Gingrich gives it one last go in Tampa



Newt Gingrich greets fans in Tampa on the eve of the Florida Primary
  • Newt Gingrich greets fans in Tampa on the eve of the Florida Primary
With Michael Reagan and Herman Cain speaking for him, Newt Gingrich made his last appearance in Tampa before tomorrow's FL GOP primary, insisting that he can pull off a major upset in his fierce battle with Mitt Romney.

Although two new polls show Gingrich closer than some other surveys (Insider Advantage shows Romney plus 5; Public Policy Polling has him up by 7 points), the former House Speaker said he knows of one poll that shows the race in a tie (which naturally lit up the rather modest audience assembled at an airport hangar off of Jim Walter Drive in Tampa).

Deriding the Romney campaign's barrage of attack ads as "$17 million full of falsehoods," Gingrich slammed his challenger for voting for Democrat Paul Tsongas in the 1992 presidential primary election in Massachusetts, and giving financial contributions to Democratic candidates, asking indignantly, "And he's questioning my credentials?"

As he did in a speech in St. Pete last Tuesday, Gingrich began laying out the first decisions and executive orders he'd dictate upon the first day of a Gingrich presidency.

In addition to the familiar epithets about San Francisco and Saul Alinsky, Gingrich invoked another bogey-man for the GOP: financier George Soros, who said recently in the Daily Mail that "there isn't all that much difference between Romney and Obama," but did indicate there would be real change under a Gingrich administration.

The former Georgia Congressman repeated that quote with more than a tinge of pride in his voice, adding that he is the true change agent in the race, which is why he says "the establishment" of both the Democratic and Republican parties is terrified of his candidacy.

Appealing to the Christian conservative vote, Gingrich assailed President Obama for mandating that faith-based hospitals, charities and schools provide birth control and reproductive services in health insurance plans. Gingrich called it a "fundamental assault on the right of freedom of religion."

He then brought Romney into the thread, saying that the former Massachusetts governor had cut off Kosher meals for Jewish senior citizens who were on Medicaid to "save $5 a day." (The New York Post reported that he did so in 2003 to save $600,000 in additional funds).

And later in his 20-minute address, he referred to "the challenge of radical Islam," saying the Obama administration refuses to talk openly about that threat. He then added that he was "unalterably opposed to the use of Sharia law" in any American courthouse, electrifying the couple of hundred or so people in attendance. "We are not going to accept Sharia Law," he repeated.

The candidate then ended his speech by saying a Gingrich victory on Tuesday in Florida would send a signal to Soros, Goldman Sachs and the entire Washington/New York establishment that "we're determined to take over."

In a little more than 24 hours, we'll know if his dream becomes reality. If that were to happen, it would also be a living nightmare for the establishment that is doing everything to stop him in his tracks in Florida.

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