With two days to go until the Florida primary, a flagging Newt Gingrich campaign received a shot in the arm from one of his equally colorful former adversaries: Herman Cain, who endorsed Gingrich on Saturday. Saying Gingrich is the only remaining candidate capable of tackling "the crisis of leadership in the White House," the former Godfather's CEO managed even to inject some pizza topping metaphors into his formal endorsement, made before a cheering crowd in West Palm Beach, Florida:
“I hereby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for president of the United States. Speaker Gingrich is a patriot. Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas."
“And I also know that Speaker Gingrich is running for president and going through this sausage grinder — I know what this sausage grinder is all about. I know he is going through this sausage grinder because he cares about the future of the United States of America.”
Gingrich responded with gratitude, and the ultimate Washington thank-you gift: a job I.O.U., pledging that if elected, he would make Cain a co-chairman of a commission on "jobs, economic growth and taxes." But the jobs creation pledges did not end there. Moments later, Gingrich defended his proposal for a lunar base, which he unveiled last week at a rally in Cocoa, Florida, about 20 miles from the Kennedy Space Center.
It's a plan derided by some critics as downright loony; but the candidate told the crowd of Floridians last night that his dream of a moon colony is in fact a "bold, visionary, dramatic opportunity for America."
"We will not turn to our grandchildren and say, 'We are the generation that let the Chinese dominate space," Gingrich said, calling the moon-shot plan a challenge worthy of "a big country."
"We've always had dreams. We've gone west. We invented the airplane. We invented the mass-produced car. We built the Panama Canal," Gingrich said.
Despite the audacity of his space-colonizing vision, and the lunar real estate bubble that will all but certainly follow, Gingrich continues to slide in the polls. An NBC/Marist poll showed Romney enjoying the support of 42 percent of likely Florida primary voters, the AP reports. Gingrich, meanwhile, has only 27 percent in his corner.