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California Republicans Cheer Gingrich's Intellect

After Gingrich's speech Saturday, California Republicans expressed appreciation for his intellect--but they still had some questions.

Newt Gingrich’s Saturday speech on energy policy left audience members with a renewed respect for Gingrich’s intelligence, although lingering problems of his personal life remain an issue for voters.

“It was really great to come to one of these things and really get something solid out of a candidate besides, ‘Rah, rah, rah, vote for me,’” said Paul Cummings Jr. of Alameda, the Secretary of the Log Cabin California Republicans. “I was very impressed.”

As Cummings said, although Gingrich is far from clinching the Republican Presidential nominee, he stepped away from the traditional campaign message of politicians, highlighting their accomplishments and cutting down the competition. Instead, he focused on one issue: his ideas on energy policy versus those of President Barack Obama.

He went through a recent Obama speech on energy, refuting those points he disagreed with and adding his own policy ideas, including opening drilling in the American west to reduce dependency on the Middle East for fuel. While he spoke in favor of finding renewable, alternative energy sources, such as algae, he recommended drilling for American oil in the meantime.

“He has a really intelligent eye for spotting the weaknesses in President Obama’s positions,” said Mike Gleim of San Francisco. “A lot of debates have shied away from giving candidates that much time to show they have command of an area and ideas…[this] showed Newt had thought about this.”

Gleim is a Rick Santorum supporter, but said he appreciated a candidate going in-depth on an issue, especially one as timely as energy as gas prices rise across the country.

Others in attendance echoed this opinion, many pointing out Gingrich’s ability to take a complicated issue and break it down. Gingrich’s culminating idea was that of Newt= $2.50, or with Gingrich as President, gas prices would steady at $2.50 per gallon through drilling on home soil.

“We know that he’s the smartest politician on either side. He understands the issues better,” said Mark Abernathy of Bakersfield. “He was able to clarify his point so we were able to understand…he’s something special for this time and this age.”

However, Abernathy also noted that Gingrich’s personal life could stand in the way of full Republican Party support.

“The only thing we worry about is, has he had too many wives?” Abernathy said. While past presidents have had two wives, he worried that Gingrich being on his third marriage might alienate some voters. However, he said in a case like this, voters must look at the good and the bad, and he believes Gingrich’s knowledge, experience and demonstrated track record on a national scale as House Speaker outweigh his marital issues.

Jay Grassell of Yuba City, agreed, saying he had been very conflicted over whom to support up until this point, but is now leaning towards Gingrich.

“Newt has intellect on steroids,” he said. “Some mistakes in his personal life [are] holding a lot of people back…[but] I believe that he has changed.”

Audience members took hold of his message on counteracting rising gas prices as he walked them through decision made by the Obama administration on halting offshore drilling, attempting to draw connections between these decisions and climbing gas prices.

The technique seemed to pay off.

“My favorite part was contrasting where we were with the promises made by Barack Obama on the one hand and where we are today as result of the exact policies, which is polar opposite to where he said we would be” said Mark Pruner, California Republican Party County Chairmen’s Association. “In an actual, logical, understandable manner…we heard truth.”

Irvin Dawid February 26, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Newt is promising $2.50/gallon gas. Why not promise that every American's income will increase xx% under his administration....or "a chicken in every pot?". I ask, "what intellect", or, if this is the best the Republicans can do for intellect, they are really in trouble!
George Muteff February 26, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Newt's intellect? Yeah, he may be the smartest banana in the bunch. He is certainly the most polished and a poster child for insider - which is exactly why we're in the fix we're in. Those supporting Newt must want more. I will give the boy credit (kindda) though. He is rolling in the money for his personal life (whatever that may be - funds for the next Mrs Gingrich?) with his book and video signings at all his 'events'. "Newt Gingrich Sells Books And Films While Campaigning For President" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/09/newt-gingrich-books-campaign-2012_n_1138614.html I'll leave you with one more...food for thought; "Newt Gingrich is the phoniest presidential candidate ever - After having affairs and dropping two wives, he had gall to attack Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky" http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/newt-gingrich-phoniest-presidential-candidate-article-1.1009014 Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/newt-gingrich-phoniest-presidential-candidate-article-1.1009014#ixzz1nWf4d4L6
michael french February 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Newt is the only one that can beat the bum in office now. Get a clue people Obama is killing us.
Brash Brazen February 27, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Newt is a serial philanderer,liar,racist,smug,condescending hypocrite who stands no chance of getting the nomination,much less defeating President Obama. Rick's religious views on birth control,contraception,abortion,gay marriage & gays in the military are too conservative even for many conservatives. He lost his seat in the Senate by 18% & he stands no chance of winning in November. Mitt is rich,stiff & uncomfortable when addressing the general public & prone to gaffes. He comes off as phony & insincere & it's a bad year to be a member of the 1% seeking office,he can't win either. Ron Paul should run on a third-party ticket,but won't because it could interfere with his son's (Ru Paul's) future political ambitions. This is why Republicans aren't happy with their prespective candidates as these inept posers will deliver a Democratic majority to Congress as they go down in flames !!!
James Chen February 29, 2012 at 12:00 AM
My, we seem to have struck a nerve with some readers!

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