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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Newt Gingrich courts tea party in Jacksonville



gingrich_2012.jpgFlorida Times-Union: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spent almost two hours Thursday afternoon excoriating President Barack Obama, laying out his vision for the nation’s highest office and taking questions from supporters during a tea party rally at The Jacksonville Landing.

“I’m asking you to be with me for eight solid years, with me every day,” the former speaker of the House told the throng that filled the steps and sidewalk in front of the Landing.

Gingrich spent much of the time harkening back to scenes from American history, speaking of the lessons that could be learned from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

“Reagan understood progress, understood the importance of progress,” Gingrich said, adding that the country needed a “cycle of optimism.”

The crowd seemed particularly enthusiastic about the candidate’s view on illegal immigration — his statements about sealing the border with Mexico got especially enthusiastic applause — and his calls for the nation to re-embrace American exceptionalism. (full story here / photo: AP)

[Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:09pm]


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