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In Iowa, Gingrich is virtually out of this world

Alex Moe/NBC News

Newt Gingrich inside Iowa State University's Virtual Reality Applications Center.

AMES, Iowa -- Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich stepped inside the world’s highest resolution virtual reality room at Iowa State University this afternoon.

The former house Speaker, sporting 3D glasses and cloth shoes, experienced the virtual world while learning about the carrier application (built for Boeing) and a galaxy application. Inside ISU’s Virtual Reality Applications Center’s (VRAC) C6 Cave, images are projected on all walls, the ceiling, and the floor for the participants.

“This has been great. I always learn stuff when I come here,” Gingrich told those showing him around the VRAC.

It was fitting that Gingrich visited the C6 Cave because he came to speak at the university to highlight the importance of creating jobs in science and technology – one of the 10-points in his new "21st Century Contract with America" he released yesterday in Des Moines.

“My campaign is a cultural one with a political component,” Gingrich told the more than 100 people who gathered to hear him speak inside the school’s student union.
 
The Speaker talked about the importance of investing in brain science and the rising costs of treating Alzheimer’s patients.

“I'm proposing three steps here to dramatically accelerate brain science,” he said before continuing to list the steps he will take -- eliminate the capital gains tax, fundamentally change the FDA, and build a new brain science program.

Gingrich promised to host more of these town hall style meetings about science and technology as the campaign moves forward.

Speaking the same day the third fundraising quarter closes, Gingrich mentioned towards the end of his speech that he does not have the money to compete with rivals Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

“But,” the Speaker told those in attendance, “if I come in first or second in Iowa and can go on to New Hampshire and come in first or second and then get to South Carolina, I think I will be the nominee.”