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Newt Gingrich banking on Georgia for Super Tuesday

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich waves upon arrival for a campaign event at a hotel Feb. 24 in Federal Way, Wash.

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich waves upon arrival for a campaign event at a hotel Feb. 24 in Federal Way, Wash.

ALBANY — He’s done it before — come back from the political dead when everyone had counted him out. The first miracle occurred last summer when his campaign sank, then he was up like a cork to lead in the Iowa race in December. He lost that race in a disappointing 4th place finish before winning big in South Carolina.

Six weeks have passed since in which Gingrich has yet to smell the rose of victory. And so his sights have set on Georgia, his adopted home and the state where he represented the 6th Congressional District in the House for 20 years. With 76 delegates up for grabs, Georgia represents the biggest prize in the 10-state Super Tuesday group this Tuesday.

A win in Georgia — a big win — is essential. A loss could be crippling. Other important states have been neglected in favor of a three-day bus tour to population centers in the northern part of the state. According to Patrick Millsaps, Gingrich’s chief of staff and an attorney with the Albany Law firm of Hall Booth Smith and Slover, confidence is high for a big win. If Gingrich can take “three or four” of the Super Tuesday states, he said, it could make the difference for the campaign.

“It’s a must-win for Newt without a doubt,” Millsaps said in a phone interview Wednesday. “But we’re all confidant. If we do well here, we’re well positioned for some other states coming up, like Alabama and Mississippi, and the delegates are adding up.”

Millsaps called the Republican primary “early still,” pointing out that even after the Super Tuesday voting, some 65 percent of the delegates will remain unearned.

While the strategy might seem a little iffy, a significant win in Georgia is possible. A Survey USA poll released last week shows Gingrich leading Santorum and Romney by 15 and 16 percentage points, respectively.

Romney, who is said to have a small Georgia organization remaining from his 2008 campaign, figures to do well in metropolitan Atlanta, where 45 percent of likely Republican voters live. Romney’s weakness, according to pollsters, lies in the fact that the majority of GOP primary voters are expected to be evangelicals — a group with which Romney has not done well. It’s thought that Santorum will do better with evangelicals but carries with him his own particular disadvantages. For the most part, Gingrich’s rivals have come close to giving over the state to him.

In addition to his history as a U.S. representative, to win in Georgia Gingrich is leaning on his banner promise of $2.50 for a gallon of gas if he’s elected president. He’s criticized Obama for not drilling more aggressively in the Gulf and for dragging his feet to approve the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

Obama has countered the campaign promise, saying, “That’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker.”

In a 2009 study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it was determined that even with unlimited offshore drilling, a maximum of 500,000 additional barrels of crude oil would be produced each day. According to the EIA, on the world market that works out to only a 3 cents per gallon reduction at the pump for American consumers.

Even though the U.S. still imports about half its oil, gasoline consumption has been declining because of a weakened economy and conservation measures. The largest U.S. export in terms of dollars in 2011 was fuel. This year, the country’s gasoline exports are expected to total $88 billion.

According to Millsaps, though, the figures don’t appear to compute. The Gingrich camp believes strongly that simply by carrying through with aggressive drilling, along with measures such as approving the Keystone pipeline, leaders in major oil-producing nations would become more apt to lower prices.

“It’s happened before,” Millsaps said.

Gingrich has also slammed Obama for his apology to Afghan President Hamid Karsai concerning the recent burning of Korans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. As president, Gingrich says, he would never apologize to a foreign ruler for anything.

“No more apologies,” Millsaps said of Gingrich’s position.

Obama has stated his decision to apologize was based on his sense of responsibility for the safety of U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan. Such an act is not without precedent in the GOP. George W. Bush apologized for a similar event in Iraq. When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Gingrich about the Bush event, Gingrich declined to offer an opinion, saying, “I wasn’t a presidential candidate at that point.”

