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Iowa Surprise: Gingrich Steals the Evangelical Show

About 800 Iowa Christian conservatives gathered Saturday night to listen to speeches by six GOP presidential candidates. The biggest name missing from the show was Mitt Romney, who chose not to attend.

In a night that had been chugging along predictably at the , suddenly a surprise was born: Newt Gingrich stole the show.

With the exception of Mitt Romney, all of the major candidates for the Republican nomination were at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, each taking the podium individually for brief speeches and then a few questions.

Herman Cain spoke first. Then Michele Bachmann, followed by Rick Perry.
A nice greeting for all of them, of course. And about half of the 800 people in attendance stood and applauded as those candidates left the stage.

But then came Gingrich.

President Obama has driven the country into a ditch, the former Speaker of the House said, and the economy is weakening the country in every possible way.

“The process of recovering economically is not that difficult,” Gingrich told the crowd. “On election night, when it’s clear Barack Obama has been defeated, the recovery will begin.” (Cheers.)

Later, he attacked “liberal, activist” judges for keeping abortion legal. (Louder cheers.)

Then, he promised that his first signed executive order as president would be to eliminate all White House czars. (Even louder cheers.)

And, as he left the stage, Gingrich implored the crowd not to be for him, but with him, because “we have eight hard years ahead of us!” (The loudest applause and cheers of the evening.)

“I’m not surprised,” Gingrich told Patch following the event. “I think any time I have a chance to present unedited, it’s effective. … This is a pretty sophisticated crowd. They don’t just want a slogan or an opinion; they want to know you can get it done.

Tamara Scott of Norwalk said she hadn't settled on a candidate heading into the event, and is still not sure. But she had praise for Gingrich's comments. 

"He brought the house down," Scott said. "You cannot deny his political expertise. I think this forum was beneficial for all the candidates because they didn't have to face reporters' gotcha questions."

The Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall banquet, as it was called, was a chance for all of the presidential candidates to try to swing the valuable evangelical Christian vote in Iowa their way.

Cain, Bachmann, Perry, Paul and Santorum were all treated respectfully and, at times, even enthusiastically.

Santorum, in particular, stilled the crowd into near-silence with a story about how his fourth child was diagnosed, in the womb, with a fatal defect. Doctors, he continued in a story he has told many times on the stump, recommended an abortion.

But, Santorum said, he and his wife chose to have the child, although they knew he wouldn’t survive, and they showed the child to their other children.
“He was real, he was a person, he had dignity and he was part of our family,” Santorum said.

But Gingrich, who has been struggling in national polls – and in Iowa – was the only candidate who seemed to capture the passion of a normally impassioned group, and the clout of the Christian right in Iowa is substantial.

Just look to the 2008 election: That’s the one in which Romney won the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, only to lose the caucuses when Mike Huckabee galvanized religious conservatives and won.

The evening was particularly important for Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann. With her New Hampshire campaign imploding, Iowa may be her last, best hope of rekindling any substantial support anywhere, and that’s not looking likely.

In August, , which gave her a wave of momentum she managed to ride for all of about an hour, maybe two. Iowans abandoned her in droves when Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the race that same day. That was another fickle romance, though, and Perry, according to polls, has been dumped by Iowans in favor of their new sweetheart, Herman Cain.

In her speech, Bachmann told a longish story about a Biblical hero, and she promised to abolish the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior and the federal tax code.

But she probably received less applause than Herman Cain, who hadn’t been in Iowa for two months. He entered the hall still reeling from a misstep he made on CNN, where he said earlier in the week: "Abortion should not be legal, that is clear. But if that family made a decision to break the law, that's that family's decision, that's all I'm trying to say.”

He later “clarified” his remark, insisting he is against abortion in any form.

Check out a transcript of the live blog from tonight's speeches.

