Newt Gingrich is not only lining up behind Mitt Romney – he’s arguing that if Americans do anything less than support the presumptive GOP nominee, they are shirking their “patriotic duty.”

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

“We want to make it clear in a calm, pleasant but direct way: Barack Obama and the values he represents and the amateurish incompetence he has proven are a direct threat to the survival of America as we know it — and defeating him is a national, patriotic duty,” Gingrich said.

“And every conservative in every part of America must do everything they can between now and Election Day to ensure that our children and our grandchildren live in a country in which working with Gov. Romney, working with a Republican Senate, working with a Republican House – not abdicating to them – working with them, we as citizens can create a dramatically better future,” he added.

Gingrich took the stage to a standing ovation, whoops and cheers of “Newt! Newt! Newt!”

He was introduced by Georgia Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Tom Scott, who called Gingrich “without a doubt the leading authority on the Civil War.” Gingrich has written a trio of novels on the Civil War.

Scott also suggested that Romney tap Gingrich – who holds a PhD in European history — to serve as his secretary of state.

“I cannot imagine a better American traveling the world, that knows the world – can you imagine what knowing European history would do for us now?” Scott said to applause.

Gingrich delivered an address that bore similarities to his 2012 stump speech, but also featured some new zingers.

“(Obama) campaigned in 2008 on the slogan, ‘Yes, we can.’ He’s running this fall on the slogan, ‘Why we couldn’t,’ ” Gingrich said to applause.

He argued that Obama is “trying to destroy faith” and that the campaign is going to be “the most important election of our lifetime and for the future of America.”

“If freedom is to survive, we must defeat Barack Obama,” he said.