to beat Barack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares of Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a stockholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together to understand what this is all about.... People matter more than Wall Street." [January 26, 2012; Mount Dora, Fla.]

12 - "I took very seriously the Etch A Sketch comments of his director of communications. ... You can't run a campaign with no principles and win the United States. You are not going to beat Barack Obama by being clever." [April 2, 2012; Frederick, Maryland]

Yes, Gingrich is right on target about Romney.
7:23AM SEP 27TH 2012
Its a shame Gingrich suggested a recognized state on the moon at a time like this in America on rocket ship towards socialism. The Newt/Obama debate would of been the 1st presidential debate pay for view.
5:50PM JUL 13TH 2012
He would make the best VP choice for Romney. Simultaniously making Nancy Pelosi crazy... Ha!
6:29AM JUL 13TH 2012
Another fat, old, washed-up relic stirring up fear and hatred.
6:29AM JUL 13TH 2012
Another fat, old, washed-up relic stirring up fear and hatred.
Andrew Nappi
5:38AM JUL 13TH 2012
Where's the story? One unashamed globalist supporter of the perpetual American welfare/warfare state supporting another.
12:04PM JUL 15TH 2012
As I've pointed out before, you seem to have real problems, just hating everyone.

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