Thursday, January 27, 2011

More details from Newt's trip to Iowa this week

It had already been reported that Newt had met with Iowa Republican leaders, but today we learn that he met with some in the grassroots.

From a story by Thomas Beaumont for the Des Moines Register:
Gingrich also met for an hour with 15 tea party and grass-roots conservative activists, a newly active segment of the Republican caucus electorate heading into the 2012 campaign.

Gingrich asked the group about the recently formed Iowa Grassroots Coalition, a loosely affiliated group of 46 tea party and conservative groups.

Gingrich, who last fall had urged Iowa conservatives to block the retention of three Iowa Supreme Court justices, asked what they expected to happen with the remaining four judges.

Gingrich nodded at their stories about how the groups are organizing, educating their base and getting involved in the legislative process....

Ryan Rhodes, founder and chairman of the Iowa Tea Party, told Gingrich he would have to answer for participating with then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a 2008 advertisement raising awareness about global warming.

Gingrich responded that leaders cannot beat their adversaries without engaging them. "I'm going to try to convince you to debate them," he said. "I've had a fairly good track record of slugging it out."

I think those on the right who criticize Gingrich for that commercial needs to realize that he was not endorsing Pelosi's big government schemes. Just talking with someone on the opposing side does not mean Gingrich is a squish.

Of the announcements by Iowa Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer and Georgia Govenor Nathan Deal that they would support a Gingrich Presidential campaign, the former Speaker said, "I thought that was about as good a day as I'm going to get."

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