Newt Gingrich hosts town hall meetings in SC - FOX Carolina 21

Newt Gingrich hosts town hall meetings in SC

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GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich at an Upstate Chick fil-A. (File/FOX Carolina) GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich at an Upstate Chick fil-A. (File/FOX Carolina)
NEWBERRY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Former Speaker of the House and Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich made stops in the Upstate on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, Gingrich spoke at a town hall event at Tommy's Ham House in Greenville.

Gingrich said South Carolina is a must-win for his campaign. He talked about the economy, Iran, China and religion at the event, answering pre-submitted questions.

Supporters and Gingrich agreed that he is the best candidate to take on President Obama.

"Well I think we need somebody who has clear ideas about what our country needs," said supporter Pat Frady from Travelers Rest. "He seems to have the same attitudes that I do."

FOX News' host Sean Hannity was also at the event filming for his show Wednesday night.

Tuesday night, crowds gathered inside the lobby of the Newberry Opera House as they waited to see Gingrich.

"I have watched him rise in the polls, pleasantly so for me," Pete Shumway, a Gingrich supporter, said.

Shumway got a ticket for the town hall and said the most important issue facing the country is a lack of jobs. It's an issue he thinks Gingrich can fix.

"I think he's one of the brightest candidates that I've ever seen in my long life of voting," Shumway said.

And as Shumway took a seat inside, Gingrich, a Republican presidential candidate took the stage.

"We're Americans, and I think with leadership we will shock the world with how rapidly we re-accelerate," Gingrich said.

The crowd seemed to agree as Gingrich talked about illegal immigration and controlling the border.

"We're drafting a bill now that would waive every federal regulation and return the U.S. to 1941. And we'll say to the person in charge of getting the fence built and getting to control the border, 'Here's the money, do it,'" Gingrich said.

Gingrich also told supporters there's a big difference between he and President Obama.

"The first layer of difference is between the world that works and the world that fails. The economic recovery will begin late on election night when people realize that Obama is gone," he said.

It's what Pete Shumway wanted to hear, and it could mean another vote for Gingrich.

"The key is to surround yourself with good people and I think he's bright enough and has enough contacts do that," said Shumway.

The town halls are part of the South Carolina Republican Party's "First in the South" presidential event series.

According to recent reports, Gingrich is gaining in the polls, just behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

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