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Gingrich Rally Targeted Undecided Florida Republicans

Today's rally was a last-minute push to get undecided voters into Newt Gingrich's camp.

With less than 24 hours before polls open for Florida's Republican primary some voters remained in the balance about which candidate to support.

Carrollwood resident Judy Burns said deciding on which Republican candidate to cast her vote for has been harder than in previous years.

"It's been really hard to figure out who to support," Burns said.

But Newt Gingrich's stance on abolishing capital gains taxes brought Burns out to the Tampa International Jet Center where Gingrich held a grassroots rally on Monday afternoon.

"I trade in stocks and have a couple homes here," Burns said. "So it hurts me in a lot of different ways. I always thought a flat tax would be more fair."

Burns isn't alone.

People like John Leach stood in line waiting to hear Gingrich speak on Monday with hopes that he'd inch closer to a decision by the end of the appearance.

"I saw him as the speaker 11 years ago and I thought, 'This guy can be president,'" said Leach, a Pinellas County resident. "So, I'm here to observe."

While many of the 200 or so people who attended Monday's rally were certain of their support for Gingrich, it's voters like Leach and Burns that his campaign stands to gain from come Tuesday when polls open. Gingrich continues to trail Mitt Romney in Florida polls.

Capitalizing on a win in South Carolina, Gingrich used Monday's rally to differentiate himself from Romney and focus on his conservative views calling himself a "Reagan conservative."

"I'm a real change and that's why the establishment is scared because we will change things," Gingrich told the cheering crowd, with his wife, Callista, close by his side.

If elected, Gingrich said he would make drastic changes on the first day of his presidency, including signing bills to repeal Obamacare, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, which imposes strict guidelines on record keeping for big companies, as well as the Frank Dodd Bill, which imposes regulation on the finance industry.

He also promised to issue executive orders to abolish "White House czars,"  open an embassy in Jerusalem and authorize the Keystone Pipeline, which would pump oil from Canada to the United States.

"I want us to develop enough American energy that no other American president bows to a Saudi King," Gingrich said.

Gingrich's ability to speak boldly is the key to winning contentious debates with President Obama, said supporters like Bob White, a Westchase resident.

"In a debate, he's the only candidate that can speak extemporaneously," said White, a computer programmer and Tea Party member.

Gingrich also used Tuesday's rally to announce some key figures he'd tap if elected president. Former Republican nominees Rick Perry and Herman Cain were listed. Cain, who endorsed Gingrich last week, spoke at the rally.

"There are a lot of undecided votes right here in Florida just like South Carolina," Cain told the crowd. "Stay informed. Stay involved. Stay inspired. We gotta believe he can do this."

The exuberant message left at least one uncertain voter sure of who she'd cast her vote for come Tuesday.

"I feel certain he's got the ideas, vision of where we need to go in the future," said Burns about Gingrich after the rally ended. "He can lead us out of all the mess."

Helen January 31, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Go Newt! Bust up the Republican Machine! Reject Romney.

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