Saturday, July 16, 2011

My trip to Iowa with the Gingrich campaign (with pictures!)

After I arrived in Iowa yesterday, I went to a game of the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Newt threw out the first pitch, which I was not there for, but I did get to meet him and a couple of his staffers, R.C. Hammond and Michael Krull. Newt visited with many of the fans attending, and had numerous requests for pictures and autographs. (Iowa won, and as a special bonus, there were fireworks after the game.)

Today, we started out going to the zoo in town for the unveiling of their Australia exhibit. From there, it was onto Lamoni, Iowa, where the Southern Iowa Tea Party put on a townhall event.

Before the event, Newt displayed his fluency in Spanish:

He also chatted with a local staffer from Strong America Now:

Then it was time for the actual townhall from inside that school:

I live-tweeted the speech. Here is my full Twitter feed. I will only post a few here:

@newtgingrich in Iowa: We need both a healthy economy and environment. Oppose using environment to destroy American jobs.
(The wording is clumsy on my part. Newt was speaking of those who talk of the environment but who really just want a bigger government, which leads to the loss of jobs and competitiveness.)

Newt: Increased private sector employment fastest way to balanced budget.

Newt: Stock exchange registering in Holland a sign our tax policy is not working.

Newt closes by asking audience to not be for him but be with him. Fight will continue even after the election.

That last point is one Newt has made many times; in fact, it's one of the things that originally drew me to him. He has long talked about there being 513,000 elected officials in America, that the Presidency alone is not enough to bring about the needed change.

And today when he talked about that, he was adamant that his election would just be the start. That in order to get Congress to follow his lead on issues, he would need the American people -- in townhalls, by calling and otherwise contacting their Representatives and Senators -- to make their voices heard.

He also made the point, as he had in the past, that when he is successful and gets power out of Washington and back to the states -- where it belongs -- that we make sure our governors and state legislatures stand up for conservative principles. What good is getting the states back in charge if they end up just pursuing the same failed, destructive policies and actions that D.C. has done?

From there, we went to the Pizza Shack, which apparently has been voted the best pizza in Iowa. Their Hampton -- their version of The Works or Supreme -- was very, very good.

We then drove to Winterset, birthplace of John Wayne. Newt really impressed the people visiting and the ones who run the museum and gift shop with his knowledge of John Wayne movies. You could tell they had heard the usual spiel but nothing like that before. More than one said, "Wow, he's actually a fan." Newt was shown the brick out in front of the house that has his and Callista's name on it since they have donated money for the construction of a new, bigger building in the past.

It has been a great experience. I have helped out on three campaigns in the past -- one U.S. House, one U.S. Senate, and one gubernatorial -- but nothing compares to this. I hope to make the trip a few more times at least.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Newt had 20,217 contributors, with 17,959 giving less than $100

Newt raised 2.1 million dollars in the second quarter, and while all the headlines are about the debt, the fact is with the changes in Newt's campaign, it is being paid down every day.

The fact that so many of the people who gave money gave less than 100 means that the campaign can come back for more from those sources. It also means that those nearly 18,000 people are now invested in the campaign and will likely pitch in in other ways.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Surprise: actual voters don't care about media gossip

Byron York of The Washington Examiner attended Newt's Tea Party townhall in Charleston Tuesday.

York asked some of the audience who were not necessarily supporting Newt for President if they were concerned about what the media incessantly reports about:
"It doesn't bother me at all," says Cheryl, a woman from nearby Goose Creek.

"If Newt has the money to spend at Tiffany's, let him spend it at Tiffany's," says Joy, who lives in Mount Pleasant but is originally from Westchester, N.Y.

"Not at all," says Ray from Charleston.
York quotes Newt: The only place where the media assault has mattered is fundraising," he says in an interview after the town hall. "The depth and intensity of the media assault slowed us down for probably a month, and I think it will take us probably until October to recover."

York believes that the debt ceiling debate provides a great chance for Newt to gain traction. (I share that belief after seeing the positive comments online about Newt getting out in front of the issue while the other candidates have largely ignored it.)

