Gingrich stops at St. Pete cafe to tell voters how he plans to win the presidency

01/24/12 Janelle Irwin
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GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich made a stop in St. Petersburg this morning to rally support. The standing room only crowd at the Tick Tock Café on north 4th Street forced dozens of others to spill into the parking lot. Gingrich outlined his plan to win the Republican nomination despite funding concerns.

“Governor Romney will have vastly more money than I will, but we’ll have many more people than he will. This is exactly what happened in South Carolina and people power beats money power every time.”

Gingrich speech echoed last night’s debate in Tampa where he and Romney bickered and pointed fingers on everything from voting records to campaign contributions. Now Gingrich is calling out his main opponent’s liberal leaning policies.

“He was pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-tax increase and pro-gun control. Now, that makes him a moderate in Massachusetts, but it makes him pretty liberal in a Republican primary which probably explains why he hired (former Florida Governor) Charlie Crist's staff.”

But the former Speaker of the House didn’t spend too much time bashing Romney. He told supporters he is confident he will win the Republican nomination and is looking past August’s Republican National Convention to his general election campaign. Gingrich said one of his strategies is to debate President Barack Obama as often as possible.

“If the president has not yet accepted the 7 three-hour debates, that as of that night the White House will then be my scheduler and I will go where ever the president goes. And four hours after each speech, I will answer his speech, take apart his logic and rebut his falsehoods and put us in a position where in the age of 24-hour cable news, constant talk radio, instantaneous emails; I think within a few days of that the Obama administration is going to call and say, ‘you know this idea of debates sounds better and better; do you promise you won’t follow us everywhere if we just debate you for a while.”

Gingrich also attacked the Affordable Care Act, which he and other conservatives refer to as Obamacare. He promised that if elected he would immediately ask Congress to repeal it. Gingrich went on to mock Obama’s supporters.

“And you think that actually we don’t have any real enemies, there were just moments of confusion between people who have always loved us than you ought to be for Obama. If you think food stamps are a reasonable future than you ought to be for Obama.

Only three other candidates remain standing in the Republican primary. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are lagging behind Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. And Gingrich has gained momentum since his win in South Carolina on Saturday. He’s now neck and neck with Romney in the Florida polls. Retired pharmacist Richard Trinque created a network called Save Our Free Republic. The group supports free enterprise and limited government. He said Gingrich seems to be a strong candidate.

“That’s what this is really all about. We’re either going to die as a free republic and become a socialist democracy and have no freedom that way or we’re going to save it."

"And you think that Newt Gingrich is the answer to that?"

"I think he’s part of the answer to that. He’s not the answer, but he could go a long way to help it.”

Gingrich supporter Kathy Sorensen agreed that the former Speaker of the House will gain more support than his opponents even if he doesn’t have more money.

“Connect with the people as he does in the debates and he just speaks from the heart. I think he’s got his hands on the pulse of what people feel and what fears they have that he wants to assuage and he wants to bring America back to her greatness.”

The campaign trail has been marred by political mudslinging and Gingrich kept that up during his post-debate speech. He said Obama is living in a fantasy land because he has no notion of how complicated the world is.

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