Newt Gingrich Issues A Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share  Shortly after the President delivered his 65 minute long, third State of the Union Address and set the stage for his reelection campaign, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, issued a rebuttal to the President’s remarks.

In his response, Gingrich aggressively characterized the President’s stated vision as one of big government, bureaucratic control, and as one strives to create a food stamp economy designed to make Americans dependent upon government.

Newt Gingrich’s SOTU Response

“We have a crisis of work in this country and tonight President Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth. Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes. But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth.

Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome. Here we have to confront the truth about President Obama.  Economic growth and prosperity is not really at the top of his agenda. He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair. For the president and a large part of the political class, it’s about their power, their right to rule.  They just want to take money from Joe the Plumber – the small business people who makes over 90 per cent of the new jobs — and redistribute it to the government bureaucracy and their political friends and allies. 

That’s why so much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn’t create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support President Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party. No better example of this exists than in the crisis of American energy. President Obama and his political allies – not of few of whom love living in energy inefficient houses or driving gas-guzzling luxury vehicles – openly admit they want gas prices to remain high so that the rest of America will learn to live more modestly.

They think it’s good for rest of us.  Only recently, the president canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have created countless new jobs and helped America on the way to energy independence because he wanted to appease the far left of his party.  And yet not a single word on the Keystone XL pipeline tonight. To create jobs and growth in this country, we must start with dramatic tax reform that lowers taxes and maximizes capital investment and job creation. We must return to a dollar as good as gold whose purchasing power is the same in thirty years as it is today.  We must dramatically expand American energy production. We must have smarter regulation at the same time we abolish destructive and costly regulatory systems beginning with Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

And finally, unlike the current administration, we must have faith in job creators.  With these policies the state of the union will be much better.  They will create an explosion in job creation and lead to robust economic growth and a return to prosperity.  Furthermore, a paycheck economy will put us on a path to balanced budgets and paying down our national debt.”

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Does Newt Really Have The Momentum to Keep Winning?

Bookmark and Share  If one were to look at Florida, the answer is yes.

Since his exceptionally strong, first place, landslide victory in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Newt Gingrich has at least temporarily established himself as the only candidate with momentum on his side.

Ron Paul, and his supposed ever growing massive number of supporters doesn’t seem to be quite as massive or as rapidly growing as once thought, since his last place showing in South Carolina, and he has all but conceited the election and admitted that he is just in this thing not win, but to pick up enough delegates to finally become politically relevant.

Rick Santorum, has gone from being the surprise underdog winner of the Iowa Caucus to being the man who many question why he is still running.  And Mitt Romney has seen himself gone from a frontrunner and the inevitable nominee, to being the candidate who many are  beginning to feel that if he hasn’t locked up the nomination yet, he may never do it.

But Newt Gingrich’s recent resurrection, from political death which propelled him to become the winner of the first in the South Primary has clearly set the stage for him to finally hit a stride that will make this a two man race between himself and Mitt Romney.

In less than 24 hours of his winning South Carolina, Newt raised a million dollars and since than he has more than doubled that total. Furthermore; in Florida, Gingrich has opened seven  offices with two more yet to be opened, hired 14 paid staffers and signed up 5,000.  By contrast, Romney’s campaign had just five staffers and three offices in Florida by early this week. And on top of that, when it concerns the polls, Gingrich has gone from 27% last week, to 35% this week, a swing of eight percent which now finds Romney falling two percent and in to second place.  Such dramatic numbers would certainly indicate that Newt has the wind at his back, while Romney and the others are now encountering strong headwinds in Florida.

Normally, even though these are solid signs for Newt, I would not be very confident in his ability to keep this recent turn of events moving in his direction.  In the past Newt’s proclivity for the untraditional has forced him to rely on instincts which motivate him to go with unconventional strategies, strategies which, like his previous attempt to attack Mitt Romney from the left and go off the deep end by distorting Mitt’s record of success in the free market, have hurt him.  However after Monday night’s debate, Newt demonstrated a degree of political maturity which he has not often displayed prior to now.  He carried himself as a humble frontrunner and held back any desire he may have had to respond to Mitt Romney’s own distortions with any exaggerated flare that could have undermined Newt’s credibility.  Instead it was Mitt Romney who appeared to be desperate and stretching to find any fatal flaws in Newt Gingrich’s record.

In addition to that, up to now, Newt has not had the type of financial resources that permitted him to to take proper advantage of media advertising which helps to carry his message beyond the audiences that may sit and watch the debates which he typically excels in.  And at the same time, even though Mitt Romney has already spent upwards of $10.5 million on Florida advertising,  he is losing ground.  This bodes quite well for Newt who with his coffers filling up, and with the aid a $5 million single donation to a Gingrich Super PAC in Florida, can now chip away at the dominance of Romney’s campaign in the Sunshine State.

But that’s not the only reason I remain optimistic for Newt at least in Florida.

In his attempt to stop the newtmentum, Romney seems to be making some of his first strategic stumbles.  In the most recent debate, while hoping to paint Newt as a Washington insider and influence peddler, he brought up the issue of Medicaid Part D and claimed that Newt was paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation, to lobby Congress Medicaid Part D’s passage.  During Monday’s debate he said to Gingrich;

“If you’re getting paid by health companies, if your  entities are getting paid by, and you then meet with Republican congressmen and  encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you  like. I call it influence peddling” .

The argument could potentially have legs, but not in Florida, where the nation’s largest population of senior citizens benefitted from the program and where Gingrich successfully dismissed Romney’s claims and accused Mitt of being a serial twister of the truth.   Gingrich countered Mitt’s charge in part by stating

 “I think it’s pretty clear to say that I have never,  ever gone and done any lobbying,”

 He also added that he was  proud of the fact that he publicly, openly advocated the prescription drug program.

