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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Gingrich building roots in Virginia

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is set to formally jump into the race for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Gingrich is expected to make the announcement today via Twitter and Facebook.

This announcement is of course no surprise at all. Gingrich has spent the last several years, touting books, documentaries and speaking at conferences, all which appeared to be designed to build roots in critical swing states.

One state Gingrich has spent quite a bit of time is here in Virginia. And not just Northern Virginia and the D.C. suburbs where the high profile republican has spent the bulk of his professional life. Gingrich has made frequent appearances and media engagements in Central Virginia and other parts of the Old Dominion. Each time he comes to town, his quotable style always brings out a pretty healthy media contingent. Two recent trips stick out in my mind.

Just about one year ago, in May of 2010, Gingrich appeared with Governor Bob McDonnell at an event focused on hammering President Barack Obama‘s health care reform act. Gingrich pulled out a flow chart that showed how complicated the implementation of the plan could be.

During the event, I asked the soon- to-be candidate about one of his potential rivals for the GOP nomination Mitt Romney, who had instituted a similar health care plan during his time as the Governor of Massachusetts. At the time, Gingrich defended Romney:

That was only a year ago, when it was clear that the Speaker was heading full steam toward a potential run for the presidency. But the seeds of this future run and the importance of building connections in Virginia go back even further.

In March of 2009, before Governor McDonnell was elected and just a few months after President Obama’s win, Gingrich was already entertaining the idea of becoming Commander -in- chief.

This is what he said in a media gaggle, prior to a speaking engagement at Randolph-Macon College.

Now that he is officially in the race, expect to see quite a bit more of the prominent Republican leader.

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

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