Newt Gingrich Picks Up Tea Party Nation Nod

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich picked up a big endorsement Monday when the Tea Party Nation founder said he backs the former U.S. House speaker.

Judson Philips is the second prominent Tea Party leader to announce support for Gingrich after Tea Party Chairman Allen Olson of Columbia, S.C., announced he was joining the campaign, The Hill reported.

"Gingrich is the candidate who has the vision to fundamentally change the federal government. Gingrich has the unique capabilities to be the field general. He is the big idea man, much as Ronald Reagan was," Philips wrote in a blog Monday.

Calling Gingrich the "best debater" who changed the way Republicans were treated during his leadership in Congress, Phillips said, "Gingrich can rightfully claim credit for everything from welfare reform to balancing the budget. Obama can offer nothing against him."

The Gingrich campaign said it hoped the endorsements - as well as a policy address later this week in which Gingrich will offer an updated "Contract with America" - help him gain some traction, reported.

"Newt Gingrich is the right candidate to not only help us take this country back from socialism, but roll socialism back,” Phillips said.

Gingrich has been stuck in single digits in polls on the Republican primary field.

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