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Published February 06 2012

Gingrich at Minnesota rally: Nation needs stark choice

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Republican Newt Gingrich says he's the candidate offering voters a stark fall choice against President Barack Obama.

Gingrich rallied hundreds of Republicans at a hotel ballroom Monday, making a pitch for their votes on the eve of Minnesota's caucuses. His brief stop capped a week where all four GOP contenders made appearances in a normally overlooked state.

The former House speaker called Romney's proposals too timid for the times. He says the Republican establishment behind the former Massachusetts governor doesn't understand the need for dramatic change on taxes, welfare and other policies.

Gingrich says he is ready to take heat for pushing bold plans even if, in his words, it provokes “serious difficult, political conflict in Washington.”

Gingrich has suffered two big losses since his South Carolina victory last month.