Newt Gingrich’s tour bus arrived in Tulsa today with a team of extremely popular supporters that drew an enthusiastic cheering crowd in a packed downtown pizza restaurant.
Herman Cain, J.C. Watts, Jackie Gingrich Cushman and former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin all spoke passionately of their support for the Gingrich’s candidacy for President. They described the former U.S. House speaker both as a political outsider and the most successful of the competing candidates while in office.
"We need to have change," said Watts, an Oklahoma congressman during Gingrich’s time as speaker. "On the Republican side, who has the clearest thoughts? Who is the most articulate? Who can stand up to (Barack) Obama?"
While Oklahoma polls show Rick Santorum in the lead, Watts said Gingrich is gaining ground and that the GOP nomination is far from decided. "It could go until May, when we get to Texas," Watts said. (Click here for a YouTube recording of a portion of Watt’s remarks.)
Cain, an early presidential contender now campaigning for Gingrich, began his portion of the rally with a rendition of "America the Beautiful" and said Gingrich supporters "are not satisfied to just let history take its course." (Click here for a YouTube recording of Cain singing.)
Super Tuesday early absentee voting began Friday.
The Democrat ballot features President Barack Obama, Randall Terry, Darcy Richardson, Bob Ely and Jim Rogers.
The Republican ballot includes Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich in addition to Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry that have all withdrawn from the race.
For a candidate to capture all 40 delegate votes in Oklahoma, they’ll need 50% of the vote Tuesday. Otherwise, the delegates will be split among the candidates.
Additional video: Herman Cain on the reasons for his support of Newt Gingrich.