Afterwards, Queens Republican Party chairman Phil Ragusa had high praise for the former speaker in a statement that sounded about as close to an endorsement as he could give.
I am extremely pleased Newt Gingrich took time out to talk with me and some of my Queens Leadership team to discuss his plans. Clearly the Speaker appreciates the important role Queens continues to play, and he demonstrated a keen knowledge of the concerns of Queens’ voters. Newt Gingrich is a strong and very impressive candidate and is someone I think the American people would have great confidence in when it comes time to turn around our failing economy and put America back on the right track.
We’ve been blessed with a very strong field to choose from, but everyone I talk with agrees that Newt is the smartest candidate with an incredible command of the issues. Even former President Clinton described Speaker Gingrich as a problem solver and the thought of him debating Obama is almost irresistible. One thing is clear – a mere month to go before the Iowa caucus the field is thinning and Newt Gingrich is demonstrating his experience and intellectual vigor. I look forward to discussing the Republican slate with my Leadership in the coming week. It is great that we have such a strong field!
On Saturday, Mr. Gingrich met with Tea Party activists on Staten Island. Today he has a fundraiser planned and will address the conservative confab Monday Meeting.
In the endless Civil War that is Queens politics, it is worth noting that City Councilwunderkind Eric Ulrich–a rival of Mr. Ragusa’s for the leadership of the local party–has signed on as a local leader for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
Typically, the primary is long over by the time it reaches New York, but due to new rules set up in advance of this year that allow for proportional delegate counting (instead of the previous winner take all system) there is a good chance that the primary stretches on until New York votes in April.
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