Newt Gingrich photo

Gingrich Campaign Press Release - Gingrich Focusing Energy on 2012 Caucuses

August 05, 2011

By Meghan Malloy

The Iowa Independent has an article detailing Newt's statements made at a lawn party hosted by former Iowa Congressman Greg Ganske.

DES MOINES — Though he'll be a no-show next weekend at the Ames Straw Poll, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is not worried about how he'll finish at the Iowa GOP fundraiser.

"We aren't putting any money into Ames," the former U.S. House Speaker said Thursday, referring to the prominent political event. "We're going to focus on where the delegates come from and focus on the caucuses."

A gentle summer rain didn't stop 80 people from attending a lawn party featuring Gingrich at the home of former Iowa Congressman and Gingrich friend Greg Ganske Thursday evening. Ganske, a prominent Des Moines plastic surgeon, served in U.S. Congress concurrently with Gingrich.

"This coming election will be pivotal for the country," Ganske said. "We need not to just tweak things here and there, we need a total transformation."

Gingrich is ready to lead such a transformation, both men said.

"I'm not going to ask you to be for me … but I ask you to be with me," Gingrich told supporters.

Gingrich also took swipes at opponents on both sides of the aisle. While discussing highlights of touring the Hawkeye State, Gingrich made mention of visiting "John Wayne's real birthplace" — a veiled slam at GOP rival candidate Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), who misspoke at her Iowa campaign kick-off in Waterloo. A much more obvious swipe was taken at President Barack Obama, who Gingrich referred to as "a radical" who is "the best food stamp President" in the country's history.

Not only will Gingrich be absent from next Saturday's straw poll, but he will also sit out Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s "The Response," a day of prayer and fasting in Houston. A sponsor of the event, the American Family Association, has paid Gingrich $8,000 in the last year for delivered speeches. The AFA also donated money to Iowa activist Bob Vander Plaats‘s 2010 effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court Justices.

Perry has come under fire from Democrats who say he is violating separation of church and state by using his public office to promote a Christian-centric event.

Despite the connection, Gingrich merely replied "no" when asked if he would travel to Texas this weekend.

"It's a free country. Gov. Perry is allowed to do what he thinks is appropriate," Gingrich said. "It's not something I'm going to be doing."

Newt Gingrich, Gingrich Campaign Press Release - Gingrich Focusing Energy on 2012 Caucuses Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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