That last statement was essentially the punch that ended and won that round for Newt.  It successfully appealed to the very large senior citizen voting bloc in Florida, the voters who when it’s time to cast their ballots, happen to turn out in the largest numbers .

Additionally, Romney seems to be counting on tieing Newt Gingrich to the tide of foreclosures in Florida.

Florida took a hit second only to Nevada in the housing crisis and by claiming Newt made money from Freddie Mac which essentially oversaw the creation and bursting of the housing bubble, he is hoping that Floridians who lost their homes will see Newt Gingrich as the villain who profited from their losses.  The problem is that Republicans are not buying what Mitt is trying to sell in that area of political campaigning.  And another thing to note is that those individuals who lost their homes because they provided mortgages that they were not qualified for in the first place, are not voting for either Newt or Mitt.  So clearly, Mitt Romney is throwing a wildly wrong  pitch and throwing it to the wrong people.

Then there is something else working against Mitt in Florida.

Unlike the previous three contests, Florida is a closed primary.

In a closed primary or caucus, only registered members of a Party may vote in that Party’s primary and Independents, those not registered with either major Party, are not permitted to vote in either major Party’s primary. Democrats who may like Mitt Romney’s moderate image, will not be able to influence who Republicans nominate as their Party’s candidate.  This is the way I believe it should be.  It is also one of the reasons why Ron Paul has written Florida off.  Since his hero worshippers from outside of the G.O.P. and within the sphere of liberal-tarian lunacy, can not sabotage the Republican process, they are picking up their toys and not playing in the Sunshine State.  All of this is good news for Newt, who if he keeps it together, just might be able to extend his good fortune into the forseeable future.

But even if he does hold it together in Florida, he will still forced to confront some very rough seas.

Following Florida will be two contests that Mitt Romney so far looks unbetable in….Nevada and Michigan.  This will provide at least a psychological sense of momentum that swings back towards Mitt  and away from Newt.  When that time comes, Newt will have to confront his challenge, a challenge that will force him to prove he has the staying power to comeback, and put Romney back on the ropes.  So far Newt has proven that he has considerable political stamina, but if he wins Florida, he will have to turn that stamina in to a knockout punch that he can land sometime after Nevada and Michigan.  If he can’t land such a punch, Republicans could very easily end up seeing this race last longer than the 2008 Democrat nomination between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or worse…….maybe even the first brokered convention since 1976 when President Gerald Ford was almost dumped by the Party in exchange for future President Ronald Reagan.

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New Gingrich Ad Pits the Timid “Massachusetts Moderate” Against the “Bold Reagan Conservative”

Bookmark and Share    That’s how former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is shaping the race and a new ad of his frames that comparison between himself and Mitt Romney. [see the ad below this post]

It is Newt Gingrich’s version of a negative ad and many may now jump on Newt to claim that he was the one candidate who promised not to go negative.  But the truth is that s far as negative ads go, Newt’s new 30 second commercial is hardly an attack ad.  It is a comparison of ideological approaches and conservative accomplishments that raises the question, who is more capable of advancing a conservative agenda in government?

Furthermore you will note the ads lack of references to Mitt’s personal life or attempts to characterize Mitt Romney as evil or incompetent. Newt’s ad simply asks Republicans if they want to try to preserve our nation’s future with a timid conservative agenda or proven, bold conservative leadership.  In fact, the toughest line of attack that Newt is now using against Romney is his now standard reference to Mitt as a “Massachusetts Moderate”.   Gingrich could really bitter and use the “L” word, but he doesn’t.  Instead, he wisely combines the words “Massachusetts” and “moderate”, knowing full well that when put together most people automatically think of the “L” word and get the inference to Romney being a liberal, but without ever saying it.  Besides, Newt’s decision to use Mitt’s record to paint him as a candidate who is “to the left of most Republicans”  seems much more believable and legitimate than trying to argue that Mitt Romney is a liberal. And in the end, if Romney does become the nominee, what’s the worst Newt can be accused of calling Romney………. a “moderate”.  In the general election, that will only be to Mitt’s advantage

The promotional piece is actually more of a fair comparison than an attack ad and it presents the case for Newt convincingly and politely.

For me the ad also offers a sense relief.

When it was determined that Newt placed fourth place in the Iowa Caucus, he addressed supporters and showed sign of disappointment and even anger, anger over the more than $8 million dollars in negative ads that saw his one time high of 31% in Iowa fall to slightly more than 13%.  His speech also seemed to focus much of that anger on Mitt Romney who along with a pro Romney Super PAC were responsible for most of those attack ads.    Newt’s demeanor and words left me fearing that he was about to lose sight of the bigger picture and simply focus on exacting a degree of revenge on Mitt Romney that would end up being mutually detrimental.

But as it turns out, Newt is apparently being true to his word that he will not resort to negative attacks but will offer honest comparisons.  And as long as Newt continues to conduct himself in this manner, I am confident that under the current circumstances, the strategy he is moving forward with is the only smart way to go.

Newt could turn his attention to Rick Santorum, the newest Phoenix in the Republican presidential field,  but with the limited money Gingrich has available to him and given the unlikely chance of anyone, including Rick Santorum, beating Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, it is only logical that Newt remain focussed on Romney.  While Republicans have not yet totally determined who the best alternative to Romney is, it is understood that Romney is the man to beat.  So right now the best thing Newt can do is offer evidence of his being a more reliable conservative than Romney and hope that Romney chips away at Rick Santorum in an attempt to prevent him from gaining any more momentum than Santorum already did with the split decision in Iowa.

