Newt Gingrich Calls for Expanded Oil Production in Puget Sound Visit

The Republican presidential primary candidate — known for his rhetorical bombast — urged voters to support his conservative agenda at two Puget sound rallies in the run-up to the March 3 Republican local precinct caucuses.

The sudden surge in gas prices nationwide played right into Newt Gingrich’s stump speech during a rally Friday at the Historic Everett Theater in Everett.

The Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House has long called for unleashing of America’s full energy production potential of oil, saying the political left has been trying to drive up gasoline prices for 30 years by ignoring that potential.

“When I was Speaker of the House, gas was $1.13 a gallon. When President Obama (took office), it was $1.89,” he said. Several towns and cities in the Puget Sound have already seen gas prices rise this month past $4 a gallon again. “If you want gas at $2.50 a gallon, vote for me. If you want gas at $10 a gallon, vote for Obama.”

Gingrich’s comments were red meat to the enthusiastic crowd who filled the Everett theater. By taking full advantage of oil in the Arctic and Gulf of Mexico, he said the U.S. could be producing more than Saudi Arabia and Russia combined by the end of the decade.

Before Gingrich took to the podium, the crowd was led in prayer and the singing of the National Anthem by Tony Moore, president of the Federal Way School Board (Moore helped organize an earlier Gingrich rally Friday in Federal Way at the Best Western Plus Evergreen Inn & Suites). The crowd cheered loudly for Gingrich’s wife, Callista Gingrich, who spoke for a few minutes before her husband took the stage. She remained at his side for the entire one-hour speech.

The presidential primary candidate touched on familiar themes, including welfare reform, repealing the estate tax (or so-called “death” tax), balancing the budget (saying he’s the only Speaker of the House to preside over four consecutive balanced budgets “in our lifetime”) and creating a 15 percent tax rate. But that didn't stop him from taking a swipe at leading Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who acknowledged that he paid an effective federal tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 on $27 million in earnings, a rate much lower than most Americans.

“I’d like to have you have the same tax rate as Romney,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich also said it's time to get tougher on terrorism.

“If you look at the average terrorist bomb plot, they do not come from the Kansas Kiwanis," he said. "We allow Muslim front groups to dictate to the U.S. government what appropriate behavior is. We hold meetings with the Organization of Islamic Countries, which is basically organized for the purpose of having a totally one-sided (perspective). And we assure them that we want to help them — I don’t want to help them.”

If the U.S. wants to help them, Gingrich added, “We have to start by asking them, how soon can we build a (Christian) church in Saudi Arabia?”

, the rally in Everett featured few disruptions. When one man in the theater’s balcony yelled that Gingrich was “part of the 1 percent,” — a reference to the “We are the 99 percent” slogan adopted by the Occupy movement — the crowd quickly drowned out the man with chants of “Newt, Newt, Newt,” and another audience member near the stage stood up and yelled at the protestor to come down to the lower level and repeat what he said.

Gingrich recognized the man’s rights to his opinions, but fired off: “It’s better that some people should ventilate rather than explode.”

On the subject of the current occupant of the White House, criticism of President Obama is standard fare in all the Republican Party candidates' talking points — but Gingrich wasn’t as harsh in Everett as in previous speeches across the country. One of the biggest cheers of the evening, however, came with this: “I believe the economy will turn around late election night when people know Obama is no longer in office.” He also added a zinger about the country “becoming a secular dictatorship under President Obama.”

The recent influx of Republican presidential candidates to Washington — , Mitt Romney is scheduled next week — comes in preparation for the state’s Republican caucus on March 3.  

Gingrich reminded those voting in the caucuses to keep a few things in mind.

“I want this campaign to offer every American the chance to pursue happiness by having a job. I believe America only works when Americans are working. I believe that means we go back to when it worked for Reagan, when we created 16 million jobs, and when it worked for Clinton and me when we created 11 million jobs in four years. Pretty simple. Lower taxes, less regulation, more American energy and respect for and enthusiasm for people who create jobs.”

Tonto February 28, 2012 at 12:25 AM
consider this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwhKuunp8D8 food for thought :)
Edwin February 28, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yes politics are slimey. Just look at the local elections of last fall in Woodinville. However, regardless what one thinks of any of the Presidential candidates they deserve respect for running. Further, this is a neighborhood and community blog and we all owe it to each other to comment respectively and treat each other as neighbors. So please keep the trash talk out of here. Lastly while I do not think Newt the best choice for 2012, I would choose him and in fact any of the current Republicans over Obama for numerous reasons. My first choice would have been Huntsman, now it is between Paul and Romney. My only concern about Paul is his isolationist foreign policy.
Larry Lewis February 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Actions vs words. Caring about the world our descendents grow up in is the bare minimum. Doing something to save what we have left is the next step. The real value is in actively reversing the evils already committed. Supply and demand works great in a textbook, and there are plenty of examples out there, but speculators now control over 70% of the oil market and their artificial inflation/obscene profits account for over 70 cents a gallon at the pump. Government agencies? Sure, get rid of 'em all and we'll save piles of money in the immediate term and get not one good thing done. Keep in mind the Federal government is significantly smaller now than it was under Reagan.
Larry Lewis February 28, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Exactly. That's Peter D Ward. Look him up- a specialist in mass extinctions. All his dozen books are outstanding and scientifically bracing (and chilling). "Under A Green Sky" is the book in question.
Tonto February 29, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Yea, it takes alot of brains. The Earth's climate IS changing. Just like it has for a billion or more years. Changes every day all day long month after month year after year century after century 24/7. You can bet it will change in the next hour too :) Completely covered with ice to hot steaming jungles. All before man even lit a campfire or smoked a cigarette.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »