Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich offered a “defense” of President Barack Obama during the closing day of the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.
“A lot of people are criticizing him for going to Key Largo” for vacation while the crisis in the Ukraine still rages, Gingrich told a full house at the Maryland conference. “The president spent all of last week proving that he was capable of being as ineffective in Key Largo as he is in the White House.”
Gingrich, to laughs from the audience, challenged them to also stand up for the president.
“[You should] stand up for Obama’s right to be utterly ineffective wherever he happens to be,” said Gingrich. “Don’t expect more than that, because you ain’t gonna get it.”
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But while Gingrich poked fun at Obama’s ineffectiveness, he offered a serious warning to his audience: Don’t focus solely on what the Democrats are doing wrong.
“If our movement is primarily anti-Obama, we will reduce our number of victories,” said Gingrich. “If we focus on Hillary, we will lose.”
Instead, he said, conservatives must emphasise that “it is what we do that is right, not what the left is doing that is wrong.”
Gingrich believes conservatives can “break out” if there is a combination made of American exceptionalism along with science and technology.
By using science and technology, said Gingrich, America can move into the future free from the efforts of the “prison guards of the past” who do all they can to block the nation’s future.
For example, he said, newly elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is blocking charter schools because of his support from the teacher’s union, “the biggest blockers of the future.”
He continued that if the United States had the government in the 1800s it has now, stagecoach lobbyists would have fought to keep trains from running faster than horses.
But there are many keys to the future that conservatives can embrace for now. For example, take the smartphone, he said, joking that with iPhone’s Siri “you no longer need a map because you have some woman telling you where to go.”
On a more serious note, he decried the Food and Drug Administration’s takeover of the approval of health-related apps on smartphones.
Such acts go against conservatives’ hopes for an “effective, accountable government under the Constitution,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich said the future also holds hope for the energy industry, especially with the development of hydraulic fracking.
“We are now once again the largest producer of natural gas in the world, ” said Gingrich. “If this president had any sense of seriousness about Russia, he would have signed an order to ship natural gas to Europe.”
Further, Gingrich said that the president should tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States is going to drive down the price of oil Russia is bankrupt.
“A poverty-stricken Putin is not a dangerous Putin,” said Gingrich, noting that the United States can develop strategies to weaken Russia in ways that are peaceful, just as late President Ronald Reagan did years ago.
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