Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke to a crowd of 3,500 Monday, during a town hall meeting at the Mabee Center on the Oral Roberts University campus.
Focusing on oil and energy, Gingrich stated that gas was $1.13 a gallon under his watch as Speaker of the House.
“We are not trapped by the policies of the White House,” he said.
There is no reason oil production could not be increased in this country to more than meet the demand now and for the future, according to Gingrich.
He continued by saying Americans are not trapped by the policies of “this administration.” It was just one of many attacks on President Obama.
“Obama is dedicated to an anti-American energy policy,” Gingrich said.
There are new drilling techniques that did not exist years ago, and that by using them America could produce more oil than other countries like Russia, he said.
“Never again will an American president bow to a Saudi king,” Gingrich said. “I should make a bumper sticker that reads ‘stop bowing and start drilling’.”
Not only is the energy issue an economic issue it is a safety issue and Americans need to be aware, he said.
Gingrich continued to say that as long as America is dependent on foreign oil it stands the risk of being attacked. Foreign policy and energy were top issues of concern for the speaker, but the need for reform did not stop there.
Gingrich spoke about ending entitlements and limiting government assistance. Unemployment, welfare and student loans were some areas of concern.
“Why should they get paid 99 weeks for doing nothing,” he said, “It is fundamentally wrong.”
He said that Obama was the most effective food stamp president in history, stating Obama has maximized eligibility during his term.
“I want to be the paycheck president,” he said, “giving people the opportunity to pursue better jobs than they have had.”
Student financial aid should be limited to encourage students to finish degree programs on time and work-study programs should be increased, according to Gingrich.
The implementation of a 15 percent flat tax, elimination of the death tax and Social Security savings programs were other suggestions made by Gingrich.
Overall, Gingrich favored giving Americans the ability to make decisions about how their money would be spent and limiting the size of governmental involvement. He also believes “every American should work”. He does not favor taking wealth from one group and redistributing it to others.
Gingrich was asked how he plans to overcome his past and the negativity of the national media if he wins the nomination.
“I have done some things in my long life that I have gone to God to seek repentance for,” he said.
He continued to say that being open and honest about those mistakes would help him overcome the negativity. Gingrich said he does not believe that his past mistakes will out weigh the success he has had. He has “proven” himself to Americans and his primary goal is to restore the government to one that follows the Constitution, Gingrich said. Gingrich stated that as the Speaker of the House unemployment was 4.2 percent, two thirds of people on welfare got jobs and the federal budget was balanced for four years.