In Absentia, Newt Gingrich Tries To Woo Social Conservative Crowd

Newt Gingrich isn’t appearing at the Faith and Freedom Conference in DC this weekend. He’s pretty much the only Republican candidate for President who isn’t. But as the event drew to a close Saturday night, he tried to make his case to the social conservative voters gathered here anyway.

Via a prerecorded video address, Gingrich stressed his connection with social conservatives, and promised that he understood the fight they face ahead.“You also know that getting America back on the right track is going to be a real fight,” he said. “Every element of the left, the interest groups, the intellectuals, the news media, the bureaucrats, the politicians is going to oppose what you and I are trying to do. But I am confident that together we are going to do it.”

It’s not entirely clear how the crowd felt about Gingrich’s clip. They sat silently eating their banquet dinners while Gingrich’s video played. They behaved very differently when Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) face appeared for his video address. There was applause and more than a couple of cheers when that happened.

Gingrich, of course, has seen his star fade fast among Republicans since he announced his intention to seek the presidency. Gingrich’s critical statements about the Medicare changes proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) caused many to turn away from him just as his campaign began to spool up.

Nevertheless, Gingrich offered up a recorded speech that hit all the buttons with the FFC crowd, even if they didn’t seem show it.

“Eighty or ninety percent of the American people want an America that is exceptional,” Gingrich said. “[They] want an America in which children again have the right to pray, want an America in which judges respect the Constitution, want an America where the power has left Washington and a much smaller federal government does what the federal government should do.”