Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview that President Obama’s call for a 30 percent tax on millionaires is the “most destructive anti-jobs proposal by a president in my lifetime.”
The former House speaker also says that the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela is a “direct threat to the United States” and we should find a way to “get rid of it.”
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Gingrich spoke with Newsmax.TV after delivering an address at Florida International University on Wednesday. He was asked about Obama’s assertion in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that he would use government power to bridge the gap between the rich and everyone else.
“Every country in the world that has tried to use government power, as Obama puts it, has made people poorer, has made the politicians more powerful, and has ended up with corruption,” Gingrich says. “I think it is exactly the wrong direction.”
Obama also called on the wealthy to pay more taxes — specifically for people making more than $1 million a year to pay at least 30 percent in taxes.
“If the president is serious about a 30 percent minimum tax, he is doubling the capital gains tax,” Gingrich says.
“If you double the capital gains tax you’re going to drive down the stock market, which is going to hurt every pension fund in the country. Everyone with a 401(k) is going to lose money. Capital is going to flee the U.S. It is probably the most anti-jobs single idea he has come up with.
“So my hunch is the White House will back off and say they didn’t quite mean it. But if they mean it, it is the most destructive anti-jobs proposal by a president in my lifetime.”
Gingrich discusses his vow to bring a peaceful end to the Castro regime in Cuba.
“I’d use the same tools and the same strategy that Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to defeat the Soviet empire. I’d bring to bear popular pressure, information technology, covert organizations, subsidies to people who want to be free, psychological campaigns against those who are in power, and I would do everything I could to maximize the ability of the Cuban people to free themselves.”
Referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Latin America and the threat posed by a new alliance among Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba, Gingrich tells Newsmax: “I think this is the greatest direct challenge to the Monroe Doctrine in 190 years, and I think we have to confront it head on.
“We have to indicate that in the long run the Chavez regime is a direct threat to the United States and it’s in our interest to find a way to get rid of it.”
Recent polls have shown that Gingrich is now leading other GOP candidates for the presidential nomination. He says he thinks his campaign is resonating with the voters because “they want a conservative with optimistic solutions who believes that if you unleash the American people, we can rebuild the country we love.
“I think that they are looking for somebody who has the clarity and the toughness to debate Obama head on. I think they increasingly believe I can do that.”
Newsmax has revealed that Gingrich GOP opponent Mitt Romney’s campaign in Florida is being run by political aides who worked for then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who abandoned the Republican Party to become an independent.
Commenting on the Romney-Crist link, Gingrich says: “I think it’s strange. I’m honored that we have Marco Rubio’s former campaign manager Joe Mallea running our campaign. He’s a solid conservative. I like to be surrounded by solid conservatives.
“It’s a little bit like Governor Romney’s alliance with [former White House adviser and New Hampshire Gov. John] Sununu, who helped convince President [George H.W.] Bush to break his no new taxes pledge and raise taxes. You have to wonder to what extent that tells you about the comfort that Romney has with raising taxes.”
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