GOP candidates attempt to rally support in La.

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS - In political news, Louisiana voters are gearing up to head to the polls for Saturday's state primary. Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney spent much of the day stumping across the state.

"We went from being a country where parents worked hard, saved, paid off their mortgage and left their kids the farm to a country where politicians sold the farm and left the kids the mortgage -- you're the kids," said Newt Gingrich addressing students at Tulane University on Friday afternoon.

In a one-on-one interview with Eyewitness News, the former House Speaker talked about overhauling the Army Corps of Engineers and expanding off-shore drilling.

"I think its very important I was in Port Fourchon and its clear we could have a lot more jobs here. One guy said as many as 4,000 more jobs. I think I'd rather have the money in Louisiana then Saudi Arabia," said Gingrich.

On Friday night in Hammond Republican candidate Ron Paul took to the stage at Southeastern University to a thunderous applause from supporters. The presidential hopeful tackled issues like the Patriot Act, the military and what he says is chronic government overspending.

"In Washington, there is no recognition. They won't be honest with themselves and say we have a spending problem. We have a debt problem. We have a government problem," said Paul.

Earlier Friday, Republican front runner Mitt Romney made a stop in Metairie pushing for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act also known as Obama care.

"Obama care substitutes government intrusiveness for the dynamics of individual responsibility, for individuals being able to pursue different options and for the dynamics of a free market," said Governor Romney.

Former Senator Rick Santorum was in the state earlier this week, speaking to voters in Harvey where he voiced support for coastal Louisiana.

"You folks have had a lot of tough times over the past few years with Katrina and the oil spill and it's been a shaky time-- and you folks have stood tall and weathered the storms. You need someone who's going to stand tall with you," said Senator Santorum.

Candidates vied for the Louisiana vote on the eve of the state's Republican primary.

The voter turnout will be low, predicted UNO Political Science Professor Ed Chervenak

"There's not a lot of enthusiasm for these candidates. We've seen lower turnout in other states, compared to four years ago, so I don't see why it would be any different here," said Chervenak.

Louisiana has a total of 46 delegates, but only 20 are up for grabs on Saturday. The rest of the delegates will be awarded during a caucus in April and at the Louisiana Republican Convention in June.

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