Gingrich, Republican Candidates Pack Antelope Gym
By Doug Carroll
Led by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a series of Republicans described the Nov. 2 off-year elections as a pivotal time in American history before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,300 Thursday morning in Antelope Gym.
“It’s great to be here at Grand Canyon University to talk about basic values,” Gingrich said in a speech that lasted about 30 minutes.
Preceding him to the stage for brief remarks were Arizona congressional candidates Ben Quayle (Third District), David Schweikert (Fifth District) and Ruth McClung (Seventh District), along with state treasurer hopeful Doug Ducey.
The rally, called “Jobs Here, Jobs Now,” was hosted by conservative talk-show personality Michael Gallagher. Gingrich’s appearance was the first on a 12-city tour scheduled to take him to Las Vegas and San Diego later in the day.
Not surprisingly, most of the speakers took jabs at current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama. Gingrich led the charge, describing the Obama administration as “a secular, socialist machine” lacking an understanding of Americans’ pocketbooks.
Citing record food-stamp distribution in the months of June and July, Gingrich insisted the president and the Democratic Party have it all wrong.“The Obama model is: After you lose your job, you will get food stamps,” Gingrich said. “A job-killing party ends up forcing people onto food stamps. A job-creating party gives people an opportunity to earn a paycheck.
“I’m against a party that’s making people poor.”
Gingrich, 67, who served as House speaker from 1995 to 1999 and tangled often in that position with the Clinton administration, called on Republicans to “go back and recapture the concept of being the party of paychecks.”
McClung, a physicist, said Americans are doing the math and the country’s finances aren’t adding up.
“Our country is going in the wrong direction, and it has moved past party politics,” she said. “It’s unsustainable.”
Schweikert said the election has “a moral imperative.” Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, called on voters to “foreclose on Nancy Pelosi’s House of Representatives on November 2nd.”
Gingrich said the lack of a presidential contest this year shouldn’t keep voters from the polls.
“This is a decisive moment in history,” he said, “to draw a line in the sand and say we’re not going there (with the Obama administration). This is about every office at every level, to create a much more work-oriented America.”
The rally apparently gave GCU online student Ashley Henry plenty to think about.
“I’m not a Republican, but I was impressed,” she said.
Dean of Students Mik Milem said “the solutions they talked about were exactly what we need.”
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or [email protected].