Gingrich: Burden of Issues Weighs on Obama in Final Week

Sunday, 28 Oct 2012 02:21 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes the burden of big issues pressing on President Barack Obama, and a weak argument against Gov. Mitt Romney’s record in Massachusetts, will cost him the Nov. 6 presidential election.

Gingrich said on ABC’s “This Week” that Obama canceling campaign trips as a potentially devastating hurricane sets its sights on the northeast is proof that all of the plethora of issues dominating the national discourse is hurting the incumbent president.

“You have to wonder, between Benghazi, the price of gasoline, and unemployment, just how much burden the president is going to carry into this last week,” he said. “If you're the incumbent, you never get a break, because they had four years to decide they're for you, and they ain't doing it the last week.”

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Gingrich said Obama would “love” to have Romney’s jobs record from his time as governor after four years of the worst unemployment numbers since the Great Depression.

Unemployment during Romney’s time in office stayed below 6 percent for his entire term, and decreased over the course of the term by a full point to 4.7 percent when he left office.

The price of gas, Gingrich added, is $2 a gallon more than it was when Obama took office in 2008, and in the face of that increase, Obama pumped money into now-bankrupt green energy companies instead of easing the fuel burden.

“It goes down every fall when the summer travel goes in — it is still the most expensive for this time of year in American history,” he said. “So you have a president who badly invested your tax money to distort energy policies, while making you pay $2 a gallon more. That's a pretty tough record to go into Ohio or Florida, or anywhere, and say to folks, ‘Why don't you keep voting for $2 more on gasoline, because you like Obama so much, you don't mind paying for it?’”

Gingrich also criticized the Obama administration for its confusing messages about the Benghazi attack, and the possibility that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta canceled a rescue effort at the consulate.

The possibility that Panetta disobeyed a direct order from the president is a larger issue indicative of other problems, he added.

Gingrich expects Romney to pull out a victory in both the Electoral College and popular vote. Political analysts have put forth various scenarios in the past week as to what would occur if these votes are split.

Gingrich noted that both The Des Moines Register and South Florida Sun-Sentinel changed their presidential endorsements from four years ago in favor of Romney.

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“I think you put your finger on it with The Des Moines Register,” Gingrich said. “Here's a newspaper that has not endorsed a Republican in 40 years. . . . They've switched. I think the fact is, the paper in Florida this morning did the same thing, had been for Obama, it switched."

Moreover, he said that the campaign is gaining momentum in Ohio. "I think, across the country we have," he said. "And if you look at the internals of The Washington Post poll, I doubt very much if Obama is going to carry Virginia. I think the poll way oversampled Democrats. . . . I think these kind of things all drag down the Obama campaign.”

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