Newt Gingrich visits Ames

By Katherine Klingseis,

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke in Ames today as part of his 17-city tour across Iowa.

Gingrich began his speech by asking his audience if they believed that there needed to be change in America. He followed this question by asking if they believed change would be fought with bitter resistance. They responded with applause to both questions.

“You just now explained my candidancy,” said Gingrich. “I think for my grandchildren’s future, for our country’s future, we have to have very large changes in the right direction.”

Gingrich explained that his campaign is about getting citizens to change American. He said that he wants to take power from Washington and return it to Americans.

“If that’s what we’re going to do, then we have an obligation for citizens to be more active back home, because in a sense that model replaces Washington bureaucrats with local citizens as the responsible people,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich also said that his campaign will focus heavily on “getting the economy moving again.” He explained that the first step toward balancing the budget would be to reduce the U.S. unemployment rate from 9 percent to 4 percent.

“If we can draw people back into the economy and get back to a true 4 percent unemployment rate, that many million people going back to work will be the best single thing you can do for the budget and the best single thing you can do for the price of housing,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said that, in order to bring down unemployment, American tax code needed to be changed in five major ways:

Freezing the tax rate.

Abolishing the capital-gains tax.

Shifting to 100-percent expensing, which would allow farmers to write off farm equipment for up to a year.

Reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 12.5 percent.

Permanently eliminating what he called the “death tax.”

Gingrich also said that he plans to replace the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency.

Gingrich said his proposed agency would “work with entrepeneurs and innovators, set up incentives for solutions, collaborate with state and local governments to jointly work on projects instead of dictating to them and would, in effect, allow people to use common sense once again to try to solve problems,” he said.

Gingrich went on to say that he intends to change the Food and Drug Administration.

“We need to have a 21st-century Food and Drug Administration, which enables us to have people that work collaboratively from the laboratory until they take care of you all through your life,” Gingrich said. “We want the science to get to you, not get locked up in bureaucracy.”

Describing an initiative he called “On the First Day”, Gingrich explained that he will sign between 50 and 200 executive orders on the day of his inauguration as president. He said that the public would able to view all these orders by Oct. 1, 2012.

Gingrich listed the first four executive orders he would make:

Abolish all of “the White House czars” by the end of the year.

Implement Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy, which states that none of America’s money will go to paying for abortions overseas.

Implement and enforce George W. Bush’s “Right of Conscience” rule. This would give medical professionals the option of refusing to perfom procedures that violated their religious beliefs.

Make all countries tell the United States where their capitals are, and make those countries allow the United States to place an embassy in their capital cities.

Gingrich also called for change to America’s foreign policy.

“I think we need to be engaged with the world based on our values — based on our Constitution. And we should not pursue any treaties that limit the United States and limit the United States domestically,” he said. “And that is a very big change from what this administration is doing.”

Gingrich will continue his 17-city tour tomorrow with stops in Council Bluffs, Onawa, Sioux City, Le Mars, Storm Lake and Holstein. He will finish his tour Saturday with stops in Orange City and Sheldon.

(Posted originally on on May 19, 2011)

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