Jeff October 23, 2011 at 07:31 PM
This article completely missed the reason he brought the house down. It was his rejection of judicial supremacy. We can, as previous Presidents have done including Jefferson, completely ignore the courts and their rulings. We don't have to impeach, but instead just simply remove their office. It only take a simple majority to remove the entire 9th Circuit of Appeals. Remove their Appellate Jurisdiction to hear a case. Congress can subpena them and force them to explain their illegal rulings. In short, put the Judicial Branch back in its place, not as a superior branch, not even as a equal branch, but as they were meant to be... the lessor branch of Gov't. Ever time we pass a law to rightfully protect life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, these %$#@!$% overturn it as if they had the authority to do so. His speech on this brought the house down because Iowa has a couple of great talk show hosts that have been discussing this and pushing it and we know what it means...this is huge and Newt just won the Iowa Caucuses.
Jeff October 23, 2011 at 07:33 PM
and forgive my grammar:-)
Anne Carothers-Kay October 23, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Jeff: I listened to Newt as well, but I didn't totally understand his point. He talked about removing the court -- not the judge. So if there is no appellate court in Iowa, what body would hear appeals. How would the people's constitutional right to appeal verdicts (from equally fallible district judges) be protected? Have you read enough about this to know what Gingrich says?
Ralph Novy October 23, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Wow. These evangelicals aren't just incredibly ignorant; they're downright nasty people. Terrible irony. Can you imagine what Jesus would think of these filthy, unself-aware hypocrites?
Jeff October 23, 2011 at 08:48 PM
The point would be to remove the court, thus removing the judge. Then immediately afterwords, Congress can create the court again and the President would appoint new judges. Under Pres. Jefferson's watch, Congress wiped out over half of the judicial offices. Most of these had the previous President Adam's appointees. Please note that Pres. Jefferson and Sect. of State Madison ignored Marbury vs Madison opinion and the midnight Judges were never appointed. Please also note that Gingrich does not intend to ignore the court at will but only when they are obviously out of bounds. For instance, Congress passed a law removing the Guantanamo detainees from being tried in court but rather military court and they removed the courts appellate jurisdiction to hear a case regarding this. Supreme Court did so anyway and said that they must be tried in civilian court. Bush, and his lawyers who were trained well in a liberal law school threw up their hands as if they had to allow this. Gingrich would ignore the court ruling since they had no authority to review it by LAW that Congress had authority to pass. Two other branches checking the 3rd and putting it in its place.
Jeff October 23, 2011 at 08:54 PM
I would also suggest that you listen to the Jan Mickelson show Monday morning (AM 1040 at 9:00 am) to see what kind of reaction he gives. Sometimes he waits a day or two but I think he will mention this Monday morning. That is the deciding factor on what will happen with Gingrich in Iowa. Mickelson has 300,000 listeners many who go to the Caucus. This is something Mickelson has been advocating for years but no politician had the guts to say it or are complete believers in judicial supremacy.
joffe October 23, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Evangelicals and mormons are both cults
Elauesen October 23, 2011 at 09:17 PM
What a dissembling and patronizing ganolf Gingrich is. After standing before a crowd of ignorant, superstitious & self-pitying rubes he spews a series of shopworn applause lines and then tells a reporter that this is a 'sophisticated crowd that wants more than slogans'? Give me a break!
Ralph Novy October 24, 2011 at 01:12 AM
1, There's a good deal more to being president than merely being a "commander in chief" -- unless, of course, you WANT a militarized, fascistic country. 2. "Authentic"? Only in a universe where "authentic" means "dishonest." 3. "Articulate"? Eighth-grade-level rhetorician, at best. 4. "Wicked smart"? Well, you're half right there. 5. I don't want him anywhere near my OUThouse, let alone my White House.
Whit Keane October 24, 2011 at 03:49 AM
GWV-When was he a theif ??? A rat??? "right wing corporations..." Newt is running on fumes $$wise but has total Faith those who can will!! He is the ONLY one running who has ACTUAL FULL ANSWERS!!..He is the only one who has a record of success as Speaker of the House and turned a $ 278 BILLION Deficit into a $ 237 BILLION SURPLUS in just less than 4 years!!! He was able to get parties to reach across the aisle and GET ER DONE!!! EXACTLY what/ WHO we need right NOW!!! BTW, NO ONE has to PAY ANYONE to get them to bad mouth our current President!!! Obama does that all by himself!!!
David Leonard October 24, 2011 at 02:25 PM
What's amazing to me is that these evangelicals who love to pretend that they follow biblical teachings are fawning all over a man who has two divorces, committed adultery, and told his first wife on her cancer bed that he was divorcing her. Talk about ethically challenged!
Todd Richissin October 24, 2011 at 04:20 PM
The real question is how his performance Saturday will translate into votes at the caucuses. Any ideas?
Alex October 24, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Alex I've read all the previous comments and have to wonder why those that have negative comments have to lace them with name calling "a crowd of ignorant, superstitious & self-pitying rubes" . Can't they express them selfs without this? I can only guess that they can't, which says a lot about THEIR intelligence. Jeff is the only one I would listen to.
Jeff October 25, 2011 at 01:05 AM