If that scenario plays out, Newt could survive New Hampshire to a degree that will give him a final chance to prove that he is the conservative with the best chance of beating Romney.

That will leave Republicans with responsibility of having to decide which is more important…….beating Mitt Romney or beating Newt Gingrich.

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Gingrich Super PAC Launches Super Big Ad Buy in Iowa

Bookmark and Share    The individuals behind the pro-Gingrich Super PAC known as Winning Our Future have launched their first ad in Iowa with a reported significant media buy of $250,000.  The ad will run from now through Monday, January 2nd, the day before the Iowa Caucuses.

The ad offers a compelling arguments for those who are still undecided and open to Newt Gingrich’s candidacy.

It tries to play on the strong anti-establishment sentiments that are motivating much of the electorate, including those within the TEA movement.

The ad contends that given the aggressive opposition to Newt’s candidacy that establishment Republicans demonstrated, he is clearly no friend of the establishment.

The point is quite a valid one and one which Newt Gingrich could have and should have run with as soon as the inundation of negative attacks on him began.  Had Newt’s campaign been able to create and focus on a single message that would have defined himself as the anti-establishment candidate, he could have maintained much of the lead that he once held.  But the lack of political discipline and organization of Newt’s campaign failed to capitalize on that and lacked the ability to effectively coordinate such a theme.

Fortunately, the Super PAC, that is not affiliated with Newt’s campaign, has taken it upon themselves to try and do what Newt didn’t and while I think their new ad helps, I believe that it is too little, too late to move Newt’s numbers significantly.  At this stage  of the game in Iowa and New Hampshire, the real focus needs to be on undecided voters and the Get Out the Vote operation.  Unfortunately, Newt lacks the organizational ability to identify those undecided voters and insure that those who are solidly behind him, show up at their precinct’s caucus and make their support official.

Compounding Newt’s problem is his loss of momentum.

If those who are supporting Gingrich come to believe that Newt has slipped so far that it is impossible for him to win, some of those supporters may not bother with the trouble of trudging out to a Caucus on a cold night and listening to an hour of speeches only to see their candidate suffer what they believe is an inevitable defeat.

So while ad likes this can’t hurt, Gingrich needs to somehow excite his supporters and win over a good portion of the very sizeable undecided vote.  Then he needs to make sure they show up at their proper caucus location.  However, at the moment, Newt is conceding the momentum to Ron paul and Mitt Romney and the ground game to Romney, Paul, Bachmann, and Santorum.

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The Grinch that Stole Virginia from Gingrich

Bookmark and Share    Before Christmas day, the electoral Grinch stole Virginia from Gingrich and Perry as the Virginia State Board of Elections ruled that both candidates failed to qualify for a place on their Republican presidential primary ballot.

The fact that the two candidates won’t even be able to compete for the state’s 49 delegates is not good news but unless this becomes one of the closest nomination contests in recent history, something which is quite possible, it should not determine winning or losing the nomination for anyone.  But there is a bigger picture that the failure to qualify for the ballot in Virginia casts a shadow upon for Perry and Gingrich.  It is a glaring sign of what in the end will probably prevent both men from winning the nomination.  It is a sign of a total lack of longterm planning, organization, and coordination.

Deficiencies in such necessary strategic areas, will make it impossible for either to win any of the crucial early state nomination contests that help establish each candidate’s momentum, or lack thereof, in the primaries and caucuses that come later.

This particularly applies to Iowa where out of 3 million residents, less than 120,000 are expected to participate in the actual Caucus on January 3rd.  That means that regardless of how many ads a candidate ran, mailings they have sent, phone calls they made, or hands they shook, come the day of the Caucus, each candidate must somehow find the percentage of voters who are supporting them and make sure that they get to their designated caucus locations, of which there are more than 1,700.

Just like finding a needle in a haystack, doing this  involves time, attention, staff, money, and coordination, all of which Gingrich and Perry are either without or quickly running out of.

The process involves identifying committed supporters, likely supporters, and persuadable voters.  Doing this requires each campaign to devote much time and energy to building a team of dedicated county chairs and precinct captains who help keep track of these people, target them with specific messages and make sure they vote in the caucus.  One good way to help that process of building an organization capable of doing that is by each candidate going out of their way to get the backing of federal, state and local officials, who have influence among their local constituents and already have a political organization of their own that they can lend to the candidate whom they do endorse.  Unfortunately for Gingrich and Perry, it is now too late for that part of the process.  Not having done enough of that prior to this point, leaves both men a ta great disadvantage, especially when compared to Mitt Romney who has had an organization in place in Iowa since before 2008, and Ron Paul who also has an organization in place since 2008 and whose supporters are diehards that work on behalf of their man relentlessly.

This lack of organization and planning is exactly why Gingrich and Perry failed to get on the ballot in Virginia and to be quite honest, it is an amateur mistake that is embarrassing setback for both of these experienced political hands.

The petition process that Gingrich and Perry failed at is an entrance level class of politics 101 and to be incapable of fulfilling that most basic aspect of the political process raises significant questions of competency.

The petition is not always easy but anyone who knows anything about the process understands that it is critically important to the viability of a candidacy.

Each state has different requirements for ballot access.  Some state’s require a fee, others requires a simple signature, and many require a certain amount of signatures.  In the case of Virginia, to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, a candidate needs to secure the signatures of 10,000 registered Republican Virginia voters and they must also acquire a certain percentage of those signatures from each of the state’s congressional districts.

But it is not as simple as that.

In addition to the signature of those voters, it is required that their addresses are also filled out.  Additionally, may states also require that the individuals who collect those signatures, be state residents who are registered Republicans and properly fill out the bottom of the petition which usually confirms that they witnessed the signing of the petition by each person named on it.