More from the story:
When Obama says he can't guarantee that Social Security checks will go out if there is no deal, Gingrich urges House Republicans "to pass a $100 billion cut with a $100 billion debt-ceiling increase, which takes care of all the Social Security checks in August. Say to the president, 'OK, we've taken care of everybody who needs to get a check in August. Are you going to tell Senate Democrats to block it? Are you going to veto it?'" In North Charleston, it's what the audience wants to hear.


there are also reasons people here take him seriously. They remember him as the man who engineered the historic Republican victories of 1994, and in him they see a House leader going toe-to-toe with a Democratic president. That's what they want to see again, and it's enough to keep Gingrich going."

Newt attending minor league game Friday in Des Moines; townhall in Lamoni Saturday

Here is the Facebook event page for the game.

And the Tea Party townhall.

You can RSVP for either.

I am making the trip from Topeka, Kansas, to Iowa for the weekend. Very excited to finally be able to help Newt 2012 in person.

Newt's action plan to get American jobs

In this week's newsletter, Newt discusses the awful job numbers that were released last Friday.

A net of just 18,000 jobs were created in June. That is one new job for every 1,000 unemployed Americans.
The government's report also revised its estimate of new jobs created in May by more than 50 percent, from 54,000 down to only 25,000.

Overall, the workforce declined by 272,000 people from May to June. America now has its lowest rate of participation in the workforce in 27 years.

Even with a smaller work force, the unemployment rate increased for the third straight month, to 9.2 percent.

That 9.2 percent, however, does not even capture the full severity of our unemployment situation. Adding together all those who are unemployed, underemployed, or have quit looking for work yields a number closer to 16.2 percent. That is one out of every six eligible Americans.

The number of Americans receiving food stamps is at an all-time high and is also approaching one out of every six Americans.

This week's numbers are one more sign that President Obama's job-killing policies are continuing to hamper the economy. Instead of seeing improvements, we could be seeing America plunge deeper into the Obama Depression.
Pushing back against the idea that the worst economic news is behind us, Newt writes:
President Obama declared the beginning of the “Recovery Summer” over a year ago. In spite of what the president and his advisors may believe, the recovery is far from certain and millions of Americans remain vulnerable to further decline. There are at least four possible circumstances that would put downward pressure on our fragile economy.

A Greek default could trigger a rolling bank crisis throughout Europe and thereby have significant effects on the American economy. Already, a rapid sell-off of Italian government bonds this week was blamed on worries over Greek debt.

Instability in the Middle East could lead to a spike in oil prices and a consequent deep contraction in the American and European economies.

Continuation of the Obama Administration's job-killing policies could send companies overseas and cause small businesses to stop hiring. In fact, a Chamber of Commerce study reported this week that roughly two thirds of small business executives said they would make no new hires this year, and another 12 percent said they would cut jobs.

People could simply run out of savings and find themselves cutting back on spending even more than they already have.

These are just four real possibilities among many others that could cause our weak economy to become worse. We must move to eliminate the artificial, political threats to jobs that leave America even more vulnerable to external shocks to the economy.
What should be done?
The Republican House should start repealing job-killing laws and programs and aggressively curtail job-killing bureaucracies.

Then the Democratic Senate would be on the spot. Does it favor big government and failed policies, or job creation?

The Democrats can be the party of bureaucracy and food stamps if they want to. Republicans are happy to be the party of jobs and paychecks. Friday's unemployment numbers are decisive proof that President Obama's big government, class warfare model leads to job killing and dependency.
Republicans must respond with a clear action plan to end the Obama Depression.
On the debt ceiling and spending:
A major mistake in the debt ceiling negotiations has been the narrow focus on spending cuts as if all spending is equal. It is not. Some spending goes to legitimate purposes and some goes to activities that kill jobs: national defense and defense of union interests are not equally worthy expenditure.
We should start in the debt ceiling bill by cutting the spending that goes directly to job killing activities.

That should include a drastic reduction in the authority of the National Labor Relations Board so that it cannot kill manufacturing jobs in South Carolina (see my recent newsletter here) or come between individuals and their employers in other right-to-work states.

