Media

Gingrich Blows Off Media in Tampa

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Tampa, Fla.—The tension between Newt Gingrich's campaign and the traveling press corps has increased significantly in the last 48 hours. Whether this is a results of Gingrich's turbulence in the polls here is unclear but there is an increased level of stress emanating from his campaign staff. Gingrich's press secretary, R.C. Hammond, briefly held court with a restless media gaggle before telling everybody he was not hosting an availability himself and ordering all non-local press to go back behind the current to the main rally area. Here's a portion of that exchange:

This dust up stemed from a miscommunication between his campaign and the press. Gingrich's campaign said that they had to cut back on interactions with the press because they were running late. They were not particularly clear about this at their event in Tampa. Today's confrontation adds to Gingrich's press woes from yesterday when his campaign tossed the traveling press from his plane and disinvited them from their flight to Nevada. It is standard practice to accomodate the traveling press on campaign swings like this. Chris Moody was on the Gingrich charter when all of this went down:

Then, the campaign dropped a bomb: No reporters would be allowed to fly with Gingrich on his campaign swing on Monday, when his schedule calls for more than 1,000 miles of travel, complete with campaign stops from the panhandle near the Alabama border to Miami. Without a plane, it would be virtually impossible to cover Gingrich on the day before voting begins in the primary that political observers think will make or break his campaign.

Also, the press was no longer invited to fly with Gingrich to the next contest in Nevada, which will hold its Republican caucuses on Feb. 4.

Reporters who covered the former House speaker's campaigns in South Carolina and Iowa say Gingrich was very accessible during those contests. I found this to be the case in New Hampshire as well. The last two days have brought a substantial change in the way the campaign is dealing with the press.   

By Garrett Quinn

Gingrich's speech at a rally here today was similar to his previous campaign events. He brought up eliminating White House Czars, promised to end President Obama's "war on religion", and attacked George Soros. 

At one point he addressed a frequent punching bag for conservative activists, the author of Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky. "I'm a Reagan conservative, Obama is a Saul Alinsky radical," he said. 

Near the end of his speech he brought up a Pam Geller favorite in the looming specter of Sharia Law being accepted in American courts.

"I am unalterably opposed to the use of Sharia in an American court," he said, eliciting one of the larger cheers of the afternoon.  

"I am comfortable with legal immigrants of every background, including Islam, who want to come to America. I have no confusion in my mind about our background, our laws, our civilization. If they wish to join us, that's fine. We are not going to accept Sharia, " he said. 

I tried to talk to Gingrich while he was shaking hands and talking to voters after his event. When he came down the line I talked to him about his unique lapel,  the Federal Reserve holding rates at the current level indefinitely, as Gingrich's recent kind words Ron Paul. Gingrich did not respond: 

Gingrich also declined to elaborate on his sharia law comments.

At his "crossing the finish line rally" in Orlando Gingrich avoided interacting with the press again, shaking hands and leaving quickly after the event finished. 

Gingrich is slated to attend a series of campaign events in the Orlando area tomorrow before attending an election night party at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. Mitt Romney is holding court in Tampa at the Tampa Convention Center.

NEXT: Update: NO! Will Obama Finally Answer a Question About Legalizing Pot at Today's Online Interview (5.30pm ET)

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    2. OH NOES! We are in danger of having our country flooded with hard working people who want jobs!!! The horror!!! The horror!!

      For, the record I oppose Newt but that is not the reason. I live in Florida and I voted for Ron Paul.

    3. Just say no to Newt.

  3. Not as much of a side-show as Ron Paul’s candidacy, but I wish it was. Wish there was a winning candidate in this race.

    1. Oh, if you insist.

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  6. In other news:

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    1. We have a dick for president now. Just a matter of degrees and fine details.

      1. That’s racist!

  7. I predicted Newt would implode by March.

    I appear to have overestimated.

    1. May he suffer the same fate as Gouverneur Morris.

  8. He is trying to start a war with the press. Press bashing worked for him in NC. He wants more “gotcha” questions, so he can act rightously offended by the press bias against him.

  9. I don’t mind him being The Grinch. I just don’t want him stealing Christmas. I really wish they’d run him, because he’d loose. Nobody else wants the Grinch to steal Christmas either.

    Then Obama and the D’s can take the fall for shitty economic conditions for another four years. And then….

    Maybe Rand Paul rises. Or maybe he’s inherited his father’s distinct need to shoot himself in the political feet. Fine, so somebody else rises out of this happy cloud of “stuff” Brian D. keeps assuring us is now floating through the ether.

    At least I can still believe that somebody semi-sane may come to the fore, in less than a decade.

    Failing that, our only hope will be that we are soon invaded by enlightened Mongolian herds, or hordes, or anyway a shit load of them just over run us and take over.

    Or else we start outsourcing the POTUS to some really caring, really foreign country that really cares about us, and for a small fee they can fix everything.

    Failing that, our only other hope is that we are suddenly conquered by Martians.

    Failing that, the misery shall simply continue unabated.

    1. I would gladly take Rand Paul.

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  12. Gingrich Blows Off Media in Tampa

  13. Why should anyone talk to the leftist media? They just support anti-American crackpots like Obama and Ron Paul.

    An actual pro-American candidate like Newt Gingrich doesn’t need their support. He knows us real and proud Americans are honored to vote for him and make sure that America is no longer weak in the world. To make sure that America will balance budgets while also defeating our enemies like Iran, Syria and Yemen before they can strike us at home again.

    Newt is that candidate and the only candidate that can turn back the leftist media mobs and restore the Reagan Revolution.

    1. A Gingrichtard!

    2. D+, no mention of Saul Alinsky

    3. Yeah, the media support Ron Paul. You sure showed us.

  14. Dis he say:
    “I want these motherfucking snakes off the motherfucking plane!”

  15. “I am unalterably opposed to the use of Sharia in an American court,”

    And is there any actual danger of this occuring?

    1. Possibly in the probate of the will of a deceased Muslim.

      1. Or in arbitration where two parties to a contract specifically wanted disputes arbitrated using sharia law.

        In other words, we must prevent some people from having the right to select an arbitrator of their choice, in order to protect Gingrich supporters from the purely emotional disquiet of knowing that somewhere out there someone is a Muslim.

  16. When all a candidate can do is rant about the imaginary Sharia Law Conspiracy it’s usually the death knell of his campaign.

    1. YEEAAAHHHH!!!!!

    2. Works for us.

      1. Now be fair, they also rant about the imaginary Conspiracy to create a purely secular society – and they fail to see the contradiction between these two conspiracies.

  17. Newt really needs to do something about his blatant mongoloid-ism, it’s very unappealing.

    1. It looks like the worst facelift ever.

      There was a picture of him as a young professor, and he was a good-looking guy. Believe it or not, there’s a strong chin/jawline under all that blubber.

      1. Believe it or not …

        I’ll go with not.

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