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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 02/08/2012

Newt Gingrich, mum on losses, looking South

CLEVELAND, Ohio—Newt Gingrich, speaking to workers Wednesday morning at a manufacturing plant here had exactly nothing to say about Tuesday night’s contests.


Republican presidential candidate, former House speaker Newt Gingrich. (Evan Vucci - AP)
He didn’t say a word about the how and why of his losses, nor did he mention his rivals.

He didn’t refer to Mitt Romney as a “Massachusetts moderate.”

Nor did he cast Rick Santorum as a sort of junior member of Congress, who couldn’t do big things.

In his 12-minute speech at Jergen, a metal plant, it was as if Tuesday never happened.

Gingrch lost badly in three contests, ceding the conversation, energy
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks to supporters as his daughter, Elizabeth (L), and wife, Karen (R), look on Tuesday at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Santorum defeated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former House speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. (Whitney Curtis - Getty Images)
and the momentum to Santorum who pulled off an upset in Colorado, and won handily in Missouri and Minnesota.

During his two-day bus tour, Gingrich, who pledged to run a more ideas-based campaign, gave his standard speech, weaving together the history of the Wright Brothers, Ronald Reagan, and the raft of executive orders he would sign on day one of his administration.

He wrapped in his space and national security ambitions with the need for more jobs.

“We have to have companies like this. You cannot be the arsenal of democracy, if you don’t have an arsenal,” he said. “We very badly need to rebuild our manufacturing base so that we are competitive.”

Facing a long month, with only one debate, Gingrich is already focused on Super Tuesday next month, where his brand of smash-mouth politics, could resonate with blue collar voters in industrial states, and in his native south.

Ten states, including delegate rich Ohio, hold contests March 6.

Gingrich’s campaign announced a Georgia swing set for Feb. 17, just as Romney was preparing for a visit to Atlanta.

Voting began in this state last week, and Gingrich is looking for a head start on his rivals, who head here next week.

By  |  02:00 PM ET, 02/08/2012

 
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