Saturday, May 28, 2011

Newt will be at another Republican Jewish Coalition meeting

On June 12 -- one day before the next GOP Presidential debate -- Newt will be all the way across the country at a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting. The event will be in Beverly Hills.

President Reagan's son Michael will be there, as will House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy.

The event's website is here.

Apologies to subscribers of this blog

A reader e-mailed me this morning about the fact that for those of you who have subscribed via e-mail that when I embed videos, they do not show up in the e-mail. (They just show up on the actual website.) Thus I will try to remember to include the link to any videos in the future.

Here is the link to Newt's interview with The Conway Sun and his appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Sorry for the oversight, and thank you for reading this blog.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Video of Newt at Republican Jewish Coalition Meeting

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Video of Newt speaking to New Hampshire paper

Newt at the offices of The Conway Sun:

Was the D.C. establishment -- gasp -- wrong about Newt's campaign?

Just a week or so ago, the common wisdom among journalists inside Washington D.C. was that Newt's campaign -- due to the comments about Paul Ryan and the surrounding dust up -- was on life support. Some even suggested he would drop out before July.

Then, the reports of overflow crowds at each and every of his Iowa appearances began to trickle in. As Newt has noted, the only national reporter to actually show up was NPR's Mara Liasson, who said the crowds and enthusiasm was nothing like she was hearing back in D.C. Chuck Todd, NBC's White House Correspondent, tweeted: "As folks prepare Sunday columns writing off Gingrich, riddle this: he's attracting large crowds; Conservative elite-Iowa grassroots split?"

Then, Newt has been in New Hampshire the past two days, talking to about 600 people total, says The Washington Post.

photo: R.C. Hammond

While the actual voters showed no interest in Newt's jewelry purchases, Nia-Malika Henderson passes along the following exchange with a fellow reporter and Newt:
Will your charge account at Tiffany sink your campaign, a Reuters reporter asked.

“I want you all to notice, finally, the citizens having failed to raise the most important question of the day. I was asked about a charge account at Tiffany’s,” he said, standing before a crowd of about 200 people, who didn’t boo but laughed at his sarcasm. “Now, I’m grateful that somebody here finally had the courage to go to one of the hot-button issues that will change America’s future.”
Henderson quotes Newt: “I’ve got to be more careful and make certain that it’s virtually impossible to misunderstand what I’m saying. I’ve got to be less academic and more explicit,” he said at the Conway Diner. “And we’ve got to get faster at responding to stories that are just totally false. We are still a half-step behind doing that. We eventually burn them out, but it takes longer than it should.”

Henderson included an interesting tidbit that I have not seen reported yet: "Over the next week, Gingrich will work on two major speeches to be delivered in June, one on foreign policy and another on the Federal Reserve."

So Newt had a great response in Iowa and New Hampshire (and he will be in South Carolina Friday, where he will discuss the federal power reach in the Boeing case.) National polls (here and here) show Newt still in good position.

With all that, it looks like the D.C. media was wrong about trying to stick a fork in Newt's campaign. Not that surprising when you consider just a few things the media has been wrong about;

It was also wrong about Ronald Reagan being unelectable. And wrong about Reagan's economic policies. (As Reagan himself said: "I could tell our economic policy was working when [the media] stopped calling it Reaganomics.") And Reagan's foreign policy.

The media laughed at Newt when he said the Republicans would gain a majority in the House. They said he would never become Speaker. Then they doubted Newt and the House Republicans would fulfill the Contract with America. Then the media doubted that welfare reform could be passed. And when it was passed, they predicted terrible things for those leaving welfare, not two of every three either going to work or school. The media said it was impossible to balance the budget.

So does it surprise anyone that they were wrong about this?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Newt announces his national co-chairs and Georgia chair

Former Georgia Govs. Sonny Perdue and Zell Miller, who also served as a U.S. Senator, will serve as national chairmen of Gingrich’s campaign. Miller, a Democrat, famously denounced John Kerry at the 2004 Republican National Convention and supported George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

Current Gov. Nathan Deal will chair Gingrich's campaign in Georgia.

“I’m proud to have three very important Georgians helping lead our campaign,” Gingrich said in a statement. “Sonny, Zell and Nathan are good friends and have always provided good counsel. They will be there very important voices as we talk to the American people about the right policies we need to win the future."

