Candidate Gingrich Makes Campaign Stop at California’s World Ag Expo

February 15, 2012 03:53 AM

He is the only presidential candidate scheduled to appear at the international farm show this week.

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Presidential candidate Newt Gingich (center) walks through a crowd Tuesday at World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif. (Photo: Catherine Merlo)

World Ag Expo – billed as the world’s largest annual farm equipment show – kicked off its 45th opening day Tuesday under cloudy skies that had earlier brought much-needed rain to the Tulare, Calif., area.

The day’s events included a stop by presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who spoke briefly to a crowd of Expo visitors and news media at the CASE tractor exhibit on the show’s sprawling grounds. He is the only presidential candidate who is scheduled to appear at the international farm show this week.

When asked about California’s efforts to build a high-speed rail system, Gingrich said state leaders had better be sure the proposed idea doesn’t lead to another expensive boondoggle aimed at enriching high-paying union jobs that last only temporarily. Many in the crowd cheered.

Gingrich also reiterated his position on immigration reform, pointing out that millions of immigrants are in the U.S. here outside the law, and that some have been here for 25 years with deep family and community ties. A system has to be established that addresses that reality.

Responding to a question about the state’s water issues, Gingrich said it made no sense for California’s water to flow out to sea, a reference to the massive Delta water system that is protected by environmental regulations.

Some 100,000 visitors are expected at this week’s show, which runs through Thursday at Tulare’s International Agri-Center. This year’s show counts 1,744 exhibitors showing products for 350 different commodities.

Former President George W. Bush will be the featured guest today at the Ag Warriors Gala. The event will benefit returning veterans by placing them in long-term professions in the agriculture industry.

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