These requirements often allow for many signatures to be disqualified because of technicalities.  That is also why well organized campaigns usually submit twice as many signatures than required and carefully double check their own petitions before filing them and closely scrutinize the petitions of their opponents after they have filed them.

The scrutiny of petitions is what gave birth to the presidency of Barack Obama.

As we all know, Barack Obama was only in the senate for less than two years before he became President and we also know that he won election to to the U.S. Senate after a series of scandals left Obama without a viable Republican in the general election.  But what few people realize is that Obama first won elected office by using Chicago political tactics and knocking his Democrat opponents for the state senate, including incumbent Alice Palmer, off the ballot because of a technicality on their nominating petitions.  With no Democrat primary opponent to run against in a state senate district where the Democratic nomination is tantamount to winning the general election, this meant that Barack Obama came to power by default.

But the story is an example of just how important the petition is and why it is crucial for a candidate to pay attention to their petition process.

Unfortunately, Perry and Gingrich did not do this.

Others like Bachmann, Santorum, John Huntsman, and Gary Johnson did not even have the resources to try to get on Virginia’s ballot. But that was not Gingrich and Perry’s problem.  Their problem was that their campaign’s lack the discipline to pay attention to the details that matter and this lack of attention to detail will cost both Gingrich and Perry and Iowa.

On the flip-side, as I have said many times over the past year, Mitt Romney’s has the most effective, professional, and smooth running  organization of all the candidates in the race.  That edge is invaluable and while it may not be enough to get him a first place finish in Iowa, it will be enough to allow him to finish strong, stay in the game, and continue to strengthen his organization in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.

While this recent turn of events in Virginia is disappointing for both Perry Gingrich, it is more of a blow to Newt than Perry.

Perry’s campaign fell apart two months ago after his initial horrendous debate performances.  But at the same time Perry fell apart, Newt began to surge.  However;  many people know that Gingrich’s lack of discipline is one of his biggest problems and it plays a big role in the negative impression that Newt has when it comes to electability.  That negative impression was simply reinforced by the shoddiness of his campaign that prevented Newt from getting on the Virginia primary ballot.

Ironically, Newt Gingrich knows that organization is his weakness.  That is one reason why, two months ago, he decided to try to create a real organization in South Carolina, where he intends to build a firewall and take the lead in the nomination contest.  It is in  South Carolina where Gingrich has hired regional and statewide staffers and opened multiple campaign headquarters.  And currently, Newt is still leading in South Carolina.  But that may soon change.

South Carolina’s popular governor, Nikki Haley endorsed Mitt Romney and as a result, Romney will have easy access to the state Party apparatus.  Coupled with the organization Mitt already has in place, he will still probably wind up with an organizational advantage over Newt.  Especially when it comes to the Get Out the Vote operation.

So in the end, this Christmas season has provided us with new seasonal story….the one about the organizational Grinch that stole the election away from Newt Gingrich.  And even though we have not yet heard the end of the story, it is pretty clear that short of a Christmas miracle, Newt is not likely to hammer together the type of strong organization that is required to rewrite what is becoming an obvious conclusion.

Of course their are other opinions such as those of White House 2012 writer IkeFriday, who in his own post about the Virginia ballot episode, notes that candidates may have simply been caught off guard after Virginia suddenly changed the rules regarding their ballot earlier this month.

Friday’s point is an extremely valid one and one that I believe would in fact provide the type of evidence that could win a court ruling in Newt’s favor and get him on the ballot.  However; as someone who has had to deal with New York election laws, the most arcane ones in the nation, as frustrating as the process may be, I find there to be no excuse for a top tier presidential candidate’s campaign organization to be incapable of staying on top of things and mastering the most basic and necessary aspect of the election process, getting your name on the ballot so the people can vote for you.  This is not enough to cause me to stop supporting Gingrich’s candidacy, but as a supporter of Newt and his presidential candidacy, it is my hope that this incident is enough to knock some sense in to the managerial aspect of his campaign.

Hopefully, Newt will not get caught off guard like this again, and in case his campaign is finally beginning to look ahead, I am hereby volunteering my services to manage Newt’s effort to get his name on the ballot in New Jersey.

With Governor Christie backing Mitt Romney, it may not be rich territory for Newt, but if this nomination contest does turn out to be close, my state’s pitifully late June 5th presidential primary and its 50 delegates could prove to be much more important than they are now.  And at the very least, Newt might just want to force Mitt to spend money in New Jersey, where to reach all the voters, you must spend big bucks in the two media markets that it takes to get through to Jersey voters……..the New York media market which is the most expensive in the nation, and the Philadelphia market, the third most expensive in the nation.

 

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See the Entire Video of Newt Gingrich’s Fox News Interview with Greta Van Susteren

Bookmark and Share   In a relatively extensive interview with Newt Gingrich on Fox News, host Greta Van Susteren presses the former Speaker of the House on his earenings from Freddie Mac.  He also offers his opinion on how law enforcement and Mayors should handle the Occupy protests.

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Gingrich Organizes the Most Aggressive Campaign of All the Candidates in South Carolina

  Bookmark and Share   With about ten weeks to go before South Carolina holds it’s primary which continues to become more and more important with each presidential election cycle, CNN reports that Newt Gingrich has established the largest campaign organization in the state of all his Republican presidential rivals.  Of course the numbers that determine this footprint are all in the single digits.  The two second largest campaign organizations in the state goes to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Texas Governor Rick Perry.  They have seven staffers a piece.  Newt Gingrich has two more, for a total of nine.

Herman Cain currently has four paid staffers in the state, while former ambassador and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s campaign has three people on staff, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has just two.

