WASHINGTON, D.C.—Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich largely fell flat when he could least afford two, failing to fire up the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Gingrich, who is seeing his support shift to the campaign of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, needed to seize the moment to reverse the downward trajectory of his campaign — instead, it was another wasted opportunity.
Gingrich’s wife Callista introduced him, saying that he is a “good golfer” and other banal lines that seems ripped from a book report. He wasn’t much better at the start, giving a short treatise on conservative history, noting that many thought Ronald Reagan’s ideas were “unrealistic.”
Gingrich was able to bring the crowd to their feet with his standard stump-speech critiques of “Saul Alinsky-radicalism” and calling President Barack Obama a “food stamp president,” but quickly transitioned to listing members of his campaign team advising him.
The crowd was smaller than the one for Romney and Santorum — for whom there were hundreds of people on line to get into the room. There was also a smaller media presence, a sign of diminishing interest in him.
Gingrich didn’t provide a reason for the base to back him over Santorum, and until he does, there is little hope for his campaign.