"America, at this critical juncture, needs a leader who has the discernment and understanding of where America needs to go, and the courage and leadership to implement that vision,” Perdue said in a statement. “Newt Gingrich has what it takes to do both."

“Newt is a leader,” Miller said in a statement. “Newt’s election as president is critical to the future of our country. We need a leader who has proven they can make big things happen. You don’t do big things by being a wall flower.”

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Gingrich said he will play in all the early states and has asked his supporters in Georgia to split their time campaigning between the neighboring states of Florida and South Carolina. Gingrich’s campaign is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.

Newt on CNBC's Squawk Box (video)

Peter Ferrara: Newt would "restore booming, long-term, job-creating economic growth"

Conservative policy expert Peter Ferrara attended Newt's speech in front of Art Laffer's group. Laffer, who was instrumental in the Reagan administration's economic policies, said of the speech: "The combination of pro-growth tax reform, spending restraint, and sound money will restore robust economic growth with low unemployment and low inflation," notes Ferrara.

Ferrara, who "served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan," applauds the tax reforms Newt is proposing -- such as an optional 15% flat tax on personal income, a 12.5% corporate tax rate, the elimination of the capital gains tax, abolishing the death tax, and ending all forms of double taxation. "Gingrich's plan also provides for 100% expensing of investment in new equipment so American workers can work with the most technologically advanced tools in the most advanced factories in the world," Ferrara writes.

But the Gingrich plan goes beyond tax policy. He would reverse the fundamental Bush blunder of a cheap dollar policy, which pumped up the housing bubble with loose monetary policy. That blunder has been multiplied many times over under Obama, just as Obama has done with everything that Bush did wrong. Gingrich proposes instead to return to the Reagan-era, stable dollar monetary policies that halted the runaway inflation of the 1970s, never to be heard from again, until recently. He also proposes fundamental Fed reform to provide for transparency of all Fed activities, and permanently end bailout abuses.
He continues with Newt's plan for removing job-killing regulations:
Another major component of the plan is deregulation. Gingrich proposes to outright repeal Sarbanes-Oxley, which only adds unnecessary costs that have deterred job-creating investment in the United States and undermined the international competitiveness of America's financial industry. He proposes to repeal as well the Community Reinvestment Act, which was abused to help cause the financial crisis. He called as well for breaking up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and moving their smaller successors off government guarantees and into the free market.

Underlining his opposition to any cap and trade policies, Gingrich proposed to replace the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency. That is to achieve a fundamental change in environmental policies from anti-growth confrontation with industry to collaboration with job creators to achieve better overall results. He also proposes to modernize the Food and Drug Administration, recognizing the need to get lifesaving medicines and technologies to patients faster, and to remove cost barriers to their rapid development.

Deregulation is also central to the American energy policy Gingrich also advocated. Even at the height of Obamamania in the summer and fall of 2008, Gingrich's "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign was instrumental in leading then President Bush to rescind the Executive Order banning offshore drilling, and Congress to let the statutory offshore drilling ban expire. Gingrich last Friday called for freeing the energy industry to maximize production of all forms of American energy, from oil to natural gas to clean coal to nuclear power to all forms of alternative fuels. That would assure the reliable supply of low cost energy essential to fueling a booming economy.
On government spending, Ferrara writes:
Gingrich also called for a balanced budget, first through restoring booming economic growth that would revive surging revenues and itself reduce spending obligations. But that would also involve sharp spending reductions and money-saving reforms that were specified in detail in his 2010 book To Save America, similar to the policies adopted by the Republican Congressional majorities he led in the 1990s to balance the budget then, as discussed further below.

That would also include fundamental entitlement reforms. In To Save America, Gingrich explicitly called for each worker to have the freedom to choose personal savings, investment, and insurance accounts eventually to finance all of the Social Security and Medicare benefits now financed by the payroll tax, eventually displacing that tax entirely. He also called for sending all federal welfare programs back to the states with the same welfare block grant reforms adopted in 1996, as also discussed below. The reduction in federal spending that would ultimately result from such reforms would be unprecedented.
One of the money quotes from Ferrara: "Just as Reaganomics created a record-smashing, world-leading, 25-year economic boom, the comprehensive economic policies Gingrich advanced last Friday would in my opinion restore booming, long-term, job-creating economic growth to America.