This CNN report stemmed from a Newt Gingrich inspired press release that his campaign issued early on Monday.  In it, Newt’s campaign announced that two long term advisors recently moved to South Carolina to direct Newt 2012′s First in the South primary bid.  they are Adam Waldeck who will serve as State Director and Vince Haley who will serve in the capacity of Policy Director.

Newt’s campaign already had seven paid staffers which included several veteran activists and tea party leaders.  And it also has in place a  statewide team that will  serve as Regional Directors.  That organizational effort will include Joshua Putnam, the youngest state representative currently serving in South Carolina’s legislature as the  Upstate coordinator, DeLinda Ridings.  Ridings was the South Carolina filed director for Jon Huntsman as recently as last week.   Newt’s South Carolina organizational team will also include Myrtle Beach TEA movement  Gerri McDaniel  (aka: GeekGirl2U), will help organize the so-called Pee Dee region, Chris Horne, a TEA movement veteran, preacher and internet marketing expert will lead the effort in Charleston, and also  hailing from the Charleston area is Joanne Jones, Vice Chairman of the Charleston Tea Party.  Jones who will organize coalitions for the campaign.

Newt’s South Carolina Deputy State Directors are Ruth Sherlock and Leslie Gaines, the managing partners of Sherlock and Gaines Consulting Group based in Greenville.

While Newt’s campaign simply announced the the addition of the latest new additions to the South Carolina team of staffers, it was CNN which decided to declare that Gingrich now has the “largest campaign footprint” in South Carolina and although the story is factually true, it is an inaccurate depiction of the real picture.

In truth, it is Mitt Romney who has the best campaign footprint in South Carolina.  It is the impression that he left since he first ran for President in 2oo8.  Even though that organization has not yet been activated, let there be no mistaking the ability for mit to materialize, especially if popular South Carolina Governor Niki Haley endorses Mitt Romney.

Several weeks ago, Haley made it clear that will she be endorsing a Republican in the Republican presidential primary.  She also added that she will be backing a true business leader.  That has left White House 2012 wondering if her emphasis on a business leader meant Herman Cain or if it was specifically designed to emphasize Mitt Romney’s business background.  Either way, it looks like Newt won’t have the advantage of Niki Haley behind him.  However, if the organization he has established in South Carolina is as coordinated and well managed as his structure is, he could turn South Carolina into the last stand for other candidates like Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum.  In fact a win by Gingrich in South Carolina will upset the apple cart greatly and make Florida a a primary that seals the deal for someone.

But to make that scenario even more possible for Gingrich, he should also start organizing Iowa and doing so aggressively.  If Newt can take first place in Iowa, not only will his chances for victory in South Carolina be better, winning there will make him the undeniable frontrunner.

All this is speculation, but as polls have Romney mired in the mid twenties and as the air slowly escapes from Herman Cain’;s balloon, which it will continue to do, Newt is quickly becoming the alternative to Romney.  As Leslie Gaines, one of Gingrich’s South Carolina deputy state directors put it to CNN: deputy state directors put it;

“In 2008 Mitt was the conservative choice to McCain,” Gaines said. “I think Newt is our conservative choice this time around.”

And Gaines should know.  In 2008 she briefly served as a fundraising consultant for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential candidacy.

Newt’s statewide headquarters for South Carolina will be having officially be opening this Saturday, November 12, 2011.

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Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America Puts Him In Comfortable Territory

Bookmark and Share     Newt Gingrich revealed his 10-point 21st Century Contract With America in a one hour long speech to about 150 people gathered at  a town hall-style meetings sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, an entity holding a series of such forums with presidential candidates in Iowa.

Some of the key elements of his new contract  include repealing President Barack Obama’s health care plan, giving taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and allowing young people to opt out of Social Security, boosting domestic energy production, easing government regulation of businesses,  curtailing the power of the courts, and providing a boost to medical research aimed at combating diseases like Alzheimer’s. [see details below]

While this new contract is not ground breaking, it is a clearcut plan to apply traditional Republican principles to government and is his attempt to set the tone of the presidential campaign season.  If successful, Gingrich could force candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to play on his turf and give Gingrich an upper hand in the election.  By making his new Contract With America a plan that the ongoing presidential debate addresses, Gingrich will have the opportunity to do something that none of the other candidates can do as well ………………….articulate and defend the conservative cause and its principles.

No one has the ability to define conservative values and policies in the way that Newt does. He has an uncanny ability to explain ideas and issues in a way which defines them in terms that are so easy to relate to, that they are seen as hard to deny, common sense points.  Newt offers a type of simplification and humanization of the issues that is similar to that of Ronald Reagan’s own capacity for making complex issues understood by relating them to the everyday lives of all Americans.  This is Newt Gingrich’s greatest quality.  It his ability to present both his vision and solutions in common sense terms that become undeniably logical and difficult for many to argue against.

His only problem now is making sure that he has enough face time with the Republican electorate to put that talent to work.

Currently Gingrich is lacking both the organization and financial resources to effectively compete with the likes of Romney and Perry and now, even Herman Cain.  This is a point he admitted while at the same time claiming it will not hold him back.  According to Newt, while his campaign war chest may not be able to compete with others, he will compete in the marketplace of ideas, the place that Newt Gingrich is most comfortable in.  Gingrich states, “Voters are so worried about the condition of the country that they are demanding detailed solutions from candidates.”

