Newt Gingrich making his way through eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Newt Gingrich making his way through eastern Iowa

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Waves of candidates have been making stops all over the state. Right now, Newt Gingrich is in the middle of a 17 city tour.

It has been a rough start for the former speaker of the house. He compared his first week to that of former president Ronald Reagan during his presidential run in 1980. President Reagan had a rough first week, but then hit his stride. Gingrich expects to do the same.

Newt Gingrich was welcomed by applause as he entered the room at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. When talking to reporters he admitted things could have gone smoother during his first week, but he is moving forward.

"We had a real dialogue here today. We had larger crowds virtually every where. We had to change the venue this morning. We had to change the venue in Mason City yesterday. They had three times the turnout in Dubuque at the Kiwanis Club on Monday. The fact that we had 250 people in La Crosse last night when they expected 100 and we had a real dialogue," said Gingrich.

Around 100 people attended the event. Many of them are undecided voters wanting to get a jump start on the political season. Jenny Turner and her husband Ryan came all the way from Mt. Pleasant to hear Gingrich speak.

"I think everything he says about balanced budgets, economic growth jobs, I think he's got a great catch phrase with the paychecks president versus the food stamps president. I think that will go a long way," Jenny Turner.

"I want a guy who I think can take it to Obama in 2012. Obama did... Love him or hate him, he was a phenomenal campaigner and he really won the hearts of our generation and I feel like who will ever be successful in the Republican nomination has to win the hearts of our generation," said Ryan Turner.

While many of his talking points revolved around national politics, Newt Gingrich did answer a few questions revolving around Iowa.

"Look the issues are the same. Jobs are very important in Iowa, getting power back home from Washington so you don't have the EPA trying to micro manage Iowa farmers or micro manage Iowa communities, finding ways to solve Medicare so Medicare can survive," said Gingrich.

Gingrich refers to his run for the White House as a grass roots campaign. He also says that he expects criticism especially when he is looking to make dramatic changes Washington.

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