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Gingrich: Santorum Young Enough to Run Next Time

Winter Park, Fla -- Newt Gingrich has long argued that conservatives should rally around him if they didn't want a Massachusetts moderate to win the nomination, but today when a man in the crowd chimed in with a comment about Rick Santorum, Gingrich gave the audience a good chuckle.

"I have great respect for my good friend Rick Santorum and he's a terrific person," Gingrich said in his closing remarks to a crowd of over 500 people gathered at the Liberty Counsel Forum at Aloma Baptist Church.

"We've known each other for, I guess 20 years now. But the fact is, he's not going to win in Florida. There's only one possibility for a conservative victory in Florida - in every poll. We're tied in the last poll that came out last night - 35 for Romney, 35 for me and 11 for Santorum. And so my point is, if you talk to - cause all of you have friends that like Rick, that's just a fact. He's a very attractive, desirable person, with a great personal family story." A man in the crowd yelled, "Next time around." "Yeah - next time around is a good battle cry," the candidate said to laughter. "He's young enough, he can show back up. But please just try to convince your friends. The only effective practical conservative vote on Tuesday is for Newt Gingrich because that's just a fact."

The Tea Party Express had pulled up to the event with a bus full of supporters, and the crowd was overwhelmingly positive, delivering him a number of standing ovations.

"You need somebody who knows how to actually run a team campaign on a large scale and who knows how to get things done in Washington," Gingrich said during one of his many jabs at frontrunner Mitt Romney. "And we've tried an amateur for the last three years. And the truth is, while he may be good at business, Governor Romney has never had one day of experience trying to get something done in Washington on a scale - on a big scale."

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