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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Feeling the South Carolina surge, Newt flexes his muscles



ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Newt Gingrich was in his element: on stage, a rapt crowd hanging on his words, the spotlight of the national media upon him, as he surges in South Carolina the day before Saturday's Republican primary.

This didn't look like a candidate whose ex-wife, Marianne, accused him on national television the day before of wanting an "open marriage."

Nor did he seem like the victim of a classic South Carolina dirty trick earlier in the day when a fake CNN news alert email falsely claimed he wanted his ex "to abort a pregnancy conceived during the affair that preceded her marriage to Gingrich."

Instead, Gingrich looked like the confident front-runner he always thought he should be.

"We knew, when we decided we'd run, we knew there'd be negative attack ads, we knew the elite media would attack us," Gingrich told the overflow crowd of hundreds here.

Read the rest from Marc Caputo here.

[Last modified: Friday, January 20, 2012 8:29pm]


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