GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in Sarasota (Pic by Cooper Levey-Baker)

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich accused President Obama of being a “Saul Alinsky radical” who works to “appease the Taliban” at a campaign rally held in a Sarasota airplane hangar today.

Gingrich was flanked by former Attorney General Bill McCollum, Republican Party of Sarasota County chairman Joe Gruters and local campaign co-chair Harry Walia. GOP Senate candidate Connie Mack was also on hand, but he spent his time in the back of the crowd, and did not take the stage.

The former House Speaker didn’t mention GOP rival Mitt Romney by name, instead spending most of his short speech criticizing Obama, whom he says “doesn’t seem to operate on the same planet as we do.” Gingrich hammered the White House’s decision to veto the application for the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the president made the decision in order to please “San Francisco extremists,” and called for Congress to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulation package.

“Nothing will help Florida housing better than repealing Dodd-Frank,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich also described his first steps should he be elected. Executive order No. 1: “Abolish all White House czars.” He also repeated his pledge to use one of his first executive orders to eliminate Agenda 21, the subject of a right-wing conspiracy theory according to which the United Nations is encroaching on American sovereignty and property rights through sustainable community initiatives.

The large crowd — Gruters said 4,700 people had RSVPed for the event — ate up most the speech, although Gingrich’s energy was low. Gruters thanked local tea party and “912″ groups, as well as the grassroots groups Taking Our Country Back and 13 Patriots.

The candidate concluded his talk by contrasting his conservative bona fides with Obama, whom he says is “for weakness in foreign policy,” and referencing Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky for a third time. He then pledged that his campaign for president “will be an American campaign.”

Update:

WSRQ has full audio of Gingrich’s speech; check that out here.

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