Gingrich Woos Right at Closed-Door Meeting

Friday, 09 Dec 2011 02:02 PM

By Martin Gould

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Republican presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich has made an appeal to 60 of the nation’s most influential conservatives in a bid to boost support for his White House race.

And his message to the blue-ribbon group was simple, reports Time magazine. While he is not perfect, he is way preferable to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the only others with a realistic chance of winning  November’s election.

The Wednesday meeting was convened by veteran Republican fundraiser Richard Viguerie, according to Time Magazine. Gingrich approached the Newsmax columnist and said “this meeting could in a major way affect the presidential race,” said Vigurie, the man who has been credited with designing modern political fundraising.

Time says leaders of groups such as Gun Owners of America, the Federalist Society, the Susan B. Anthony List and Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University were at the meeting.

And the former House Speaker was not given an easy ride, although he did receive a standing ovation at the end. Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli called him a big-government conservative while Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute attacked him for his environmental positions. “He turned Newt every which way but loose,” Vigurie said.

Vigurie said the meeting was largely a success because so many conservatives do not want Romney as the GOP candidate. He said the former Massachusetts governor’s message is ‘I’m going to get this nomination and not owe you conservatives anything.’

“We’re receiving that message,” said Vigurie. “And conservatives are becoming really, really adamant they just will not stand for a Romney nomination.”

Ron Godwin, provost of Liberty University, said the meeting had persuaded him to back Gingrich. “My conclusion is the devil I know is preferable to the one I don’t really know,” he told Time.

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