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March 16, 2012

Gingrich: I Have Come Here To Chew Bubblegum and Not Drop Out of the Race and I'm All Out of Bubblegum

Goin' nowhere.

Asked on CBS’s This Morning “under what circumstances” he would end his campaign before the convention, Gingrich responded: “Probably none.” He told host Charlie Rose, “I’ll be with you in Tampa, Charlie," adding, "I have 176,000 donors at Newt.org. They want me to stay in the race.”

In a different interview, he suggested the press and much of the party has difficulty understanding the breadth of his vision.

“The thing I find most disheartening of this campaign is the difficulty of talking about large ideas on a large scale, because the news media can’t cover it and, candidly, my opponents can’t comprehend it,” Gingrich said, while also vowing to continue his campaign to the convention in Tampa this summer.

He called himself the only candidate of the four still in the contest “focused on ideas and … solutions and not just the usual politics,” and the only one advocating wholesale change to a political system that is “methodically and deliberately stupid.”

Other parts of his speech covered topics ranging from President Lincoln promoting the transcontinental railroad to the antifraud system of the American Express company. Gingrich spoke of the need for a “technological revolution” in government, but he lamented that no one but him seemed to understand that.

“Let me just talk for a second about technology and grand opportunities,” he said. “Other than Ronald Reagan, I know of no Republican in my lifetime who’s been able to talk about this. That’s why I’m still running.”

Although Gingrich is a bright man, this disconnect makes me not appreciate him. I do not think the things he is talking about are "big ideas."

I consider the biggest idea of all the idea that government should be doing far less. I don't want new laundry lists of sectors the government can improve by getting involved in.

Some of what Gingrich says is unobjectionable -- his idea to "revolutionize" or whatever the federal bureaucracy by making them adopt efficiency standards and better technology -- but that's not really a "big idea."

Yes, of course, to the extent I have a bureaucracy, I'd like it to run effectively and efficiently and cheaply. So I'm in favor of that.

But who isn't?

But that's not the big question of this cycle. The big question this cycle is about the proper ambition of government, and while no candidate adequately addresses that question, I find Gingrich to be addressing it in the wrong direction.

He seems to have too much government ambition in mind.

None of these guys understand the Big Idea of America: That citizens are wise enough and smart enough to manage their own affairs, and that maximum possible sovereignty should be trusted to them.

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posted by Ace at 01:59 PM

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