Drawing thousands, Gingrich goes hardest at Obama

By Brian Bakst

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 24 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

A member of the Occupy movement displays a sign during Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich an event at a Hobby Lobby parking lot, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, in Fort Myers , Fla.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

NAPLES, Fla. — Republican Newt Gingrich is putting a greater emphasis on a possible matchup with President Barack Obama and spending less time drawing contrasts with GOP rival Mitt Romney.

The former House speaker saw his crowd sizes swell into the thousands Tuesday in Florida. He also enjoyed a burst of fundraising with a week to go before the Florida presidential primary.

All day, Gingrich made only brief mention of Romney. He referred to his GOP rival as the moderate in a race where conservative credentials matter most. But he swung hard at Obama, saying the Democrat needs to get over blaming his predecessor, George W. Bush, for America's economic troubles.

Gingrich officials say they have raised more than $2 million since his victory Saturday in South Carolina.

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