Newt became the first Republican presidential candidate to visit Delaware, making stops in Wilmington and Hockessin yesterday. In Wilmington, Newt met with Delaware Republican officials at their state headquarters. Later in the day, Newt held a townhall meeting with over 400 people packed in to the Hockessin Fire Hall.
"If we win Delaware, it helps reset this campaign," Gingrich told the crowd inside the Hockessin fire hall Monday night.
Dave Diehl, a registered independent from Pike Creek, was enthused by the speech. He singled out Gingrich's remarks tying energy independence to national security.
"I'm biased. I'm a supporter of his worldview," he said.
"Delaware is a great opportunity for us," Gingrich told reporters. "It is the size state where a candidate with limited money can really make an impact by personal contact."
Gingrich does have supporters in Delaware. State Sen. Colin Bonini, R-Dover South, introduced Gingrich at the Hockessin fire hall Monday night, and endorsed him. Bonini said Gingrich "understands at a level all others in Washington don't that the American people are driven by great ideas and great moral purpose. He is the only candidate with this purpose and the ideas to move us forward."
Gary Simpson, a Milford Republican and minority leader of the state Senate, is also tossing his support behind Gingrich, he said Monday. Simpson called Gingrich "a great idea guy, a good visionary."
Gingrich spoke at the Hockessin hall for nearly an hour, focusing on energy independence, before charging $50 a head for photo opportunities.
"What we need is an American energy policy," Gingrich said, "so no future president will ever again bow to a Saudi king."
Gingrich called for approval of the Keystone oil pipeline project from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, and drilling in Alaska.