By Judy Kurtz - 01/24/12 12:47 AM EST
Candidates running for public office shake hands, wave at parades and kiss babies. They don’t usually squeeze noses.
But that’s exactly what Newt Gingrich did days before his resounding win in the South Carolina primary.
Ellison, 78, revealed to a local Palmetto State newspaper, the Anderson Independent Mail, that as Gingrich walked her way outside Mutt’s BBQ last Wednesday, she said, “Oh, I got a cold nose.”
The former House Speaker told a reporter the same thing a few days after the nose-grab, explaining, “She asked me to touch her nose to see how cold it was.”
Gingrich’s wife, Callista, added, “It was kind of an unusual moment, wasn’t it?”
But Ellison maintains that Gingrich getting up close and personal with her chilly nostrils didn’t sway her vote. She tells the paper while she considered the nosy move “unexpectedly friendly,” she was already planning on voting for Gingrich in the primary: “That had nothing whatsoever to do with my opinion.”
Gingrich led the pack of GOP candidates in Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
The South Carolina resident sounds tickled by the White House hopeful’s touch of her smeller, saying, “It’s really funny, isn’t it? It was something you would expect your best friend would do if you said that.”
And Ellison’s husband, J.M., doesn’t seem too threatened by Gingrich warming up his wife’s frozen nose: “I thought it was right cute.”