It should include restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to impose job-killing electricity rate increases -- which, amazingly, it was doing just as the unemployment numbers were announced on Friday.

It should include an end to absurd government restrictions on the development of American energy, including offshore oil and gas. While the Administration takes as long as possible to authorize offshore drilling permits, in many places gas prices are more than a dollar per gallon higher than they were one year ago.

Senate Democrats and President Obama seem willing to choose job-killing policies even at the cost of a debt ceiling deal. Republicans should illuminate that destructive choice.

Unemployment and debt are sobering, historic challenges. We must meet them.

Newt's e-mail: "No Fear"

This was sent out Wednesday:
Franklin Roosevelt, the founder of the modern Democratic party, famously said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Today, the only thing President Obama and the Democrats have to OFFER is fear itself.

Yesterday, President Obama threatened that his administration may not send out social security checks unless he gets his trillion dollar tax increase as part of a deal to increase the debt ceiling.

The answer to President Obama’s fear-mongering is simple: No Fear.

When a bully tries to scare you into giving him your lunch money, you have to stand up to him.

That's why I'm running for president. I've stood up to a Democratic president before and didn't blink. The result was balanced budgets, tax cuts and a booming economy.

I've also stood up to the Republican establishment before when they were too willing to compromise on conservative values for short term political gain.

It will take the same sort of experienced and principled leadership today to defeat President Obama in 2012 and stand up to the Washington establishment of both parties and the special interests. That's the only way we can return America back to the path of job creation and permanently end the era of big government.

If you believe we need a president who won't back down in fighting for your values, please consider donating $10, $25, or $50 dollars today.

I am campaigning hard every day to make the case for a return to constitutional, limited government as the best way to create jobs in America. But running a campaign requires resources. We can't succeed without your help.

Please consider donating what you can today.

Thank you for all you do.

Your friend,

If you are not signed up to receive e-mails from the campaign, you can click here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Video of Newt speaking during tour of Boeing factory in SC

(Update: I was wrong; the video was from Tuesday night's Tea Party townhall, not from the Boeing tour Newt went on Wednesday.)


Newt and Callista were given a tour of the Boeing factory that is in jeopardy of being closed down -- resulting in, when it is all said and done, 1000 job losses -- by federal bureaucrats at the National Labor Relations Board

Newt has perhaps been the most vocal among Presidential candidates about the NLRB abuse of powers when it comes to the case.

Submit questions now for GOP Twitter debate

You can now submit questions for the Twitter debate among Republican Presidential candidates next Wednesday., which is helping put on the event, sent out an e-mail Tuesday in which they "thank the presidential candidates who have showed the courage to participate in the first-ever Tea Party Presidential Debate. In this age of political consultants and calculated political risk, the candidates who are willing to participate in a new debate format with a groundbreaking debate platform deserve a lot of credit!"

The debate will be held 3:00-4:30 PM EST July 20th.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The left's ignorant (intentionally?) take on Newt and the Supreme Court

"Newt doesn't think there the Supreme Court is in the Constitution," the far left is saying.

What Newt said is that while there is a "court which is the Supreme of the judicial branch," "it’s not supreme over the legislative and executive branch. We now have this entire national elite that wants us to believe that any five lawyers are a Constitutional convention."

So when Newt said there is no "Supreme Court," it was his way of saying the Supreme Court is not intended to be more powerful than the President or Congress. (In fact, of all the branches, the judicial was meant to be the weakest.)

The only question that remains is this: are the liberals saying this simply ignorant of the facts or are they intentionally misleading -- ahem, lying -- about it?

Video of Newt's Google+ hangout

Google+ is brand new, and the only Presidential candidate to engage it so far has been Newt.

Last week, Newt led a "hangout," which is basically a video chat among a small group of people.

Here is the video of Newt's:

In which I found out Newt added me on Twitter himself

I was already excited the last couple of weeks when Newt started following me on Twitter and also responded to a Tweet of mine. I was rather confident Newt sent out the tweet, but I wasn't sure if he actually manages his account and adds people. Even so, I thought, that's pretty cool.

But then I read this tonight:

"He tweets and manages his Twitter feed himself, his campaign confirmed to POLITICO."

