Gingrich asks conservatives in Aiken to unite behind him for victory

Call for offshore drilling cheered

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 11:12 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 1:33 AM
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AIKEN — If elected president, Newt Ging­rich said, on his first day in office he would use his executive powers to open up drilling for natural gas off the coast of South Carolina.

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a political forum in Aiken. Gingrich, the only candidate to appear, urged conservatives to unite behind one candidate to defeat Mitt Romney.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a political forum in Aiken. Gingrich, the only candidate to appear, urged conservatives to unite behind one candidate to defeat Mitt Romney.

The move would create high-paying jobs in the Palmetto State and help free the U.S. from its dependence on foreign oil, Gingrich told a crowd of more than 700 Tuesday evening at the University of South Carolina Aiken Convocation Center.

Organizers said all five Republican candidates had been invited to speak at the GOP event billed as the “Last Word Before the First in the South Primary,” but only Gingrich showed, speaking and taking questions for more than an hour.

The former House speaker’s take on energy policy got a warm reception from the crowd, which included abolishing what he called the U.S. Department of “Anti-energy.” His proposal to open up gas drilling in South Carolina waters brought cheers.

Gingrich said he would use the natural gas royalties to rebuild the Port of Charleston to make it ready for the larger ships expected to be passing through the widened and deepened Panama Canal by 2014.

“I want to be the president that comes back to Charleston to see container ships take goods manufactured in South Carolina to China to be sold in Walmarts there,” he said.

Other proposals Gingrich offered included repealing the health care reform law, reshaping the judiciary and overhauling Social Security to allow individual retirement accounts, which he said would transform everyone in the system into capitalists with real assets that could be passed on to their families.

“Everyone will be saving and investing,” he said. “We don’t have to fight over when you retire. It’s your money. You get to decide what to do with it.”

Gingrich painted opponent Mitt Romney as a moderate who has neither the experience nor the bona fide conservative credentials to go “toe to toe” with President Obama. He said the only reason he is trailing the former Massachusetts governor is because the conservative vote is split between three other candidates.

He hopes that will change by Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

“You need to ask, ‘What is it going to take to defeat Obama and fundamentally change Washington?’” he said. “If we can unite the conservatives by Saturday, you will have picked a candidate who will defeat Obama.”

Gingrich’s number and array of detailed ideas impressed Tyler Cook, who at 17 won’t get to vote in a primary but will be old enough by the time the general election comes in No­vember.

Cook, who was with a group of 10 classmates from Grovetown High School, said he had also seen Texas Gov. Rick Perry speak in North Augusta and has hopes to see more before he settles on a candidate.

“Gingrich seems to have a lot more developed ideas than Perry,” Cook said. “Perry says he will change things, but Gingrich has actual ideas to back up his plans.”

Tracy Roden, Cook’s Advanced Place­ment government teacher, said she wants her students to have a deeper understanding of how the government works and encourage them to take part in the process.

“I basically want the kids to actually see what they have been reading about in their books,” Roden said. “I want it to come alive for them.”

TODAY

Newt Gingrich is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. at Bobby’s Bar-B-Q, 1897 Jefferson Davis Highway for a town hall-style meeting.

Comments (11) Add comment
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allhans
23663
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allhans 01/18/12 - 10:06 am
0
0
"Use his executive powers".

"Use his executive powers". Yep. that's Newt allright. By-pass Congress and follow in the footsteps of the current occupant of the White House. He will be hard to handle if by chance he gets the nomination...

crackerjack
150
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crackerjack 01/18/12 - 04:58 am
0
0
I realize that it's OK for

I realize that it's OK for your President to use Executive Powers to circumvent Congress, but not for anyone else.

crackerjack
150
Points
crackerjack 01/18/12 - 05:04 am
0
0
Mitt didn't raise taxes,

Mitt didn't raise taxes, because he raised fees in Massachusetts to raise 500 million in revenues. He charged gun owners $100.00 per gun annualy, tripled marriage license, drivers license, handicap placards, fishing and hunting licenses, etc. so nobody could accuse him of raising taxes. In Massachusetts, his nickname is "Fee-Fee"

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 01/18/12 - 05:36 am
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"His proposal to open up gas

"His proposal to open up gas drilling in South Carolina waters brought cheers." I hear there might be loads of oil about off the coast at Hilton Head. I'm sure they would be very happy to, "help free the U.S. from its dependence on foreign oil" by having a couple of hundred drilling platforms within view.

Riverman1
84085
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 05:41 am
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Techfan, I believe when

Techfan, I believe when drilling is done near American coastal areas, the platforms are always far enough out that they are not visible for beach goers.

allhans
23663
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allhans 01/18/12 - 10:13 am
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Only the ego inflated

Only the ego inflated Newt...!

lovingthesouth72
1368
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lovingthesouth72 01/18/12 - 10:15 am
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0
Sorry Newt. Santorum is

Sorry Newt. Santorum is getting my conservative vote.

Conservative Man
5564
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Conservative Man 01/18/12 - 11:54 am
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I believe that with the mood

I believe that with the mood of the country right now, ANY republican stands a good chance of sending "Our Dear Ruler" back to Chicago where he belongs...

ll2
0
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ll2 01/18/12 - 01:22 pm
0
0
I want to see this continue

I want to see this continue for a while and not give the nom to Romney so quickly...voting for Newt. Santorum has no money left so he'll be dropping out after Saturday...no point in voting for him.

bdittle
78
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bdittle 01/19/12 - 02:21 pm
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Riverman1, have you been to

Riverman1, have you been to the beaches of Louisiana and east Texas? You get some nice views of rigs from the beach.

Riverman1
84085
Points
Riverman1 01/19/12 - 03:09 pm
0
0
BdLittle, valid point. I

BdLittle, valid point. I looked up some of this and apparently oil rigs all used to be insight, just off shore, many with pipes running back to shore. Some of these probably still exist. But they gradually moved further out. With Florida, the ones proposed are supposed to all be out of sight of land. That was a key condition thrown out.

scorehouse
196
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scorehouse 01/21/12 - 10:33 am
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moot point until you know the
Unpublished

moot point until you know the geology. i've never seen an underground structure map that identifies possible pay zones size, depth, and distance offshore. unfortuanately there is one little problem. an on going lawsuit between georgia and south carolina that determines the offshore boundries and mineral rights. also. the feds own all mineral rights past 3 miles.offshore rigs and structure would be a boom for the fishing industry. onshore shipyards, steel manufactures, food suppliers, hotels and restaurants, welders, electricians, computer/it specialists, and on and on would see great high-paying jobs. augusyta would benefit immensely as most workers in the oil patch work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off so they live where they like. due to augustas manufacturing base, numerous trained augustans would have new employment opportunities.

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