After three hours of waiting in the sun, supporters of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich were relieved to hear the piped-in sound of swelling strings, signalling something was finally about to happen.
Then the music stopped, and still no Newt.
“I was expecting him to rise up!” says one man.
“Yeah, pop out of a cake or somethin’!” a woman says.
The strings began again, and this time a giant Gingrich visage slowly rolls into view. His bus has arrived.
Gingrich begins with comments on last night’s State of the Union address by President Obama. He says the president wants to double capital gains tax, which would “kill job creation in the United States.”
One woman shouts at him about Freddie Mac. According to an agreement released to the media last night, Gingrich began receiving payments from the mortgage giant in 1999 under a contract that paid his consulting business $25,000 a month to work with Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist.
Gingrich responded, “The only record of my talking to Congress about Freddie Mac — you can look it up in the New York Times — I was opposed to giving them more money.” The crowd cheers.
More protesting shouts from the woman, drowned out by chants of “Newt! Newt! Newt!”
He makes a reference to the “noisy Left.” A man near me says “Someone slug ‘er in the mouth!”
Newt is more diplomatic, saying, “We’re not gonna let HER disrupt us from having a rational conversation.”
He takes a shot at Romney: “Governor Romney has an enormous amount of money, but if you look around here, we have an enormous amount of people.”
“I believe people power beats money power every time in the United States of America.”
Then he goes on to preach the virtues of unchecked capitalism.
If Newt is the nominee, he says, he will challenge the President to seven three-hour debates. “I will accept the President using a teleprompter,” he says. “If you had to defend Obamacare, you’d want a teleprompter too.”
More shouting. He lets it go on and then finally says “You guys are cruel!”
Gingrich spoke of his history “helping to develop supply-side economics” in the 1980s, creating 16 million jobs in the 1980s, 11 million in the 90s, and reforming welfare, which he called “the biggest entitlement reform of your lifetime.”
He called Obama “the best food stamp president in American history” and referred to himself “the paycheck candidate.”
Gingrich derided “Saul Alinsky European left-wing intellectual radicalism” and said, if he wins the GOP nomination, he’ll be “the American candidate.”
He said he would make domestic energy a priority. “We want an American energy program, because never again should any American president bow to a Saudi king.”
Though the event was held at Wings Plus restaurant, long a favorite of GOP candidates, Gingrich did not enter the facility nor partake of any chicken wings.
// More photos at Demotix >