- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2012

Chuck Norris isn’t “missing in action” in Florida, one day out from the state’s pivotal GOP presidential primary.

The tough-guy Hollywood  star — perhaps best known for his role in “Delta Force” and TV series “Walker, Texas Ranger” — endorsed Newt Gingrich more than a week ago and on Monday the former House speaker’s campaign pointed to his words as evidence that the “mainstream media” and “Washington elite” are out of touch with the everyday voters.

“Proof! Voters are smarter than media, Washington elite,” reads the subject line of an email blast from R.C. Hammond, the Gingrich campaign spokesman.

In a new commentary Mr. Norris inked for WND.com, the Oklahoma native delivers a stinging rebuke of the “mainstream media” and “Washington Elite” while breaking down the state of the GOP contest between Mr. Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I think the mainstream media, or MSM, and Washington elite think the majority of voters just fell off the turnip truck. But the South Carolina primary election and other current voting trends show otherwise,” Mr. Norris, founder of the Chun Kuk Do school of martial arts.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Monday signals trouble for Mr. Gingrich in Florida, where Mitt Romney has opened to 14-point lead.

Even after ABC News aired an interview with one of Mr. Gingrich’s ex-wives who claimed he sought an “open marriage” before their divorce, Mr. Norris writes that the Georgia Republican still performed better among women — both evangelical and married — than Mitt Romney. He also bested Mr. Romney among those 65 years or older, and performed better than anyone except Texas Rep. Ron Paul among young voters.

“And despite that Romney and his cronies have spent, and will spend, millions and millions of more dollars in Florida and Nevada to perforate Newt’s character and record again, which … in Florida alone is 20 times what has been spent there in supporting any other Republican candidate, I am believing that voters will neither be bought by his money nor directed by his political spin and rhetoric, just as those in South Carolina didn’t fall for the fool’s gold,” Mr. Norris said.

He closes the column by urging voters: “Mostly, don’t be missing in action at the polls this week! Your vote counts!”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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