Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a late entry into the CPAC speaking schedule, but his address a few hours after Mitt Romney’s repeatedly brought the crowd to its feet with a string of audience-pleasing agenda points.
Gingrich met with a number of supporters, mainly college Republicans, in a closed-door rally shortly before the address.
His campaign staff had promised the release of a “creative” document to accompany his speech: the handout to CPAC attendees was a chart comparing his stances on personal Social Security accounts, a flat tax, a low corporate tax rate, the elimination of the capital gains tax, and dollar reforms with those of his competitors. Under “more of the same” were mugshots of Romney, Rick Santorum, and President Obama.
The Friday release that carried over more into his address, though, was the unveiling of his “Conservative Dream Team” — dramatically pictured on the screen behind Gingrich as he spoke. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Fred Thompson, Michael Reagan, J.C. Watts, Chuck Norris, Oliver North, and more.
Newt reminded the crowd of this support to a hearty helping of applause.
He said that the fight of the Tea Party against establishment Republicans echoed the days of Barry Goldwater. “In many ways, this has been going on for a half century,” he said. And the first part of his speech, focused on what America can do when unleashed to fulfill its full potential, sounded much like a history professor.
“This campaign is a marginal threat” to the establishment, he said, “because we intend to change Washington, not accommodate it.”
He asked the crowd to raise their hands if they’d ever gone online to check a package’s progress with UPS or FedEx.
“This is not a theory,” he said. “It is a practical reality that we have the technology that enables us… to track 24 million packages a day.”
“The federal government today cannot find 11 million illegal immigrants,” Gingrich said.
Soon after, both Newt and FedEx were trending on Twitter.