The Republican primary race may have its first contender. Newt Gingrich announced the creation of an “exploratory website” last week which is one step short of a traditional exploratory committee but does set him up as a candidate. “My expectation is by the end of this exploratory process, that we’ll have an announcement and we’ll be in the race,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday.
The former speaker of the House has been critical of the current administration, lambasting it as a secular-socialist machine and characterizing Obama as “the most radical president in American history.”
Asked about the differences between the president and himself, Gingrich said that whereas Barack Obama “wants to redistribute wealth,” he intends “to make sure everyone has a chance to create wealth.”
If elected, Gingrich suggested to enact “dramatic tax cuts” to stir job creation. He said to favor abolishing taxes on capital gains altogether, a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate and extending the Bush tax cuts permanently. The costs would be offset, he claimed, by millions of Americans coming off unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicaid and starting to pay income taxes. “That’s step number one to a balanced budget.”
The second step? “Quit spending!” The president’s budget for the next fiscal year, with $1.6 trillion in deficit spending, is a “disaster” according to Gingrich. “A balanced budget is possible.”
As House speaker, he played a key role in balancing the federal budget in the late 1990s during the Clinton Administration. Since, the Republican stalwart has involved himself in a variety of think tanks and political action groups. According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, that is the reason “he’s faking it.”
Gingrich has hinted at a president run several times in the past only to back away from announcing a candidacy at the last possible moment. His recent entering of what he described as an “exploratory phase” might indicate that he is serious this time but Maddow was unconvinced. “What Newt Gingrich is exploiting is the idea that he is a serious political figure,” she said last week.
In order to get money off of the idea that he’s a serious political figure, he has to seen to be a serious political figure. And in order to seem to be a serious political figure, Mr Gingrich has to flirt with becoming the most serious political figure in the land. But he can’t actually commit to doing that because that would impede his ability to get rich off of the appearance that he a serious political figure.
“It is a beautiful scam,” she admitted, “and that’s why you have been hearing that Newt Gingrich might be running for president for the last ten years.”