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Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stops in Annapolis

Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex X. Mooney joins him for lunch

March 27, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex X. Mooney, left, and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, right, met for lunch Tuesday at Chick and Ruth's Delly in Annapolis.
By Andrew Schotz, Staff Writer

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stopped in Annapolis on Tuesday, making brief comments to the state Senate and having lunch at a famous city eatery.

Gingrich is running a distant third, behind leader Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, in the race for the GOP nomination.

The next primaries will be April 3 in Maryland,Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.

During a news conference outside the State House, Gingrich called a proposed gas tax in Maryland “very, very anti-everyday working American.”

He said he has an energy independence plan that could get gas prices down to no more than $2.50 a gallon — “although, apparently, it would always be higher here if the state gas (increase) passes.”

Gingrich reiterated that he plans to continue running as long as he can, right up to the Republican National Convention in late August in Tampa, Fla., noting later that he would need to be on a “tight budget.”

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“Governor Romney is the front-runner, but is a long way from the majority,” he said.

About 4 million people have voted for Romney, but about 6 million people have voted for other candidates, Gingrich said.

If Romney has not won the majority of delegates by the last primary, which is in June, “I think you’ll then have one of the most interesting open conventions in American history,” Gingrich said. “It’ll be a 60-day dialogue on television, radio, the Internet — all the way up to Tampa.”

Even if Romney gets the nomination, Gingrich said he’ll work to make sure the Republicans have a conservative platform in the general election.

If Romney is the nominee, Gingrich said he would support him in the general election.

After speaking to reporters, Gingrich walked along Annapolis’s Main Street, stopping first at Del. Ron George’s jewelry store.

Gingrich then had lunch at Chick and Ruth’s Delly, a restaurant known for having an array of sandwiches named after elected officials.

There, he was joined by George and other Republican delegates, as well as Maryland Republican Party ChairmanAlex X. Mooney.

Mooney, a former state senator representing Frederick and Washington counties, said he is not publicly siding with any of the Republican presidential candidates.

However, his mother, Eulalia Mooney, is on the ballot in next week’s primary as a Gingrich delegate to the national convention.

Gingrich was also scheduled to speak in Salisbury, Md., later Tuesday.

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