published Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Replay of Newt Gingrich's campaign rally in Dalton

by Chris Carroll
  • photo
    Newt Gingrich speaks to media before holding a $1,000-a-plate private fundraiser at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Tuesday morning.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

If you see "Newt = $2.50 per gallon" all over your social media feeds, it's because Newt Gingrich himself told a packed room of Dalton supporters to spread the word.

"Using the Internet, using Facebook, using Twitter, using email, all these things really, really help, and they're really, really low cost," Gingrich told a packed convention hall today in Dalton.

The former House Speaker used much of his 27-minute speech at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center to bemoan the state of energy prices, at one point saying President Barack Obama had a 9-9-9 plan like former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

"That's nine dollars and 99 cents a gallon for gasoline,” he said, stoking a loud round of applause from at least 400 supporters.

Later Gingrich called Obama the most "anti-religious" president in American history and said that, if he is elected president, he will repeal "every anti-religious action" passed by the current administration. He got another ovation, but he didn't identify the specific actions he was talking about.

Earlier this morning Gingrich kicked off a day of campaigning in Tennessee and Georgia with a $1,000-a-head, invitation-only fundraiser at the Chattanooga Choo Choo that drew about 20 people. He's expected to keynote a public rally in Rome, Ga., later this afternoon.

Gingrich said he was stumping in the South despite today's primaries in Arizona and Michigan "because we thought it was important to campaign here." Tennessee and Georgia host presidential primaries a week from today on "Super Tuesday," along with eight other states.

Polls show Gingrich with a slim Peach State lead, but a new Vanderbilt University poll of likely Tennessee GOP voters put him in last place among the four remaining Republican nominees.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum holds a commanding lead in the Vanderbilt poll, released Sunday, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are second and third, respectively.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

Please also see About 20 attend GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich fundraiser in Chattanooga

LIVE coverage of Newt Gingrich's visit to Dalton
about Harrison Keely...

Harrison Keely is an online breaking news producer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He also anchors the daily newscast. He joined the Times Free Press as a reporter in 2010. He previously served as managing editor of the Smoky Mountain Sentinel in western North Carolina and as a business reporter for the Washington Times in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Lee University in 2009 where he served as managing editor of the student news ...

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