Friday, January 20, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Surrogate at Coker College Today

Newt's Surrogate at Coker Today

So, last week we were told that Newt Gingrich was going to speak at Coker today. Last night, we were told that (Ret.) Colonel Michael Steele would speak in his stead. Since I had already canceled my classes, and because I hadn't been to a political rally (Dan Quayle) since the 1980's, I went.

Some observations and quotes:

1. The staffers were all dressed alike. Khaki pants, blue blazers, white or blue oxfords, leather shoes, tastefully-sized Newt nametags. They were all Caucasian, looked about 24-28, and obese to a man. One of them got us started with a very somber call to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which he did sounding like he was at a funeral for the republic that it represents. It was seriously the worst pledge I've ever heard because his mic-ed voice could be heard over ours.

2. Colonel Steele is definitely ex-military. When his mic wasn't working like he wanted, he boomed a barking order into it to have Trevor Robinson, our theater manager fix it by yelling "TREVOR!" in an imperative tone. He then gave an "angry-white-grandpa speech" as one of my colleagues put it. He started out by saying that he was going set aside all of the "rhetoric" of Newt's opponents and speak in a frank apolitical way about issues that he felt were important. He then went on to say this, which I posted to my facebook so I wouldn't forget it, "We've got Ahmadinejad, this little leprechaun [], in Iran trying to block the Straits of Hormuz and restrict the flow of 1/6th of the world's oil supply.

3. He claimed that there are 25-30 nations that pose a trans-national direct threat to the USA and our interests.

4. He talked at length about the border with Mexico. He said, "I bet nobody in here has ever been to Juarez, Mexico" and said that it was "Murder City." He then explained that it is our problem when it's happening on our border because ranchers and students visiting Mexico were getting killed there. He then said that, "Mexico is a clear threat to our national security."

5. He made a list of six important threats to the USA, including Mexico, Iran, Afghanistan, the Taliban, North Korea, and "regulations and the EPA." He then said that these threats to the USA are "enemies" of the USA. Ergo, the EPA is an enemy of the USA.

6. He got really apocalyptic and said that "2012 is our last chance. This is it. We've got one shot, and then we're done." No one asked him to clarify in the Q&A, but he had way too much doomsday in his voice.

7. He mentioned Newt's work on welfare reform with Pres. Clinton, which I actually liked. However, he missed a huge opportunity to note that Pres. Obama issued an executive order overturning those very same reforms.

8. An audience member who serves in the SC House humblebragged his way into a description of his opportunity to address Israel's Knesset and asked him what Newt would do to protect these "God-given lands" for the Israelis, including Gaza and the West Bank, which the audience member said were the "heartland" of Israel. Col. Steele did not contradict anything the man said.

9. A 7th grader repeatedly pressed him about what Newt would do to stop killing "innocent civilians" in countries we invade, including supporting Israeli actions in Gaza. Col. Steele explained the Weinberger Doctrine to the kid, and was able to almost-gently explain to the kid that the subject was too vast to explain to him in a forum like that.

10. When asked what healthcare would look like under Newt, he said, "I guarantee you that it won't look like socialized medicine." He then proceeded to vilify the Canadian system, talking about someone who had died in a Winnipeg ER and was only found 36 hours later when it was her turn. His promise? "I guarantee no one will die waiting in our ERs under Newt." A tall order for a mortal.

11. When asked what Newt would do for a woman and her husband who are self employed and cannot find insurance that covers maternity in this state, he answered, "I can't answer that. Ask me something about threats to this nation." He did however offer her his card and told her to email him and he would get her the answer.

12. He said "shame on" anyone who doesn't vote in tomorrow's primary.

13. He later called out Pres. Obama for canceling a wargames exercise because Iran and that "little dwarf Ahmadinejad" were doing one at the same time.

14. He said that, and I quote, "Afghanistan is just a piece of dirt, not a nation." His justification? They don't all speak the same language and they don't pay taxes.

He never mentioned Black Hawk Down or his membership on the 1980 UGA Football team. I'm glad I went, but it would've been much cooler to hear Newt. I'm voting for Mitt tomorrow.


Brenden Marcell said...

Why Romney over the others?

Mac said...


The economy matters most to me.

Brenden Marcell said...

The Economy matters most to me as well, My father owns a sole proprietorship and in this economy no one pays for services such as Carpet Cleaning (my fathers business). His revenue was >100,000 in 2001 and was turning away work; however he faced bankruptcy in 2009-2010 because of the economic collapse, but by the grace of God he pulled through it. He backs Newt Gingrich 100%.

I believe both Mitt and Newt would be an improvement in the oval office.

Despite my father's beliefs, I'm not sold on anyone yet.