Alex, it is called the ad hominem attack. It is a tactic used by those who try to kill off the truth of the argument by attacking the qualification of the bearer of the truth. It is a fallacy that has been working well for them since now many young people think that being Christian is to be less then intelligent and sophisticated. I faced down several students at the UNI Math learning center who essentially called those who believe in God as less then intelligent. They were bullies and this is a form of peer pressure. It is placed on Professors all the time. What happened to Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez at ISU is a prime example of such bullying and peer pressure.
Ralph Novy October 25, 2011 at 07:52 AM
1. An ad hominem attack is fallacious only when the attack is unrelated to what the person under attack is saying. If a person is talking about health-care policy and is attacked as an adulterer, that's fallacious. However, if a person gets up and decries theft, when everyone knows they're a thief, there's nothing fallacious about calling that person both a thief and a hypocrite. 2. It's "less THAN," not "less THEN."
Jeff October 26, 2011 at 01:11 AM
Ralph, you wrote, "Wow. These evangelicals aren't just incredibly ignorant; they're downright nasty people. Terrible irony. Can you imagine what Jesus would think of these filthy, unself-aware hypocrites?" ....That would be a fallacious attack. Thank you for the note about my grammar. I am still trying to improve myself in this area. I will take your comment in the graciousness for which I am sure it was not given.
Alex October 26, 2011 at 04:57 PM
Jeff, I was going to point out the same thing to Ralph. I can't understand why we can't have a discussion of the facts without all all this name calling. I commend you for refraining from doing the same thing. I did want to comment on David L's comments written at 9:25 AM on 10/24/11. I would like to point out what Jesus did when the religious leaders of tghe time brought a prostitute before him and asked what they should do with her. The law was that she should be stoned to death. Jesus said , let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone. Guess what, no one threw a stone and the women went free. I think that those evangelicals are following Christ teachings. His teachings are to love and forgive. The women never asked for forgiveness but Jesus said go and sin more. David, I would suggest that you read the Bible and learn what Jesus taught before you make any more comments on his teachings.
David Leonard October 26, 2011 at 07:25 PM
Maybe you should read the Bible more carefully, Jeff. Jesus didn't say, "Go and sin more." He said, "Go and send no more." I know a lot about what Jesus said. What bugs me is that some so-called Christians quote from the Old Testament when it suits them, but if it doesn't, they switch to the New Testament. Are you willing to throw out the Old Testament, Jeff? If not, how do you deal with the contradictions?
Jaayy October 27, 2011 at 02:45 AM
Actual headline: "Serial Adulterer Steals the Evangelical Show." The irony of Gingrich swaying this audience.
Jaayy October 27, 2011 at 02:46 AM
Lower than serving his wife divorce paper while she is sick with cancer in the hospital?
Alex October 27, 2011 at 04:16 AM
David, He didn't say go and send no more, he said go and sin no more. But I am sure that was just a typo on your part which I would usually over look, but since you pointed out my typo, I figured I'd do the same for you.
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 05:39 AM
Jeff: Your "grammar" is the least of my worries. It's your over-reaction to the exertion of governmental authority that does. Hey, I hate those arrogant, officious government shits as much as you do, I'd bet. But.... How much interaction have you had with arrogant, officious CORPORATE shits? They're worse. Who's reining them in? Who's holding them accountable? Think about it.
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 05:42 AM
I should qualify this criticism to emphasize that I was talking about THESE evangelicals, not ALL evangelicals. Now, I still think they're ALL delusional, but I don't think ALL "evangelicals" are inordinately ignorant and mean-spirited.
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 05:44 AM
"Why do they hurl such horrible epithets at Adolf Hitler?" Think about it.
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 05:53 AM
Jeff: 1. Look up "fallacy," finally. You're still misusing the term. 2. Good that you're still trying to improve yourself, at least in the area of standardly grammatical written English. 3. Following up on the spirit of point #2, you should have written "I will take your comment WITH a graciousness WITH which it was not given." [emphasis added] 4. I'm a whole lot less concerned about your "grammar" than your "heart." My two cents: start learning and stop hating. Leave fear/hate-mongers like Gingrich in your dust.
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 05:56 AM
Suggest you suggest that to Newt. He's made a name for himself by calling others names. Walking, talking "pot calling the kettle black" liar and hypocrite. Can't you see that?
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 06:30 AM
Kudos to Jaayy. "Serial Adulterer Steals the Evangelical Show" is spot-on.
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 06:40 AM
Watched it. Almost forgot about Gingrich. The John Birch guy brought back so many memories of Fritz Kuhn and so many resonances with the current-reigning media fascists, Limbaugh and Hannity.
Ralph Novy October 27, 2011 at 06:46 AM
Petty. But ... "overlook" is one word. LOL
David Leonard October 27, 2011 at 01:34 PM
Alex, Touche' And not only that, I addressed Jeff instead of you. I'll try to be more careful. What about my question concerning how you deal with contradictions between the Old and New Testaments?

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