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|Iowa Caucus Results: Angry Newt Gingrich Bolts After Bad Finish by freepeople: 2:34pm On Jan 04, 2012|
Newt Gingrich couldn’t get out of Iowa any faster unless he’d left before the caucuses started.
After an embarrassing fourth-place finish — a dramatic fall for a candidate who enjoyed front-runner status just two weeks ago — Gingrich gave an angry speech and his demoralized campaign jetted out of Des Moines on a charter flight before the clock even struck midnight in Iowa.
His plane headed to New Hampshire, but his campaign is headed for uncertainty. After collapsing in Iowa under the weight of a barrage of negative Mitt Romney ads — not to mention his campaign’s slow, disorganized response to the attacks — Gingrich will land in the Granite State running fourth in polls there as well, just six days before the Jan. 10 primary.
After days of sounding sullen on the campaign trail, Gingrich delivered a heated speech Tuesday night and his tone dripped noticeably with anger as he talked about Romney.
“We are not going to go out and run nasty ads, but I do reserve the right to tell the truth,” he said, getting the loudest response of his speech before less than 100 supporters. “If the truth seems negative, that may be more a comment on his [Romney’s] record than the nature of politics.”
Gingrich also went after Paul: “His views on foreign policy, I think, are stunningly dangerous for the survival of the United States.”
The only candidate who bested him that he didn’t criticize was Rick Santorum, whom he congratulated on his showing.
After New Hampshire, Gingrich hopes his conservative appeal will give him inroads in South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary, but the space on the right in South Carolina is in flux now with Santorum surging, Rick Perry reassessing his campaign and Michele Bachmann limping out of Iowa.
The final day in Iowa was a symbol of how quickly the wind went out of Gingrich’s sails. His campaign bus departed from Cedar Falls before the caucuses even began. He took one of the first flights out of the Hawkeye state, chartering a flight from Des Moines to Manchester. After the Transportation Security Administration required the flight’s passengers to go through security, the campaign was forced to cut short his time at the supporter party.
After battling a bout of the flu, Gingrich never appeared to fully get his fight back.
And on the last day, somber crowds offered little excitement for a campaign that wasn’t trying to stoke enthusiasm. Jeremy Freeman, a Gingrich volunteer from Ames, said he was discouraged by Newt’s performance in the polls.
“I thought Newt would be a little closer,” he said. “Attack ads actually work.”
In New Hampshire, Gingrich has seen a similar drop in his popularity. He hold will a town hall in New Hampshire on Wednesday morning, followed by a full day’s schedule. But the last tracking poll from Suffolk University puts him in fourth place with only 9 percent of the vote.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71056.html
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