On a day when the Dow fell over 512 points, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich laid out policies that he believes could quickly end the nation’s financial woes. Gingrich was the special guest at a Polk County GOP fundraiser Wednesday evening, held in the back yard of former Iowa congressman Greg Ganske. 85 local Republicans dodged raindrops and crowded under a tent to listen to Gingrich’s message.
“We could turn this around in a matter of months with the right policies,” Gingrich said. “There’s no effort at long term spending control that’s going to work at 9 percent unemployment. If you want to get back to a balanced budget, you have to get back to about 4 percent, because you have to generate people leaving welfare, leaving food stamps, leaving Medicaid, going back to work, paying taxes, taking care of their families. Otherwise, nothing’s going to work. America only works when Americans are working.”
Gingrich’s vision for putting Americans back to work follows a Reaganesque model of cutting taxes on capital gains and corporations, eliminating the death tax and allowing Americans to write-off the purchase of new equipment. “I want a very big bias in favor of American workers having the most modern, most productive, most creative equipment in the world,” Gingrich said. “That is the only way to compete with China.”
The GOP presidential candidate also launched several stinging rebukes of President Obama. “You have somebody who is very effective at being a radical, so he rams through ObamaCare, but he’s totally incompetent at running the government. So he says with great surprise, ‘Gosh, I didn’t realize shovel ready didn’t meant shovel ready’. It’s pretty pathetic for the President of the United States to say ‘I spent $800 billion of your money on a misunderstanding’”.
Although he is often credited with engineering the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, Gingrich has struggled with his own campaign. The departure of several key staffers, a campaign debt of $1 million and low poll numbers have hounded Gingrich since his official launch in mid-May.
That campaign debt is one of the reasons Gingrich opted not to purchase a space at the upcoming Ames Straw Poll. However, he will be one of nine candidates on the ballot. “I have no idea how we’ll do in Ames,” Gingrich said. “We’re not spending any money in Ames. We’re going to focus on where delegates come from. What we’d really like your help with is the Caucus in January.”
Gingrich said he expects August to be his most difficult month for raising money, but tried to reassure the crowd that his candidacy is still very much alive. “I believe this is one of those unique years that happens every once in a while, where substance is more important than personality and substance is more important than gossip,” he said.
Paying homage to former Iowa Governor Robert Ray, who was sitting in the front row, Gingrich opened and closed his speech by speaking of the need for “inclusion” in the Republican Party. “We need a practical visionary who cares about the entire country,” Gingrich said. “Governor Ray was a practical visionary who cared about the entire state.”
Gingrich concluded by saying he has designed his campaign “around inclusion more than outreach”, and mentioned his work with several ethnic groups. At the beginning of the event, Gingrich met privately with a dozen Chinese foreign exchange students who have volunteered for the Polk County GOP at a handful of events over the summer.
The speech was well received at the Polk County GOP crowd. He received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the event. Newt Gingrich continues to be a fascinating figure for Republicans, but also a conundrum. One prominent attendee told TheIowaRepublican.com, there is no one he would rather listen to for two hours, but he will not support Gingrich until he shows he can run a disciplined campaign.
Photo by Dave Davidson Prezography.com
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