In a night that had been chugging along predictably at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s presidential candidate forum, suddenly a surprise was born: Newt Gingrich stole the show.Here were just a couple of the positive tweets:
With the exception of Mitt Romney, all of the major candidates for the Republican nomination were at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, each taking the podium individually for brief speeches and then a few questions.
Herman Cain spoke first. Then Michele Bachmann, followed by Rick Perry.
A nice greeting for all of them, of course. And about half of the 800 people in attendance stood and applauded as those candidates left the stage.
But then came Gingrich.
President Obama has driven the country into a ditch, the former Speaker of the House said, and the economy is weakening the country in every possible way.
“The process of recovering economically is not that difficult,” Gingrich told the crowd. “On election night, when it’s clear Barack Obama has been defeated, the recovery will begin.” (Cheers.)
Later, he attacked “liberal, activist” judges for keeping abortion legal. (Louder cheers.)
Then, he promised that his first signed executive order as president would be to eliminate all White House czars. (Even louder cheers.)
And, as he left the stage, Gingrich implored the crowd not to be for him, but with him, because “we have eight hard years ahead of us!” (The loudest applause and cheers of the evening.)
“I’m not surprised,” Gingrich told Patch following the event. “I think any time I have a chance to present unedited, it’s effective. … This is a pretty sophisticated crowd. They don’t just want a slogan or an opinion; they want to know you can get it done.
[Gingrich] was the only candidate who seemed to capture the passion of a normally impassioned group, and the clout of the Christian right in Iowa is substantial.
Peter Hamby of CNN sent out this one:
Newt gets the loudest reception at Faith and Freedom forum so far. And people begin to file out before Ron Paul speaks.Jedidiah Bila, the conservative columnist:
@newtgingrich really nailed it tonight. Very solid. is.gd/FU8mHw