While Gingrich’s plan is not revolutionary, it does offer significant change for the better and is a step towards the type of total transformation of our existing arcane tax code .  Such change will be required for America to expand its economic growth and be competitive in the global economy.  But while Newt’s plan is a strong solution to our problems, his greatest challenge will be convincing Republican voters that the messenger is as strong a candidate as his message.  That for me is one of the greatest tragedies of the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Newt Gingrich is a conservative hero to me.  He is a man who made it possible for much of the success that conservative policies saw in the late twentieth century.  While he may not have been solely responsible for those successes, he played a major role in developing the policies, shaping the debate, and setting the agenda that ultimately achieved conservative success in the 80’s and 90’s.  Yet despite his being a major architect of contemporary conservatism, he has been to a great degree, sidelined in the 2012 Republican nominating contest because of an incorrect initial perception that he was too much of a lightning rod.

Having not yet endorsed any of those candidates running for the Republican nomination, I for one am still giving Newt a chance to prove himself.  We all should.

If given a chance and a fair hearing, Newt could surprise people.  Not me however.  I am confident that if he is given that chance, people will see that he is the type of leader who is not afraid of introducing new approaches to old problems and is not intimated by new approaches and ways of thinking. In many ways, Newt is a conglomeration of all that the TEA movement stands for.  They are an anti-establishment movement that wants to make sure that government changes its ways.  And while Newt worked within in the establishment, he was always reforming the establishment.  He can still do so.  He is capable of coming up with, and implementing, the plans for change we need to insure that in the 21st century, Americans have a federal government that is based on the needs of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

The media may not want to give him the opportunity to prove that, but as republicans, we should not be so willing to follow the media’s lead.  We should give Newt the chance to prove himself that he deserves.

Executive Summary of Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America

  • Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.
  • Return to robust job creation with a bold set of tax cuts and regulatory reforms that will free American entrepreneurs to invest and hire, as well as by reforming the Federal Reserve and creating a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits to encourage work and improve the quality of our workforce.
  • Unleash America’s full energy production potential in oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, nuclear oil shale and more, creating jobs,  stimulating a sustainable manufacturing boom, lowering gasoline and other energy prices, increasing government revenues, and bolstering national security.
  • Save Medicare and Social Security by giving Americans more choices and tools to live longer, healthier lives with greater financial independence.
  • Balance the federal budget by freeing job-creators to grow the economy, reforming entitlements, and implementing waste cutting and productivity improvement systems such as Lean Six Sigma to eliminate waste and fraud. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep it balanced.
  • Control the border by January 1, 2014 and establish English as the official language of government; reform the legal visa system, and make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law abiding visitors to come to the US.
  • Revitalize our national security system to meet 21st century threats by restructuring and adequately funding our security agencies to function within a grand strategy for victory over those who seek to kill us or limit American power.
  • Maximize the speed and impact of medical breakthroughs by removing unnecessary obstacles that block new treatments from reaching patients and emphasizing research spending towards urgent national priorities, like brain science with its impact on Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health and other conditions knowledge of the brain will help solve.
  • Restore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.
  • Enforce the Tenth Amendment by starting an orderly transfer of power and responsibility from the federal government back “to the states, respectively, or to the people,” as the Constitution requires. Over the next year, state and local officials and citizens will be asked to identify the areas which can be transferred back home.

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Does Newt Gingrich Deserve Another Chance?

Bookmark and Share    Going so long without a clear and popular frontrunner with a willingness to run in the Republican presidential field has forced many to create an almost impossible standard for those who are willing to run or even think about running for President. Republicans have themselves been the most critical but nearly all voters and pundits have become frustrated by the fact that none of the candidates or potential candidates are perfect. While I too would love a perfect candidate to suddenly materialize, I have also come to grips with the fact that there is no perfect candidate. For that reason, perhaps more than most observers, I have had a genuine willingness to give the entire field a fair chance to prove who is the best candidate.

I have been especially willing to give Newt Gingrich a chance.

No matter what, for his past achievements, Newt is a remarkable political leader. But as it turns out, one of the best things about Newt Gingrich, is turning out to be the most damaging thing to his chances of being elected President.

Gingrich is a leader who is eager to think outside of the box and go against the grain. He is undeniably innovative and always seeking and coming up with original legislative solutions that are free market based and require as little government involvement as possible. And while often viewed as an establishment politician, his independent thinking and penchant for going against the flow, makes him a true leader with an anti-establishment streak that could and should appeal to the growing TEA Party movement. Yet these same qualities that make Gingrich a uniquely qualified prospect for President, have come to seemingly derail his presidential candidacy. All of these qualities are based on an apprehension for discipline. Newt prefers to break rules rather than follow them. For him conventional rules lead to traditional thinking which he feels stifles the pace of innovation and leaves one mired in the past.

For Newt, a traditional campaign was not good enough. His dislike of a standard regimen along with a typical politicians ego that has him believing he is so special that he need not run a campaign like “traditional” candidates, has led to the resignation of his leadership team and a short term collapse of his campaign that is looking like the beginning of the end for his presidential ambitions. As such, as talented as Newt Gingrich is, it is becoming apparent that his talents are not suited for being the country’s only nationally elected leader.

In a nation that needs leadership that is modest, honest, and shrewd, I have come to conclude that Newt lacks two out of three of those prerequisites. His lack of modesty prevents him from even being honest with himself. So much so, that he can not, or is not, willing to realize that he is no more special than any other candidate in this race. By not accepting that, Newt is at a disadvantage, a disadvantage that his leadership team sees quite clearly, but that Newt quite clearly does not see. This then begs the question, if Newt is so arrogant that he can’t even properly lead a campaign which is designed to serve his own best interests, than can he do proper service to a job which has the sole purpose of serving the nation’s best interests?

There is still time for Gingrich to prove that he  has the judgment needed. But much of that opportunity requires a willingness by conservatives to still consider Gingrich as a viable candidate.  He may have exhausted their willingness to give him another chance.  But now that hehas  returned from his very inappropriately timed vacation to Greece that followed the bungled announcement of his presidential candidacy, the reality check that the en masse resignation of 16 members of his leadership team provided him, might be enough to get Newt on track. Unless of course it is too late.

