COLUMBIA - Whether the issue is immigration, education or Social Security, it's time for the American public to have a say in political solutions, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Wednesday.
"We have talked a lot of talk over the past six or eight years about 'red' versus 'blue.' ... Everything is partisan, and everybody is maneuvering against each other, and I think the public is just tired of it," he said.
Mr. Gingrich believes the public is out front on issues such as making English the official language, while politicians and the media lag behind.
He spoke with members of the South Carolina press via phone in anticipation of Saturday's American Solutions for Winning the Future workshops, which he has orchestrated.
Beginning at 1 p.m., people will participate in workshops across the country to learn about a variety of topics - such as the Fair Tax, immigration, environmental conservation and better national security - from national leaders such as former FBI Director Porter Goss.
The informational sessions, which will be accessible through the Internet, DISH Network and DirecTV, will be followed at each site by discussions of the issues.
Participants then will propose possible solutions that will be forwarded on to the national organization.
"I think there is a lot going on that is going to bring new ideas and new solutions, and people will look back and say, 'That was an important event,'" Mr. Gingrich said.
Sherri Zedd is organizing a Sun City workshop because, she said, it's an opportunity to delve deeply into key political issues.
Ms. Zedd said she respects what the American Solutions organization is trying to do, including finding solutions that emphasize limited government and give close consideration to what government can learn from private businesses.
"What they're (American Solutions) really looking for is transformational change," she said.