Buoyed by a new poll showing him in a statistical tie for first place in Tennessee, Newt crisscrossed the Volunteer State yesterday. Newt made campaign stops in Kingsport, Knoxville, and Chattanooga as he wooed undecided voters the day before Super Tuesday.
At the Food City in Kingsport,Newt slammed President Obama's anti-American energy policies and outlined his plan to lower gasoline prices below $2.50 per gallon.
On the Monday before Super Tuesday, Republican presidential challenger Newt Gingrich pitched his plan to lower gas prices to $2.50 per gallon while blasting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama on several political fronts.
"Everybody on Facebook, when you get to your home page, say "Newt equals $2.50 a gallon gasoline,' " the former U.S. House speaker told a luncheon gathering of about 150 Republican women and other supporters at the Food City on Eastman Road.
At Food City and at a downtown Kingsport rally, Gingrich insisted approving the Keystone oil pipeline, and drilling for oil off the Gulf of Mexico and in federal lands off Alaska, would generate more than 2 million barrels per day.
"I actually believe the price will go way below this ($2.50 per gallon). When I was speaker of the House (in the 1990s, gas) was $1.13. When Obama was sworn in, it was $1.89," said Gingrich.
Gingrich called gas prices approaching $4 per gallon "Obama's personal failure" as president.
In Knoxville, Newt spoke before an enthusiastic crowd of over 400 people, as he once again talked about his bold solutions to develop more American energy to lower gasoline prices.
Speaking to some 400 shouting and whistling supporters at the Hilton adjacent to McGhee Tyson Airport on Monday, the former U.S. House speaker said his plan to have American energy independence by using federal land and offshore drilling would produce enough oil to get the price of gas down to $2.50 and probably lower. He said for 10 years this country's policies toward the Middle East and its oil production have not worked.
Gingrich, who polls show is gaining ground on Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Tennessee, said the nation needed to use its undeveloped oil reserves. As an example, he said there was private property in North Dakota he'd like to show to President Barack Obama where there was enough oil to double known reserves.
"If you can find it in North Dakota, let's take Alaska," he said.
"Tell "em Newt!" was one person's response in the crowd, many of whom were waving "Newt = $2.50″ signs.
Rep. Tony Shipley of Kingsport, chairman of Gingrich's Tennessee campaign, asked the crowd some questions to warm them up.
"Wouldn't you give a full weeks' pay to debate Barack Obama?" he asked. The crowd clapped and whistled.
"Can anybody do it better than Newt?"
"No!" the crowd shouted.
In Chattanooga, Herman Cain joined Newt for the final rally of the day at the Chattanooga Airport. The rally confirmed what the new polls show: Newt is gaining momentum and his message of $2.50 gasoline is really resonating.
On the eve of Super Tuesday, one GOP candidate is making one more attempt to sway voters in the Tennessee Valley.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was welcomed by a crowd of about 200 supporters Monday night at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, where he laid out his plan to lower gas prices and take his home state of Georgia.
On his second trip to the Scenic City in a week Newt Gingrich promoted his plan to lower prices at the pump and called for the U.S. to declare war if Iran attempts to close a key oil route.
"No future American President should ever again bow to a Saudi King," Gingrich tells the crowd.
The former speaker says his message is gaining ground.
And some Tennessee voters are buying in.
"I'm pretty sure, 99 percent sure," Laura Dietzen says.
"I think he's the most informed and I've liked everything he's said so far," says Pam Witte.
"I'll vote for whoever is on the ticket in November, but tomorrow I'll vote for Newt," says Bryan Beck.