Thursday, April 21, 2011

Newt's day in New Hampshire talking with tea party and local GOP groups

Yesterday, Newt met with "[a]bout 15 people" affiliated with tea party and GOP groups in New Hampshire at the Orchard Street Chop House -- a local steakhouse -- and the topics discussed included energy policy and balancing the federal budget.

Newt criticized the current administration's policy of restricting American energy -- while at the same time subsidizing foreign exploration. "Obama praises Brazilians for drilling offshore but stops Americans," the former Speaker said. "We need an American energy policy."

Jennifer Keefe writes:
But foremost on the minds of those in attendance was the need for balancing the federal budget and tackling the country's deficit — tasks Gingrich said are completely possible because he was responsible for doing just that as Speaker of the House under former President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999.

"We've got to go back to a balanced budget. We didn't raise taxes, we cut taxes," he said of his tenure as speaker. "We wanted to create jobs. I'm the only speaker of the house to balance the budget."


Gingrich echoed the conservative principals of those Tea Party activists in attendance as he denounced the Department of Education as a "centralized bureaucracy" and said power should be given back to the parents. In general, he said, power should be in the hands of local school boards and county officials.
(Another article about the meeting says that Newt called for the abolition of the Department of Education.)

As Newt likes to do, he talked of the larger conservative movement, not -- as most candidates do -- just his campaign:
[Gingrich] said he would be a presidential candidate whose mission is not just to win, but to initiate a political movement and really create a different model.

"An aggressive, confident president who knows what they were doing could get a lot accomplished in a short time," he said.
"Gingrich said the next presidential election will be decided on three issues: values, economics and national security," writes Clynton Namuo. Gingrich added that currently America is failing in all three areas.

This meeting is another example of Newt courting local tea party groups.

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