Much of the team that abandoned him, quickly aligned themselves with candidates who will are running against Newt. On top of that, some of the other most talented operatives out there have already been snatched up by many of those same candidates. So it is hard to say if Newt can now assemble a major league campaign team with a minor league staff.

As much as I want to give Newt Gingrich a chance to show the promise of his potential that I do believe is there, with the clock ticking, even, I am beginning to close the door on his candidacy. I deeply believe that we have yet to begin to see just how good many of the candidates in the Republican presidential field can be. Part of that thinking is based upon the magic that I know a good campaign do. A good campaign can turn an obscure Governor of a relatively small Southern state and make them the hope of a nation, i.e. Carter and Clinton. But as we have seen with Carter and Clinton, for a good candidate to become a truly good President, they need more than just a good campaign. Eventually the campaign ends and leading must begin. Up till now, despite the personal indiscretions which remained personal and were not national scandals, and despite an initially rocky start to his campaign, I believed that Newt Gingrich could serve the conservative purpose as President. I believed that he could effectively administer limited government in limited areas where it was absolutely necessary but otherwise release the genius of the American people from the chains of excessive regulation and taxation.

The problem is that I also believe there are several others who have that ability. Of those running, or with the realistic potential to run, I believe it could be Palin, Santorum, Romney, Pawlenty, Rick Perry, or even Herman Cain. And right now, after seeing how hard it has been for Newt Gingrich to prove he has the judgment and skills that it takes to administer the conservative ideology that we share into government , I am holding out more hope for any of those other names to have a better ability to do so than Newt seems to have.

I will still keep an open to mind to the possibilities. In 2012 we Republicans must, I repeat, must get it right. And if Newt doesn’t get things right fast, he will remain a leader who I believe did great things as Speaker of the House and who is full of good ideas, but does not have the ability to implement those ideas as President.

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Newt Gingrich Announces His Presidential Candidacy

Gingrich Presents His Tax Plan in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share Speaking to an audience at New Hampshires St. Anselm College in Manchester, Newt Gingrich laid out a tax plan that claims will shift nearly 2/3 of the people on unemployment and dependent on government, into becoming independent, self sufficient, taxpayers and thereby be the single biggest step you can take back toward balancing the budget,

The former Speaker of the House and likely presidential candidate called for cutting the capital gains tax to zero, making the so-called George Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminating the estate tax, an allowance for companies to write off 100% of new equipment purchases in the first year, and a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate.

Gingrich explained that reasonable tax rates will prevent companies like General Electric from sheltering profits to avoid paying federal taxes. He also stated that the slight increase of jobs recently added to the market only occurred after President agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year. He added though, that businesses still remain leery to adding jobs because those tax cuts are set to expire and if they do, businesses will take a hit that they are prepared for.

Gingrichs plan is seemingly sound, but is it truly brave and bold, or is it just the same cut tax mantra that Republicans have always rightly called for? Dont get me wrong, tax cuts are necessary, but we can keep on raising and lowering taxes and tinkering with a broken tax code for the next two hundred years. Or we can fix the broken and antiquated tax system by calling for bold reforms such as a flat tax.

Personally I am disappointed in Newts tax proposal. As someone who has a proven record as an innovator, I expect more from him than the same old solution, a solution we must repeat every time Democrats raise taxes. A Flat tax would truly spur economic growth. In the case of former Soviet bloc nations, such a taxcode created some of the fastest growing economies in the world. A Flat tax is one rate for one nation and its time for Republicans to demonstrate the will to bring about true reform and show some true vision.

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Newt Explore 2012. Gingrich Launches His Presidential Exploratory Committee

NewtExplore2012Bookmark and Share Newt Gingrich today launched his Presidential exploratory committee, not with an announcement and press conference, but with the introduction of Newt Explore 2012, a website for his presidential exploratory committee. In it Newt writes;

“America’s greatness lies in “We the People.”

We are a nation like no other. To remain so will require the dedicated participation of every citizen, of every neighborhood, of every background. This is the responsibility of a free people.

We are excited about exploring whether there is sufficient support for my potential candidacy for President of this exceptional country.”

Newt also set up a Facebook pagefor his exploratory committee.

His website is interactive andin exploring options for his potential candidacy in 2012 he asks that people use his websiteto send him and his teamyour questions and ideas.

The establishment of an exploratorycommittee is a necessary legal step encouraged by federal election law. As an exploratory committee, one can test the waters with polls and trips to events without having to make public where the money comes from.

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Newt Gingrich to Announce First Step in Run for President on Thursday

Bookmark and ShareAs mentioned by White House 2012 this past weekend, Newt Gingrich is said to be beginning a run for the Republican presidential nomination. Sources close to Gingrich and in Washington have reportedly been told to get ready to travel to Atlanta Thursday when Gingrich will announce the creation of a presidential exploratory committee.

Other sources claim that some of the closest aides to the former Speaker are beginning to move their email addresses away from his political organization, American Solutions, and toward a strictly political campaign committee mail address.

As reported here in White House 2012 during January of this year, Gingrich had already picked out office space in Atlanta, Georgia where he intends to base his campaign headquarters.

If Gingrich does indeed announce his creation of a presidential exploratory committee, he will become thefourth major contender to take this first step toward a run for the Presidential nomination. Mitt Romney was the first, Tim Pawlenty, was the second, andboth arestill supposedly in the exploratory stages. Former Rick Santorum is the other major contender to have done the same. Lesser known names who have established exploratory committees include, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, activist Fred Karger of California, and former radio talk show host and Godfather Pizza CEO, Herman Cain.

