Newt Gingrich gets warm welcome at World Ag Expo in California

Fresno BeeFebruary 15, 2012 

TULARE -- Newt Gingrich is struggling to regain his political footing in the battle to capture the Republican presidential nomination, but none of that was evident Tuesday during a visit to the World Ag Expo.

The former House speaker from Georgia was treated like political royalty by hordes of people attending the event. They broke from their routine to shake his hand, seek his autograph or pose for a picture.

Gingrich, in return, was gracious and patient as people crowded around him as he toured some of the exhibits.

"I like him," said Adam Smith, a Missouri resident who is manning an exhibit on nutrients. "He's always been my choice."

Soon after he crossed Gingrich's path and offered him a welcome, Smith was on his cell phone telling someone about the encounter.

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