Ferrara on Newt's record as Speaker of the House:
Gingrich's record as Speaker of the House in the 1990s provides a strong foundation of credibility for these policies. His famed budget clash with President Clinton leading to a government shutdown resulted in policies that not only balanced the budget but produced $560 billion in budget surpluses over four years from 1998 to 2001. That resulted from cutting rather than increasing tax rates, most particularly a nearly 30% cut in capital gains rates, and sharply restrained spending that allowed revenues from the growing economy to surge past spending.

Total federal discretionary spending, as well as the subcategory of non-defense discretionary spending, declined from 1995 to 1996 in actual nominal dollars. By 2000, total federal discretionary spending was still about the same as it was in 1995 in constant dollars. As a percent of GDP, federal discretionary spending was slashed by 17.5% in just four years, from 1995 to 1999. Total federal spending relative to GDP declined from 1995 to 2000 by 12.5%, a reduction in the federal government relative to the economy of about one-eighth in just five short years.

This was accomplished in part by important entitlement reforms. The New Deal era Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program was sent back to the states with federal spending on the program limited to finite block grants for each state that remained flat in nominal terms for at least a dozen years, saving taxpayers hundreds of billions over that time from prior trends. Two-thirds of those on the program went to work as a result, and enjoyed a 25% increase in family income. Gingrich also led adoption of Freedom to Farm, which provided for a phase-out of New Deal era farm subsidies.

It was after Gingrich retired as Speaker and Bush was elected that the Republicans lost control of spending, more than reversing the Gingrich gains with a one-seventh increase in government spending relative to GDP. The Congress ditched Freedom to Farm, although the AFDC block grants survived because they were so undeniably so successful.

Gingrich successfully led a national revolution against the Democrats before, rising from the backbenches of the House to guiding a persistent Republican takeover of Congress for the first time in 70 years, continuing for a dozen years. Can he do that again?
Ferrara, back in November, also was very complimentary of Newt. My post on that can be read here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Iowa Republican: No campaign can yet draw crowds like Newt's

Kevin Hall of The Iowa Republican wrote an article today in which he discussed the great week Newt had in the Hawkeye State -- despite the bad national press the former Speaker received.

One week after he launched his presidential campaign, the pundits were declaring Gingrich had already lost. However, if you attended any of Gingrich’s town hall meetings across Iowa, you saw quite a different story. At every single one of his 17 stops, Gingrich packed the house. The other presidential candidates would love to be able to draw crowds the way Gingrich did last week. At this point, none of them have proven they can. caught up with Gingrich toward the end of the tour on Friday, after he talked to a crowd of 65 in Le Mars.

"The fascinating thing is, of all the people who talk on Washington television, only one has come to Iowa to see what’s actually happening," Gingrich said. "And she ended up saying 'You know, this is a real campaign, with real support,' and she was just totally turned around because she came to two meetings, they were both overflow, they both had to go to a bigger room. And she looked around and she said 'This doesn't resemble anything the Washington reporters are talking about.' So, I invite anybody who would like to see what’s happening in the real campaign to come out and spend a day with me."

Hall: "Although Gingrich might have been exhausted from his interminably long week, you would not have known it once he began speaking to the Le Mars crowd. Gingrich’s appeal comes in his ability to talk about complicated policy issues and break them down into simple terms. Frankly, there is no politician in America that can match Gingrich’s ability to do this. That is what made him such a popular guest on Fox News Channel."

"Well, I think if you asked the people in there, I suspect none of them thought this was the end of the road," Gingrich said. "I think they thought it was the beginning of the road."

Hall added: "That road to the Iowa Caucus is an extremely long one. Perhaps Newt’s biggest potholes and speed bumps are behind him."

While Newt received terrible press nationally, actual voters -- the very ones who will determine the first nominating contest -- are turning out in droves for Newt, who are apparently paying no attention to the Washington establishment media.

Hall's point about no other campaign being able to attract such a large crowd is very important anywhere but especially in Iowa, whose caucus is all about organization. Newt appears to be in the lead in that regard.

It is also not the first time someone writing for The Iowa Republican was impressed by a large crowd Newt attracted in Iowa. The previous event was even before Newt had officially entered the race and was a screening of his documentary Rediscovering God in America, which, as the author noted at the time, had been aired on FOX News "numerous times."
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