Callista Gingrich Touches Down In EG
The wife of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich joined some R.I. Republicans for dinner at Caprice on Main Street.
East Greenwich got a bit of presidential primary glow Tuesday night, when the EG GOP played host to Callista Gingrich, wife of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, at Caprice on Main Street.
The faithful who gathered were largely Gingrich true believers, even as the former Speaker of the House has moved into footnote territory in terms of the 2012 election.
“My problem is that I’m so much for Newt, I can’t imagine why he’s not resonating more around the country,” said Alexandra Mark, of Newport, in frustration. “When he talks, I listen.”
According to Westerly Town Councilman Caswell Cooke, originally, Newt Gingrich was going to make a swing through Rhode Island. But, Cooke said, after Rick Santorum got out of the race last week, plans shifted. East Greenwich GOP Town Committee Chairman Chuck Newton said he found out four days ago that Callista Gingrich would be coming. East Greenwich was chosen for its centrality, he said.
“We’re just doing this as a courtesy to the campaign,” said Newton. “This is not an endorsement.”
Around 25 people were in attendance Tuesday night. The event, which included a buffet dinner and two drink tickets, cost $50 per person.
“Tonight is about coming together as Republicans in East Greenwich,” said EG resident Liz Smith, who is running as a delegate for Mitt Romney. “It’s very exciting to have Callista here to make an appearance.”
Cooke said he’d admired Newt Gingrich since he was in the House of Representatives. Cooke said he had no problem with Gingrich staying in the race all the way to the end.
“The dialogue is important,” said Cooke. “Giving people another choice, keeping people engaged, I think it’s important. I’m not one of those people that think it’s damaging to the party. I think it’s good for the party.”
Yet, when asked if he would support Mitt Romney in the general election if Romney were the nominee, Cooke hesitated, saying finally, “If he’s the nominee, I suppose I’ll vote for him, but I won’t be excited about it.”
Callista Gingrich spoke after the buffet dinner, but she did not ask for those gathered to vote for her husband in next Tuesday’s primary. When asked about that, she said getting votes wasn’t her focus here.
“The focus of the speech was American exceptionalism, the uniqueness of our nation,” she said. “Obviously, I’m here as part of our campaign and I’d love any support we can get. We are in this race to represent the conservative movement and our hope is to be in the race through the summer and get to the convention so Newt can be an active part of the platform.”