Newt Gingrich emphasized again tonight that he was on embarking on an unconventional campaign.
“This is going to be a philosophical campaign,” Gingrich said in a speech at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. “It’s going to the shock the news media.”
“The great purpose of a campaign …is to have an argument. Some people in politics find this very confusing,” Gingrich added later.
Gingrich plans to focus his campaign on three themes: economics, American exceptionalism, and national security. The first two are each 50 percent about health care, he says.
He’s planning a campaign plotted around an ambitious first week in the Oval Office. In those first days, Gingrich would like to slash current tax rates, drastically roll back regulation (including repealing Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley), and in the first hour alone, he hopes to sign between 15 to 200 executive orders. While he’s open to suggestions on the executive orders, the first four he plans to sign would ban White House czars, reinstate the Mexico city abortion funding policy, re-implement the Conscience Clause that permits medical professionals to decline to perform procedures that violate their religious beliefs, and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
“I got criticized a little bit in elite media … because I said Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history,” Gingrich observed. That’s a line he will keep pushing, while positioning himself as the alternative: the “paycheck president.”
During the speech, Gingrich noted that if Republicans were serious about changing the nation’s political course, they couldn’t just focus on capturing the Oval Office. Calling 2012 the “most important team election in our lifetime,” Gingrich stressed that Republicans needed to gain 12 Senate seats, and 30 to 40 House seats.