SAVANNAH, GA -- Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich today said that neither the Washington establishment nor any of his GOP rivals can push him around.
"The reason so much of the Washington establishment is opposed to me, and you can tell who the inside candidate is by where the money comes from,” Gingrich told the roughly 100 people gathered outside the Chatham County GOP headquarters. “Mitt Romney is clearly the inside, establishment candidate. And the fact is they can't push me around and it drives them crazy. What they want is somebody who's malleable and who's going to go along to get along."
The former House speaker is on his fourth and final day of his Georgia bus tour before the all-important elections in 11 states on Super Tuesday.
At this event, he did not shy away from hitting Romney or Rick Santorum -- calling Romney “manager in the business world,” and Santorum “a big government, big labor conservative.”
“I’m not a team player. I am a change agent,” Gingrich declared, drawing cheers from the crowd. “Unlike Gov. Romney, I'm not going to Washington to manage the decay. And unlike Sen. Santorum, I'm not going to Washington to join the team.”
Gingrich, who labeled himself Friday “just a middle-class guy” despite his very successful business ventures, still lags behind Romney in fundraising –- an essential key to building a national campaign and competing against President Obama.
But for Gingrich, he believes people -- not money -- will win out in the end.
“You’re not going to be able to buy an election. Obama is not going to be able to buy re-election. And candidly, I don’t think Romney is going to be able to buy the nomination,” he said. “This, in the end, is a country where the people matter.”
And the former speaker even showed a little personal side of himself during the rally. He told the crowd about the embarrassing pictures his mother, a Girl Scout executive director, would show people from Gingrich's days as a toddler.
“You bring a girlfriend and they go ‘oh here, look at Newtie when he was 4,’” he said. “You just want to melt and go through the couch, right?”
Gingrich wraps up his swing through the Peach State Friday evening before heading off to Ohio and Tennessee before returning to Georgia for Super Tuesday.