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Gingrich had no comment on January jobs figures in morning event


LAS VEGAS -- Newt Gingrich had no comment about January's jobs figures at an event late Friday morning in Nevada because, the former House speaker explained, he hadn't seen them yet.

Gingrich was asked several times about this morning's jobs report, which showed the economy added over 240,000 jobs and the unemployment rate falling to 8.3 percent, while working the rope line following an event in which he assailed President Obama's economic record.

“I haven’t seen them yet,” he told reporters late morning and was overheard by some members of the press telling his deputy press secretary, "I don't know what to tell them on job numbers. I don't know what to say now. These people are driving me up the wall with this."

Gingrich would address the January figures shortly after the event concluded in a pre-taped interview with CNN.

"He's [Obama] gonna take credit for it. We've been in the longest deepest recession since the depression," Gingrich said. "I think he [Obama] will get some limited credit and it depends on how much the economy recovers and what the rest of the year looks like."

Gingrich took aim at Obama and his main Republican rival, Mitt Romney, at this morning's event, just a day before Saturday's Nevada caucus.

“It isn't good enough for the Republican Party to nominate Obama lite,” Gingrich said inside Stoney's Rockin Country bar a few miles from the Las Vegas strip.

The former House speaker, who frequently labels President Obama “the best food stamp president in history,” today took those remarks a step further and threw Romney in the mix.

“Obama is big food stamp, he's {Romney] little food stamp but they both think food stamps are okay,” Gingrich told the crowd, which had a couple hundred people in attendance. “I don't think food stamps are a future for America.”

The Speaker gave one of his more energetic speeches Friday, drawing a number of standing ovations on a day when he has just two public events scheduled.

On Wednesday morning, Gov. Romney made what some believe are controversial comments about the poor and Gingrich has continued to criticize Romney for “his boo-boo” and today labeled him as rich.

"We did not create Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so rich guys like Mitt Romney and Goldman Sachs could make money," the speaker said.