Orangeburg, S.C. – Newt Gingrich told several hundred attendees at a town hall this afternoon that he was the only conservative candidate who had a realistic shot at beating Mitt Romney in South Carolina.
“The only effective conservative vote to stop a Massachusetts moderate is to vote for me, that’s what all the polls are saying now,” he said.
“And if every conservative in the state decided to vote for Newt Gingrich, we would win a shockingly big victory tomorrow, and that would be good,” Gingrich continued. “Because conservatism needs to come back and in the Reagan tradition, we need to first shock the country, and then shock Washington, and then put everybody back to work, and once again prove to the world that we really are an extraordinary country.”
At the end of the town hall, he circled back to theme. “That will set the stage for us winning the nomination,” Gingrich said of a South Carolina primary victory.
And then he went on to remind them why they wanted to vote for him: the debates.
“That will set the stage for debates with Obama,” Gingrich added. “The debates [with] Obama will be something you throw parties around, it will be fun … That will enable us to win the presidency, and then we’ll get this country on the right track.”
Gingrich arrived forty-five minutes late to the town hall, his first public event of the day after he cancelled today a scheduled speech this morning and a tele-town hall.