Newt Gingrich's wife praises his 'bold solutions for a better future'

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife, Calista, spoke to supporters at a rally in Peachtree City Friday.

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com The 2012 presidential election is the most important election of our lifetime, said Calista Gingrich at a rally for her husband, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, in Peachtree City Friday night. And "Newt is the only candidate with the experience and knowledge necessary to rebuild the America we love," Mrs. Gingrich added.
Calista Gingrich was introduced by Newt's daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, a syndicated columnist and author. Mrs. Gingrich then introduced her husband to the crowd of 300-400 in a hangar at Falcon Field airport, with the campaign bus as a backdrop. Newt has "bold solutions to create a better future for all Americans," she said. "Bold" was how Jeanne Billa, co-chairman for the Gingrich campaign in Coweta County, described Newt when she was asked why he is her chosen candidate. "He has all the answers," she said. "He has bold ideas and he's decisive about making them happen." Newt Gingrich began his speech by calling out fellow candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for withdrawing from a CNN debate in Atlanta; the debate had to be canceled. "Maybe they don't want to run the risk of being outside their advertising," Gingrich said. "If you're afraid to debate Newt Gingrich, you sure can't debate Barack Obama. I ask them to reconsider and come to Georgia. It will be just fine. We'll be hospitable. And frankly, there's something wrong when someone tries to buy their way to the presidency." Two men dressed in chicken suits -- one in a Romney T-shirt and one in a Santorum shirt, were in the crowd, with "Romney's" sign saying, "I'm chicken to debate Newt." As for Obama, he is "the most radical, the most destructive, the most unconstitutional president we've ever had," Gingrich said. Gingrich is looking forward to debating the president. "I don't believe he can defend his radical views," Gingrich said. And Gingrich wants to tell Congress that "we expect you to work with the new president ... and actually get things done, not just bicker and fight all the time." If elected, Gingrich wants to work with Congress to repeal Obama-care, the Dodd-Frank bill, and the Sarbannes-Oxley act. He said he will issue several executive orders on his first day; the orders will be released to the public on Oct. 1, he said. He will abolish all the White House "czars," approve the Keystone oil pipeline, and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. He also wants to "repeal every anti-religious act" by the Obama administration. Gingrich is not trying to attract just the Republican faithful. "We want to appeal to every American, every ethnic group," he said. "I'm prepared to be very bold in getting things done." Gingrich spoke about the need for an American energy policy to eliminate the nation's dependence on foreign oil. He said he would allow offshore drilling for oil and open federal lands to oil and gas exploration. Gingrich said there are estimates the U.S. government could earn $18 trillion in royalties from new oil and gas leases -- enough to pay off the national debt. And all that oil and gas exploration can help lower unemployment. Gingrich said he'd like the U.S. to get back to about 4 percent unemployment, and his goal is to "get back to $2.50 gas." Additionally, he'd abolish the "cafe" -- corporate average fuel economy -- standards. While the government and the liberals are trying to get people to buy smaller cars, Americans are buying trucks, Gingrich said. Cowetan Anne Merkl has been a Gingrich supporter for many years. "I thought it was wonderful," she said of Friday's event. "Newt is going to do what he says he's going to do. You can take that to the bank. I am so proud of Newt. And his whole family. They're working really hard. "I think his is brilliant." Jodi Shepard of Newnan agrees. "He's the smartest man I've ever met," she said. Gingrich holds a master's degree and Ph.D. in history and was a professor at West Georgia College before becoming involved in politics. It was the "shout-out" to West Georgia that got the biggest response at Friday's rally. Neal Shepard remembers when Gingrich would come to Newnan High School to speak. He recalled having 150 students assembled in the band room to hear Newt. The students were so rapt, "you could hear a pin drop," Shepard said.


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