GREENSBORO – GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich sought to rally support among tea party backers Saturday, portraying himself as the kind of rock-ribbed conservative best equipped to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the fall.
Introduced to the music from the iconic underdog movie “Rocky,” Gingrich pledged to campaign on despite what he said was an effort by elites to force him out of the GOP primary with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
In stumping across the state, Gingrich mainly ignored Romney, but stepped his his criticism of Obama, describing him as “a Chicago-machine politician dedicated to Saul Alinsky's radicalism.”
“We need a president who is a pay check president, not a food stamp president,” Gingrich told several hundred people at an outdoor tea party rally on a governmental mall in downtown Greensboro.
Earlier in the Gingrich toured the NASCAR museum. He was scheduled to make a campaign stop in Wilson and end his day by attending a tea party rally on the state governmental mall in downtown Raleigh.
In Greensboro, Gingrich seemed to be looking past the primary to the fall election.
“I have a simple test for every American before they vote this fall,” Gingrich said. “Can you afford four more years of Barack Obama? Can you afford four more years of unemployment. Can you afford four more years of massive deficits? Can you afford four more years of an anti-American energy policy that raises your gasoline and diesel prices?'' In response to each question the crowd responded with a vigorous no.