Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he vehemently reacted to what he felt were “gotcha” questions during Thursday’s Iowa GOP presidential debate because the nation is in deep trouble and “we do need a serious national conversation.”
Gingrich said when moderator Bret Baier of Fox News opened the debate and said the presidential hopefuls should not focus on talking points, he wrote that down and underneath wrote: “Then we want you to quit 'gotcha' questions, because I knew that sooner or later, it would happen.”
“And so I was prepared to say — I mean, I really do think we’re in desperate trouble as a country, and we do need a serious national conversation,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in a post-debate interview. “And 'gotcha' kind of questions disrupt and slow down the flow of really trying to find solutions.”
Hannity noted that Gingrich eventually got to substance as it relates to national issues and asked the presidential hopeful his take on the nation’s fiscal crisis.
“Well, I think it’s terrible — I think Congress ought to come back in next Monday — I think this 12-person committee’s a disaster,” Gingrich said, referring to the super committee set up by the debt-reduction deal to determine spending cuts. “That leaves 523 senators and congressmen basically sitting to one side until Thanksgiving — I think they should change the whole approach.
“I would repeal the Dodd-Frank bill on Monday. I’d repeal Sarbanes- Oxley on Tuesday. I’d open up the gulf and other federal areas for oil and gas exploration on Wednesday,” he said. “I would . . . . have every subcommittee in the Congress hold hearings on how to modernize the government.”
Gingrich said not only should Congress return to Capitol Hill, but President Barack Obama should cancel his 10-day, Martha’s Vineyard vacation.
“He ought to cancel the vacation — period,” Gingrich said.
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