The Washington Times - January 29, 2012, 05:09PM

During a campaign rally at The Villages, a retirement community in central Florida, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich addressed thousands of his supporters and asked for their help on his campaign for Tuesday’s Florida GOP primary.

While some network/media and statewide polls show former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with a wide margin lead over Mr. Gingrich, the former speaker believes that the final result on Tuesday will show that he and Romney are in a tighter race than the current polls are showing.


“First of all I need your help on Tuesday to win the primary and then win the nomination. When I win the nomination, we going to run as a team this fall just as we did in 1980 with Reagan and just as I did in 1994 when I became speaker,” Gingrich explained to the crowd. “This means, by the way, you’ll have to replace Bill Nelson with a conservative.” 

Interestingly, Mr. Gingrich made no mention regarding which conservative he would recommend to replace Senator Nelson. This could be because the strongest candidaterunning against Sen. Nelson is one of Mr. Gingrich’s most outspoken Republican critics on the Romney side and Mr. Gingrich may have taken a jab at Rep. Mack for supporting his opponent so vociferously on the campaign trail. 

Mr. Mack is shadowing Gingrich at events along with other Mitt supporters from Capitol Hill like  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, and Rep. Mary Bono Mack, California Republican.  At a Gingrich event in Port St. Lucie at the PGA Museum, Rep. Mack had an intense verbal shoot out with Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond over Speaker Gingrich’s association with Freddie Mack (watch video here).