Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he will travel to Iowa Monday – and to other early primary states after that – to begin explaining to the American people why if he is elected president he
can provide a “solutions-oriented alternative” to President Barack Obama in 2012, by imparting knowledge developed since leaving Congress on how the country really should be run.
Gingrich, who announced Thursday he's exploring a run for president and launching a website to collect donations, Friday told Fox News that he expects that at the end of the process he will enter the GOP nomination fray. When Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked how long it would take before Gingrich makes a final decision, he said it is going to be “a fair amount of time.”
“At least a number of weeks – maybe six or seven. This is such a big decision if you're serious about it. And it covers so many different requirements. If you look at what Obama spent last time, I think a billion dollars,” he said. “And if you're serious about trying to not just run, but to both win the nomination and win the presidency, you really need to take some time to lay the groundwork, think it through. Explore the possibility before you make the final decision.”
Gingrich said the reason he believes he wants to challenge Obama in 2012 is because it’s time to go beyond rhetoric and implement real change in the way the country is run and perceived – both domestically and worldwide.
“I think that there's a real hunger for an articulate expression of American exceptionalism of how free enterprise creates jobs, of what we need to do to balance the budget once again as we did when I was speaker – to get power out of Washington and back home to the states,” Gingrich said. “And frankly to protect us in foreign policy and the national security.”
Gingrich said his 12 years since leaving the House have given him a clearer perspective of the nation’s executive branch.
“I had time to think about – and frankly thanks to the Bush administration allowing me to be a volunteer adviser in defense, in intelligence, at the State Department, in healthcare, I had a chance to see – the executive branch from the inside,” he said. “I think I have a much deeper and more fundamental understanding today of the changes we need to be successful.
“I think President Obama wants to change America into a different country. I want to renew the American dream, that all of us are endowed by our creator with certain alienable rights, that we have the right to pursue happiness,” Gingrich continued. “He wants to redistribute wealth. I want to make sure everybody has a chance to create wealth. You know, if somebody hasn't created it, you can't redistribute it.”
Gingrich told Hannity that part of Obama’s lack of leadership is that he backs bureaucracies that have no chance of success.
“I saw him today talking about how no school is going to fail. The sad fact is, his administration backs things like the New York City union, which wants to fire the 5,000 most newest, most aggressive, most energetic, most dedicated teachers on behalf of mediocrity,” he said. “And I think that we ought to be clear about this. If you want people not to fail, then you better have a standard of measuring success. You better have a standard of encouraging people to do their best,” Gingrich noted. “And the president unfortunately actually backs bureaucracies that guarantee we are not going to succeed.”
Gingrich also said that – as president – he would take decisive action to tackle the nation’s financial crisis and balance the budget.
“First is, you'd pass very dramatic tax cuts to create economic growth, because if you go from 9 percent unemployment down to 4 and 5 percent, the American people go back to work, they come off Medicaid, they come off food stamps, they come off unemployment, they start paying taxes because they have a job. That's step number one to a balanced budget,” he said.
“Second, quit spending. I mean, this new budget the president sent in is a joke. He ought to call [New York] Governor [Andrew] Cuomo and [California] Governor [Jerry] Brown, who are Democrats, and ask their advice. Because both of them are trying to get to a balanced budget because they have to,” Gingrich continued. “And his budget is a disaster. See, just stop spending.”
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