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In Broward, Newt Gingrich focuses on Barack Obama, fends off Freddie Mac heckler

Newt Gingrich spoke today in the parking lot in front of Wings Plus in Coral Springs, a popular hot spot for Republican candidates visiting West Broward.

He was introduced by a local tea party activist, Karen Hoffman, and when Gingrich spoke he said that the tea party would make "a decisive difference" in the fall election. A heckler repeatedly tried to throw Gingrich off course, shouting at him, "Do you work for the people or Freddie Mac?" Gingrich replied, "I work for the people."

Gingrich fired up the crowd of several hundred Republicans by asking, "How many of you agree that America is largely on the wrong track? ... Four more years of Barack Obama will be a disaster."

Gingrich vowed to hold several debates with Obama and said, "to defeat Obama we need somebody who is conservative and can stand up to him in a debate." He spent more time criticizing Obama than Romney, just noting Romney has more campaign money than he does.

Gingrich emphasized his past experience as speaker of the House, where he said he worked to produce millions of new jobs and enact welfare reform that he said sent two out of three people out of work to school."

Then, Gingrich repeated the line that played so well for him in South Carolina: "We know President Obama is the best food-stamp president in American history."

With Florida's primary just days away, some Republicans at Gingrich's event remained undecided.

Gary Messinger, a tennis court contractor from Coral Springs, said he was leaning toward Gingrich.

"I think he is intelligent. He can stand toe-to-toe with anyone in the world and not flinch and beat Obama in the debates," Messinger said.

Richard Huddleston, a Tamarac resident and retired driver trainer for Waste Management, wasn't impressed by any GOP candidate.

"I think they are all full of baloney," Huddleston said. "They are worried about fighting amongst each other. They need to attack Obama and tell us how they would be the best president."

George Mihelich, a 38-year-old car sales manager from Parkland, favored Gingrich.

"He can work with the Democrats and balance the budget," he said. "He has proven he can work with Democrats from his time as Speaker in the house. ... He's a consensus builder."

But David Brundage, a 70-year-old Cooper City resident, said he preferred Romney who he saw as the candidate with business and management skills who could appeal more to moderates and independents.

"He’s more to the middle where we need. As a lifelong Republican I don't want to lose this election to somebody who is too far to the right," said Brundage, a retired food production manager for Jackson Memorial Hospital. "As a party, particularly in Broward, we will not win the election unless we have somebody who can draw independent voters." 

Some voters weren't bothered by the news reports about Gingrich's marriages.

"His knowledge is unbelievable," said Ira Josephson, a 58-year-old Coral Springs resident and eyeware manufacturer. "I don't care about his past. We all have skeletons."

--AMY SHERMAN

Comments

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Tally Folly

The only thing Gingrich accomplished in DC as Speaker was grinding the governance of our Nation to a halt to appease his uptight party in an impeachment over something he himself is a habitual abuser of.
Lies, Adultery, and Hypocrisy.

Bill Drury


I was on the ground knocking doors in South Carolina leading up to the election, and no one in the media is talking about what I think is the single biggest factor contributing to Newt's victory: Mitt Romney's faith.

My assignment in SC was to knock doors to speak with voters who had previously identified as undecided or leaning toward Mitt Romney. Most of those I spoke to who flipped away from Romney in favor of Gingrich agreed they thought Romney was more electable. Not one indicated that she cared about Romney releasing his tax returns. Almost every single person who would share with me her reason for voting for Gingrich cited Mitt Romney's faith as the principle factor. In fact, even those who supported Mitt Romney would often tell me they did so in spite of his faith.

South Carolina shifted the momentum--no question. But Newt has not magically transformed himself from unelectable to electable. He is still an adulterer, he is still unethical, and the Democrats would still prefer to run against him rather than Romney. Mitt lost because South Carolinians were searching hard for an alternative, not based on legitimate policy differences, but based on a deep-seated and generational bias against Mormons. Unfortunately, few are willing to be candid about this bias with the media, and the media is therefore not accurately reporting about what I believe actually happened.

Maybe South Carolina demonstrated that Mitt Romney is not as electable as the public was beginning to think. Maybe Romney's faith really is an insurmountable obstacle. (I tend to believe that evangelicals will vote against Obama regardless.) But Gingrich's victory in South Carolina absolutely does not speak to his electabilty in a general election. Rather, it shows that evangelicals will vote for almost anyone (other than President Obama) to avoid voting for a Mormon.

Amen

"He’s more to the middle where we need. As a lifelong Republican I don't want to lose this election to somebody who is too far to the right," said Brundage, a retired food production manager for Jackson Memorial Hospital. "As a party, particularly in Broward, we will not win the election unless we have somebody who can draw independent voters."

Amen

Ericsafudus

Republicans please, please, please nominate Gingrich. Actually, maybe I do not have to plead because Romney, Santorum, and Paul, are all just a flawed, so vote as you like. I can't believe this menu of contenders. What, was Sharon Angle not available? Y'all need to get right with your ideas and priorities because your party is broke. Times are tough and Obama will still be reelected.

Mike Finkelsteignberg

we need newt. Mitt is an awful flip-flopper!

CT Echo

watch this Miami..

http://www.kingofbain.com/

Romney2012

King of Bain was a desperate attack on Romney by newt's people. The film has already been proven to be inaccurate and some of the people in the film said they were tricked into it, that they were actually doing better under Bain.

Newt is a ticking time-bomb, dont let his ability to debate fool you.

Shirley Gallagher

If i were going to vote for one of these candidates, it would Ron Pau.
Newt Gingrich is a lobbyist and fraud Medicare for a lot of money.
Mitt Romney has a problem with the truth, and i wouldn't be able to trust him.
President Obama gets my vote because he is trying so very hard to keep his promise to the a American People with no help from the Republicans, and that must be very hard to have fight for everything you want to do to help the American people.
I hope the Republicans will have a change of heart and forget about the color of this President skin, and work together.
That my prayer.

Shirley Gallagher

Newt Gingrich should go to jail for selling out the American people.

CT Echo

http://www.kingofbain.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KB_Toys

do you want this man (Romney) as president?

amber

Shirley- I'm with you. He is the only one that is consistent and understands economics. He predicted the mess we were in when he ran in 08. The rest are just more of the same....we need a BIG change and Paul is the only one that can deliver.

SD

Newt is NOT a conservative that Republicans think he is. Isn't he the one who called Paul Ryan's plan "a right wing social engineering"?Also, his cozying up with Nancy Pelosi on climate change issue tells me that Newt is not even as smart as people say he is. Plus, Newt's fine of $300,000 on ethics violation; his removal as a speaker sought by 88% of republicans; his influence peddling with Feddie and Fannie for $1.6 million amount to some major issue that voters must not ignore. Add to this his lack of care for his sick cancer-stricken wife! What I see here is a man without quality and character. I would not want him as my President. I am a conservative democrat who would like to see Obama loose. While I will vote for Newt over Obama, most people independents won't. I see an Obama landslide, because the focus will be on Newt's lack of quality, and not the misery of the country. A wise thing for the republican party will be to nominate Mitt Romney.

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