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Gingrich Slams Santorum as ‘Big Labor Republican’ Gingrich Slams Santorum as ‘Big Labor Republican’

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field

campaign 2012

Gingrich Slams Santorum as ‘Big Labor Republican’

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.(Chet Susslin)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Monday called rival Rick Santorum a “big labor Republican” and predicted that the former senator from Pennsylvania will have difficulty competing in the South, where several Super Tuesday primaries will be held on March 6. 

Speaking to a group of conservatives at a law firm, Gingrich said of Santorum, “He voted for the unions over FedEx. I suspect most folks in this state don’t know that. But in fact, he was a big labor Republican in Pennsylvania and I suspect when you get to Memphis and you say to people ‘Gee, this is a guy who wanted to guarantee that FedEx gave in to the unions,’ Santorum won’t be quite as popular the following morning.”

 

It was one of the harshest attacks by the former House speaker on his onetime ally in Congress, and seemed aimed at stopping Santorum from making headway with conservatives in the South, where Gingrich hopes to resurrect his flagging campaign on Super Tuesday.

Gingrich pointed to Santorum’s reelection defeat in Pennsylvania in 2006, where he lost by one of the largest margins in state history, as an example that the former senator would have trouble winning in the South.

Gingrich has decided to skip the primaries in Michigan and Arizona on Tuesday and instead to focus on reigniting his campaign on Super Tuesday, when voters in 10 states go to the polls.  He called his home state of Georgia a must-win for him and said he thinks he has a good chance of winning Mississippi and Alabama the following week.  

 

“I have the longest record of any candidate in this race to somehow reemerge over and over again,” he said.

In a question-and-answer period with the lunchtime crowd, Gingrich said he does not think it’s possible to fix the problems in Afghanistan, where the United States continues to have a presence, and that the Afghans themselves have to figure out how to fix their “miserable” lives. 

“These are people who have spent several thousand years hating foreigners,” he said. “And what we’ve done by staying is become the new foreigners. And this is a real problem. And there’s some problems where what you have to do is say, ‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life because I’m not here—you clearly don’t want to hear from me how to be un-miserable.' "

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