ROME, GA -- While his Republican presidential rivals await voter returns from Michigan and Arizona, Newt Gingrich is continuing to fight for his political life in the South while on a bus tour across his home state of Georgia.
Evan Vucci / AP
GOP presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign rally Tuesday in Rome, Ga.
“Georgia is the biggest group of delegates up on Super Tuesday so this is a big deal. And it really, really matters,” Gingrich told an overflowing crowd this morning in Dalton.
The lyrics, “I am a real American. Fight for what's right, fight for your life!" from the popular Hulk Hogan entrance song -- “Real American” -- blasted through the speakers as the former House Speaker walked off stage from both of his events Tuesday.
Many believe Gingrich must do well in the primary in the Peach State next week in order to continue his campaign.
The state has the most number of delegates out of the 10 states that vote on March 6th to be awarded. While Georgia awards all of its 76 delegates proportionally, if a candidate can win 50% of the statewide vote, all of the delegates will be awarded to that candidate.
The Speaker is so “deliberately focused” on Georgia, and the Southern states, that he forwent campaigning in Michigan and Arizona, letting Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum fight it out in the states instead.
“We decided not to compete in Michigan because we thought it would be important to focus here [Georgia] and to focus in Tennessee and in Oklahoma, in Idaho, and Ohio and the states that are going to be on Super Tuesday,” he said.
But the Gingrich campaign, as the Speaker even admitted today, needs help financially. “Ideas” and “people power” – the two secret weapons Gingrich says he has to capture the nomination – can only go so far until funds dry up.
Keeping with Gingrich’s pitch of lowering gas prices back to $2.50 a gallon, gas cans were turned into donation buckets at his campaign events Tuesday.
“We really have a broad based grassroots campaign. And so using Facebook, using the internet, using twitter, using emails – all these things really help and they’re really, really low cost,” Gingrich said. “We’re going to have some buckets out back – actually gasoline pails that we’ve cut open to collect money. So if any of you want to help us collect this message, we’d love to have your help cause every penny’s going to go right back into advertising this week to help win the primary.”
Gingrich wraps up his four-day bus tour in the state he represented in Congress for 20 years Friday before heading to the one Super Tuesday state above the Mason-Dixon line that the campaign hopes to compete in – Ohio.