Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich shakes the had of Kathleen McCracken following a speach at the Gwinnett GOP mass meeting Saturday at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee.
SUWANEE -- Admitting his presidential race hinges on the South, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich got a warm reception at a Suwanee rally Saturday.
The former congressman, who used to represent the area, came to Gwinnett as part of a series of stops in Georgia.
"I need your help," Gingrich told a crowd of nearly 500 at Collins Hill High School. "I think we have a real chance. ... It all hinges on Georgia."
Gingrich spent much of his speech talking about bringing the cost of gasoline down by loosening regulations on drilling in America. New technology and a recently discovered supply of oil shale, he said, could flood demand and bring prices down to $2.50 per gallon.
"You cannot put a gun rack in a Volt," Gingrich said, saying regulations have infringed on people's freedom to choose.
Touting his experience as Speaker, when gas prices averaged $1.14 a gallon, he told the crowd, gathered after a GOP mass organizational meeting, he was the best candidate to take on incumbent Barack Obama in November.
Gingrich said he was diappointed his rivals Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul declined invitations to debate in the state next month. But Santorum, who is surging in the polls, is scheduled to appear in Cumming today, on the heels of Gingrich's events.
Derrick Poston, a Sugar Hill man, came to Gingrich's rally Saturday and planned to see Santorum at his own church First Redeemer Church in Cumming Sunday.
"What other opportunity do you get to see two of the candidates two days in a row?" he said. "I want to hear them in person and try to figure out who to vote for."
Gingrich brought along Herman Cain, another Georgian who dropped out of the presidential race last year but gained notoriety for straight talk. He said he has been giving Gingrich advice on giving a clear message.
Cain said he supports Gingrich because he understands jobs and energy independence and displays bold leadership.
"I cannot stand by and watch this country be destroyed," he said.
Cain was the main attraction for Aaron Potts and his son Bailey, who said it was "pretty cool" to see a presidential candidate at his school.
"It was right here in my backyard," Potts said. "We'll definitely be out voting for Newt on Super Tuesday."