"He’s a lot more interesting than other guys," said Jeff Jacobs, a Democratic consultant who advises candidates on online strategy. "Romney’s tweets by and large read like press releases, and Gingrich...jokes more, it's just a lot more casual, and definitely responding to individual users is a big thing."

In one instance, when a Twitter user asked Gingrich if he really believed in dinosaurs, Gingrich replied by bragging about the dinosaur fossil he owns: "Not only do I believe in dinosaurs I had a t rex skull in speakers office to remind us they used to think they were important too."

In March, when the famed polar bear Knut died at the Berlin Zoo, Gingrich took to Twitter to share his condolences.

"Sad news! Just learned knut the polar bear died suddenly at 4," Gingrich tweeted. "Callista and I visited him in Berlin when he was 5 months old-he was cute."

Last month, Gingrich took the bait from Rainn Wilson, when the comic actor who plays the eccentric character Dwight Schrute in the television show "The Office" sought to engage him.

Just after Gingrich campaign staffers resigned en masse, Wilson tweeted with an offer to be Gingrich’s new campaign manager "because of the many Newt/Schrute rhyme options."

Gingrich, showing a willingness to make light of the grim situation, decided to respond with an inside joke that would be familiar to viewers of the show: "We have a campaign manager. What about assistant TO the campaign manager?"

Tweets and pictures from Newt's townhall tonight

From the Charleston Tea Party, which hosted the event:
@newtgingrich townhall "last Fridays job number should scare every American."
@newtgingrich says Republicans have to have courage to stand firm
@newtgingrich Ready to roll back the left but it's going to take all of us.
@newtgingrich fight with old guard Rs will be harder than with Ds - will need we the people to succeed
Newt slipped in a jab: "I have more twitter followers than MSNBC has viewers."

Newt has the strongest response to the McConnell plan among 2012 candidates

Mitch McConnell today floated an idea to solve the debt ceiling problem that would essentially raise the ceiling without any real reforms or cuts.

So far, among Presidential candidates, Newt has come out strongest against it, tweeeting soon after the proposal was released: "McConnell's plan is an irresponsible surrender to big government, big deficits and continued overspending. I oppose it." Following up on that, he wrote, "The answer to Obama's irresponsibility is a principled "no," not a blank check.

Other candidates have either been silent or muted in their response.

Audio of Newt in Iowa Monday quotes an Iowa radio station:
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says the nation’s unemployment rate is a social issue and he points to his past record as speaker of the U.S. House as proof he could balance the federal budget in five years.


“You can’t have strong families if they can’t earn a living,” Gingrich said at the start of his speech.

Gingrich bemoaned the “passion for trivia” in politics and he touted his tenure as House Speaker as one in which Republicans worked to balance the federal budget.

“How can we have real conversations as a nation…and get beyond both demagoguery and trivialization?” Gingrich asked the crowd. “…I really believe somebody ought to stand up and say, ‘It’s time to have an adult conversation that’s not baloney.’”

During a question-and-answer period, Gingrich was asked about being in his third marriage. Gingrich talked about seeking reconciliation with God about the way he had conducted his private life, but then Gingrich turned the focus on his public life.

“You have to have somebody who has had an experience of doing some things that are real. The ‘Contract with America’ worked. The fact is we did reform welfare. The fact is we did pass the first tax cut in 16 years. The fact is that we did balance the budget for four straight years,” Gingrich said. “And the question I would ask you in looking at it is, given my total experience as a public figure, am I person you can say: “He does do what he believes in. He does stand by the country.’”
Here is the rest of the article.

Here is the audio of Newt.

Video of Newt in Iowa Monday: "U.S. less safe than before 9/11"

Link from The Iowa Republican.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Newt to be in Charleston again on Wednesday; submit questions for tomorrow night

"According to the campaign, Gingrich will also be speaking at an electric cooperative event at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Charleston Place Hotel at 205 Meeting St," Greg Hambrick writes.

Also, for those who use Twitter, you can submit questions for Newt's townhall tomorrow night in Charleston using the hashtag #asknewt.
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