Comments

waltspecht 2 years, 1 month ago

I certainly would love to know the DIRT Polozi has hinted at that the Democrats have on Newt. I figure there almost has got to be something that would cost us the election, just because of this individuals background and known faults. I also think there is a great deal of this dirt with most any Politician. It just isn't called to the forfront often enough to give us a real look at their character and integrity.

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Trustbuster 2 years, 1 month ago

Newt is not my choice for president. Ron Paul is the right one for the position. Congressman Paul has a consistent voting record against excessive govt. spending. Although not fully clean about earmarks he opposes many of the special federal agencies like the Fed. He wants to return America back to its original place among the nations as a republic instead of an empire. A foreign policy based on neutrality would be preferrable to policing the world.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 1 month ago

Obama is going to kick either one of them in the rear......get ready to cry your tears.....Obama will be back for 4 more years!!!

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tywebb 2 years, 1 month ago

everyone with any common sense will be crying if he's re-elected....except the blacks. they'll be jumping up and down as if OJ were freed to search for the murderer!

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portcharlotte 2 years, 1 month ago

Romney and Gingrich often rely more heavily on the solutions of the 1980s and 1990s. But they fail to take into full account changes since then. Critical changes and drastically intensified problems that Reagan and Clinton did not have to deal with include the burgeoning population of Single Moms and their children. Forty percent of these families are below the poverty line, and need government assistance, adding heavily to the drain on our tax funds.

The loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs is also now much more serious, due to higher production costs in the U.S. resulting in higher prices for our goods, which therefore are not competitive with lower priced goods produced in China and elsewhere.

Vote for Rick Santorum, the Republican candidate who addresses traditional economic problems with the traditional Reagan solutions…but Rick also addresses newly emerged serious problems with innovative, private initiative solutions. Pick Rick, a strong Reagan conservative with innovative solutions for new problems of today and tomorrow. .

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portcharlotte 2 years, 1 month ago

Romney, Gingrich and Ron Paul are all repeating an old error. In the 1990s Congress reduced the U.S. overseas corporate income tax rate to zero when the profits were brought home, hoping overseas profits would be used to create jobs. But with no requirement to create jobs, the overseas corporations actually used their repatriated profits to pad dividend payments to their stockholders.

Romney, Gingrich and Ron Paul’s plans all repeat this error in their plans to repatriate the estimated $1 to $3 trillion in overseas U.S. corporate profits as President…giving the zero income tax reward to repatriated overseas profits with no restrictions, no strings attached. Will their plans work? History says ‘No, they won’t’.

Rick Santorum’s is the only plan that corrects this problem by requiring that repatriated profits are spent for plant/equipment purchases to be used for new factories inside the USA before they get a zero income tax reward.

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portcharlotte 2 years, 1 month ago

Romney threw money 6-to-1 at Santorum in an effort to crush his campaign after Rick's 3-state win Feb. 7th. Yet, even with that money advantage, without the prior votes from the Early Voting/Absentee Ballots, Santorum would have beat Romney handily in his own home state. Greta van Susteren calculated that to have the 10-to-1 money advantage over Obama that Romney would probably need to win, he will have to have a 'War Chest' of $3.6 Billion!

Following last night's Money Forum hosted by Mike Huckabee, both Huckabee and Charlie Gasparino enthusiastically discussed how 'impressive' Rick Santorum was answering probing questions about the banking crisis and jobs creation. Take another look at Rick Santorum's courageous, intelligent candidacy: Watch Rick Santorum make his case on NBC’s Meet the Press. http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/rick-santorum-makes-his-case/6giifeb

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm so glad I have DirectTV. I have not seen the first political commercial! It's nice not having that stupid garbage to sway my vote. I like both Newt and Rick, but tomorrow, I'm pretty sure Rick will get my vote.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 1 month ago

uh.... are you serious? He's a nut!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 1 month ago

so is Newt....I mean Rush....oops...I mean Mitt....oops i mean O'reilly.....oops I mean Rick.....oops.........hahahahahaha.......

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