Gingrich favors Savannah port project

Candidate says deeper harbor would help Georgia, U.S.

Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 1:58 PM
Last updated 7:52 PM
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ATLANTA — Newt Gingrich, campaigning at the state Capitol today, said he would deepen Savannah’s port if he’s elected president.

“I think it has to be done,” the Republican former House speaker said in an interview with the Athens Banner Herald. “You have the widening of the Panama Canal, which will be completed by 2014, and if you don’t appropriately expand the harbors, you can’t deal with the new, larger shipments, so it’s really very, very important.”

Gingrich said he would fund the $400 million project by authorizing offshore drilling for natural gas.

“The initial bids on the leased properties would more than pay for the port of Savannah,” he said.

Officials in both parties, from Gov. Nathan Deal to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, consider deepening the port to allow larger ships essential to the state’s economic growth. For example, construction equipment manufacture Caterpillar, which is building a $200 million plant in Bogart that will employ 1,400 people, plans to ship products overseas from the Savannah port.

Gingrich called the Caterpillar plant “a very positive development.”

“I’m sure (President Obama is) very excited about it, as I’m sure the governor is very excited about it,” he said.

Like Caterpillar, more manufacturers will be moving overseas factories back to the U.S. as domestic manufacturing becomes cheaper compared to China and Japan, Gingrich said. His proposal to allow manufacturers to write off 100 percent of new equipment’s value on their taxes the year they buy it would also boost manufacturing.

Gingrich is coming off third-place finishes in the Arizona and Michigan primaries, but he didn’t campaign in those states. Instead, he’s focusing on Super Tuesday primaries next week, particularly in Georgia and Tennessee.

Former Massachusetts Gov. beat former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in both primaries Tuesday.

“It’s a reminder of Romney’s general weakness that, even though he outspends the rest of us, and he’s able to sort of trudge along that, in what was called his home state, he dropped 10 percent from his vote in 2008, and he only managed to beat Santorum by being very negative, which is exactly the way he went after me in Florida,” Gingrich said, “We have no evidence yet that he has any positive message that can attract votes.”

Gingrich said he expects to compete in Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota and even Massachusetts, which awards delegates proportionally.

“I felt that Georgia was key,” he said. “I felt we have to win Georgia., and I increasingly think that’s likely, but we’ll campaign every day from now through Tuesday”

Gingrich also appeared with Deal, a fellow former Georgia congressman who endorsed him early on, and a group of state lawmakers. Deal credited Gingrich with reforming welfare and balancing the federal budget as House speaker.

“This is the kind of leadership the United States in the White House today,” Deal said.

Gingrich repeated his recent attacks on Obama’s foreign policy. He criticized the president for apologizing for a Feb. 21 incident in Afghanistan when American troops burned Qurans in a pile of trash, sparking protests and attacks that killed 30 people, including four soldiers. He also said the U.S. needs to rethink its relationship with Pakistan and pledged that his energy policy will lower the price of gas to $2.50 per gallon, a claim many experts dispute.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 02/29/12 - 03:28 pm
From the article: “This is

From the article:

“This is the kind of leadership the United States in the White House today,” Deal said.

What does that statement mean?

msgret92 02/29/12 - 06:54 pm
Didn't Gingrich say in the

Didn't Gingrich say in the last debate that he was against pork? I guess he wants it both ways.

robaroo 02/29/12 - 08:49 pm
This is the same guy that

This is the same guy that wants to spend billions to set up a moon base. He's promising more spending than Barak Obama.

Isn't the national debt already staggering?

TParty 02/29/12 - 10:09 pm
Yeah, this guy goes to every

Yeah, this guy goes to every state and says he'll spend money there. Look it up- every pet project the he thinks will be good for the state, or make him look like he knows what he's talking about- he'll say it. Moon bases are the famous example. Although I will take a moon river.

nanowerx 03/01/12 - 10:17 am
What? You mean a politician

What? You mean a politician is going to various States and promising them subsidies and earmarks to appease matters in that particular state? Color me surprised! Gingrich, Romney and Santorum do this in every state they visit.

Don't get me wrong, I am fully for the Savannah Cruise port as well, but from the state of mind from Gingrich, this is nothing but false promises and feigned caring to gain votes.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/01/12 - 10:19 am
Hey, I heard on TV that Super

Hey, I heard on TV that Super Tuesday also includes a caucus election in Alaska. I'll bet Newt told the Alaskans that he wants to add an extension onto the Bridge to Nowhere.

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