‘Experienced citizen’ Gingrich: Power to the people in 2012by George Bennett | February 25th, 2011
If he runs for president, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told reporters Thursday night it’ll be a “citizen-led and citizen-focused effort.”
Gingrich, 67, was a Republican congressman for 20 years and House speaker for four, but he bristled at the suggestion he might be viewed as an inside-the-Beltway establishmentarian.
“I don’t know of anybody who thinks the Contract With America was inside-the-Beltway,” Gingrich said before his Palm Beach County GOP Lincoln Day speech at the Kravis Center.
“I think you’re allowed to be an experienced citizen. You don’t have to be a permanent amateur. Incompetence and lack of knowledge is not necessarily a good base for the presidency,” Gingrich said.
In his speech, Gingrich hinted at an unconventional, outside-the-Beltway campaign.
“If…I end up running we will create a channel called Learning From America and everyday, with volunteers carrying cameras, we will try to find at least three places where everyday Americans are doing smart things,” Gingrich said.
“And every night we will file on the Internet three more examples of why every American should be an optimist, every American should be hopeful and every American can believe there’s a better future. I have no interest in running a 30-second attack ad that is petty, trivial, negative and destructive. I have every interest in a national dialogue.”
Later, he added: “Any person who runs for president in this cycle and offers that they will change things fundamentally misunderstands America. The presidency’s not big enough, it’s not powerful enough….We’re the most decentralized country in the history of the world and that is a good thing because it disperses power closer to the people.”
He also offered this tea partyish take on the upcoming election:
“We should pick up the presidency as part of a wave of change in which the American people decide that we the people are going to re-center our country, we the people are going to end 80 years of the New Deal majority, we are going to create a center-right governing majority for a generation or more and we’re going to fundamentally change the values, the principles and the institutions which have governed us for the last 80 years. And to do that we the people have to be active citizens from your local neighborhood to your voluntary organization to your city and state and county government. And finally the federal government should know its appropriate role.
“But this election should be about we the people, not just about the presidency.”
Tags: Newt Gingrich