Establishing exploratory committees are largely a sign of a definite run for President. They are usually precursors that give a candidate two bangs for the buck. It allows them to get the attention of two announcements, the creation of their committee and then their actual official campaign kick off announcement. But it also creates a technical legal ability for a candidate who expects to spend more than $5,000 while contemplating an actual run for office. According to election law, exploratory money may be raised without the full disclosure of sources required of true candidates. Only when the candidate drops the exploratory label does the full responsibility of transparency apply.

In addition to these exploratory committees being used as a transitional phase for their bookkeeping but often mainly for the media attention that they afford to a candidate.

Correction;

In the above post I erroneously stated that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson hasan existingexploratory committee. That is a mistake. Governor Johnson goes to great lengthsto point out that he is not a candidate and is currently operating a 501(c)4 committee, which by law precludes him from running for office through that committee. While Governor Johnson is widely expected to run, he is not officially doing so yet with an exploratory committee.

This is something which I should be acutely aware of since Governor Johnson has declined an interview with White House 2012 on the grounds that he is a 501 (c)4 and not running for President at the moment.

Thanks to White House 2012 readerBen forcorrecting the record.

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Gingrich Tells House Republicans to Place Budget Cuts Over Government Shutdown

Bookmark and Share As President Obama and Senate Democrats face-off with House Republicans on matters of the budget that could force a March 6th shutdown of the federal government, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently penned an excellent editorial in the Washington Post which lent advice to Republicans that wasbased upon his own firs hand experience . It was 16 years ago when the Gingrich led House of Representatives and President Clinton clashed over the budget and actually forced a shutdown of government.

In his editorial Gingrich explains that at a crucial juncture in 1995, after technically fulfilling several budgetary aspects of the Contract With America , he and fellow Republicans weren’t interested in procedural success but instead understood that they were elected to deliver results. So the House Republican leadership decided that they would voluntarily balance the budget eventhough they were unable toachievea balanced budgetamendment mandating such a thing.

The former Speaker states that after the House adopted a timetable and created a plan that would end deficit spending by 2002, the Clinton White House and Senate Democrats set out to test our seriousness. They made a calculated, cynical decision to use the threat of a presidential veto – which would close the government – to insist that we drop our balanced budget.

Gingrich adds that:

it was President Bill Clinton’s veto of our budget in December 1995 that closed the government. The White House knew that it could use the power of the presidency and the support of liberal media to blame us. So, we faced a choice. We could cave in and be accepted by the Washington establishment, or we could stand firm for a balanced budget for the American people. We decided to stick to our principles through a very contentious and difficult period. Our attempt to balance the federal budget was distorted in the news media as an effort to ruin family vacations, frustrate visitors to the nation’s capital and prevent government employees from going to work. For the Republican leadership, the effort to hold together the House and Senate caucuses while negotiating with the White House became extraordinarily exhausting.

But in the end it was Republican determination which ultimately produced the first of four consecutive balanced budgets since the 1920s balanced budgets that paid off more than $450 billion in federal debt, overhauled welfare, strengthened Medicare and enacted the first tax cut in 16 years. Gingrich added;

It was this tax cut that boosted economic growth and allowed us to balance the budget four years earlier than projected. During my years as speaker, more than 8.4 million new jobs were created, reducing the national unemployment rate from 5.6 percent to 4.3 percent.”

After laying out the case Newt urges the G.O.P. to work to keep the government open, unless it requires breaking their word to the American people and giving up their principles. It his belief that House Republicans should give President Obama and Senate Democrats the opportunity to sign significant spending reductions and keep the government open, or to veto their cuts and close the government. And if they go for the second option Republicans must;

make clear that it is their stubborn liberalism that is closing the government.

The approach which Gingrich takes is both a moral one and a strategic one. Morally we as Republicans know that the moral thing to do is to begin to make sure that we stop spending more than we have. Furthermore; we realize that the proper way to do this is by cutting spending not raising taxes. Therefore the Gingrich approach is the right thing to do. It is in fact what they were elected to do.

Strategically though Gingrich is also correct to warn us to preempt the liberal media biases and general liberal spin machine that will undoubtedly try to paint Republicans as the heartless fiends who would should down government and take from the poor to give to the rich.

For Gingrichs advice to work, every Republican entity from the RNC to state and local Republican committees and from the Republican Governors Association the National Republican Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees must get on the same page and join with TEA Party groups across the nation in a campaign that can make Democrats inability to stop spending like drunken sailors the blame for such a a government shutdown.

Only if the forces which elected the new Republican House majority, stay united behind the issues they voted on, and only if House Republicans prove to be committed to those issues will it work. Without such a partnership of commitment to cuts by legislators and of , commitment by voters to the legislators who support such cuts, the news will not be good for the G.O.P. But if this partnership holds firm the real bad guys can take the heat for their real bad decisions.

I would also add this. Republicans should be much more afraid of compromising their principles than of a government shutdown. If they do not go all out to achieve the significant budget cuts they seek, voters will turn their backs on them for years to come. For many voters, 2010 was a last chance for Democrats to prove themselves to be sincere fiscal conservatives not liberal spenders. As such if the government remains open on March 6th but Republicans failed to achieve any significant spending solutions, the majorities that elected them in to office will be much less inclined to vote for them again. On the other hand, if there is a government shutdown and Republicans have shown that it is because Democrats refused to make necessary spending cuts, those who supported them before, will continue to do so and more will join them.

The bottom line is that Newt is right. Now if he is willing to take this message and translate it into a Republican campaign for President, it just make have a lot of play.

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