Channel 2 exclusive with Newt Gingrich: ‘This is tough on everybody that knows us’

Macon — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is here at the GOP convention, drawing a crowd of well-wishers minutes before dinner.

We’re waiting for his speech, but in the meantime, watch this exclusive sitdown with Gingrich snagged by John Pruitt with Channel 2 Action News.






Gingrich said he’s prepared for the withering examination and criticism that will come with three marriages and two divorces:

“This is tough on everybody who knows us,” he said. “We knew that some of it was coming and we knew that it was unavoidable….If you have ideas that frighten your opponents and they can’t beat the ideas, they decide to beat you.”

And from Shannon McCaffrey of the Associated Press:

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Friday he’s more mature than he was in his days as a fiery House speaker and Georgia congressman and has learned to watch what he says.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gingrich said he “is slower and more disciplined” and that he has learned to let “larger teams carry the load.”

The 67-year-old Gingrich made his remarks during a swing through Georgia, which he represented in Congress for two decades. He was hitting the campaign trail for the first time since officially jumping into the 2012 race this week.

He stumped at Fincher’s Barbeque, a 76-year-old restaurant in Macon, Ga.

There he shook hands with supporters wearing “Newt 2012″ stickers.

Gingrich rolled up the sleeves of his blue dress shirt as he smiled and worked the small crowd.

He is set to address the Georgia Republican Party convention Friday night, where he will outline a jobs creation plan heavy on tax cuts.

Gingrich told The AP on Friday that after he became speaker, it took him two years to learn that he had to re-calibrate his style and change his message from his days as a Republican-insurgent in a House that had been controlled by Democrats for decades.

And by then, he said, “the damage had been done.”
“There are the things you want to say and what you need to say,” Gingrich told The AP.

Some have questioned whether Gingrich_ known for his combative style and what some consider over-the-top rhetoric _ has the temperament and discipline to be president.

Last year, he suggested U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was a racist, said Obama is best understood by his “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,” and argued that placing a mosque near ground zero in New York City was akin to placing a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.

Earlier Friday, at a speech before a gathering of economic conservatives in Washington, Gingrich said General Electric’s aggressive legal and accounting strategy, which led to reports of a zero corporate tax liability last year, was a clever and rational response to the nation’s high tax rates.

Saying he wanted to slash an array of taxes and bureaucracies, Gingrich praised the author of the “Laffer Curve,” a theory that says unless taxes are kept low, individuals and corporations will invest less and seek ways to avoid paying taxes.

Gingrich cited GE. The company reported global profits of $14.2 billion last year, including $5.1 billion from U.S operations, but modest tax liabilities.

Gingrich said the 35 percent corporate tax rate should drop to 12.5 percent. He cited GE’s “remarkably rational behavior in recognizing the corporate tax rate is clearly past the Laffer curve point. And so 375 tax lawyers in the largest tax department in the world” devised “a very clever strategy which enabled General Electric to pay zero corporate taxes.”

After news organizations reported that GE might pay no corporate taxes for 2010, the company stated that it expects a “small U.S. income tax liability” for that year.
GE and others would pay more taxes at a 12.5 percent rate because they would consider it more fair and rational, Gingrich contended. He also urged eliminating the estate tax and extending President George W. Bush’s income tax cuts for high earners beyond 2013.

Expanding on his remarks, Gingrich told The AP it would be “absurd” to expect that any company would pay more than it legally had to. And he blamed the Obama administration for adopting a patchwork of tax credits and loopholes that effective encourage companies to hire lawyers to manipulate their returns.

“You should lower the tax rate and fire the lawyers,” he said.
Asked if he would encourage other companies to exploit loopholes to keep their taxes down, the author and one-time college professor said, “They already do.”

Gingrich was in Georgia the same day that Gov. Nathan Deal _ a key supporter and former House member_ signed a tough immigration law with some similarities to Arizona’s controversial law.

He said he had not read the law so he could not comment on it, but that he generally supported states and localities being able to enforce the law.

Gingrich has made efforts to reach out to Hispanic voters and said he doesn’t think that the tough GOP stance on illegal immigration has alienated the fast-growing minority group. “I do think we will have to work very hard to get that vote,” he said.

He called Obama’s recent address on immigration “very dishonest.”

“Obama has to answer the question: he’s had two years to pass a bill and he never made it a prority. Why should they trust that he will now?” he said.

Former Arkansas Gov., Mike Huckabee is set to announce on Saturday whether he will enter the Republican race for president.

Gingrich said he did not know what Huckabee would decide. But he said if Huckabee declines to run “I suspect it will make the road ahead for us somewhat easier.”

It was widely expected that Huckabee would have strong appeal with religious conservatives in Iowa and South Carolina, two early-voting states where Gingrich hopes to do well. If Huckabee remains out of the race, Gingrich would be one of the few Southerners in the contest and those votes could be for grab.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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36 comments Add your comment

DannyX

May 13th, 2011
7:39 pm

Divorce is a Choice.

God created “Adam and Eve.”…NOT…”Adam and Eve, then Adam and Jane, then Adam and Jennifer.”

It’s “Until death do us part,”…NOT… “Until the next bimbo comes around.”

Divorce will one day lead to animal marriage/divorce.

Divorce is a CHOICE!

findog

May 13th, 2011
7:50 pm

cut taxes for corporations and high earners to zero and raise the bottom rate to 12.5 for the unemployed, 25 for minimum wage, and 30 for the middle class
that will pay for more military spending until grandma dies off from a lack of affordable medical care

Sick of Republicans

May 13th, 2011
8:16 pm

And Jane and Jennifer were dumped by him when they were diagnosed with serious illnesses. His present wife – well as good a arm candy as she may be – don’t get sick or he will dump you and find another young fool. BTW – how does it feel being married to someone old enough to be your grandpa?

MrLiberty

May 13th, 2011
8:58 pm

Ron Paul – 54 years committed to one woman and still going strong. 20 years in congress committed to the principles of liberty and a voting record that is beyond reproach and free of principled inconsistencies.

Newt can’t stay committed to a woman he has taken vows with. How can anyone expect that his committment to any political or moral principles will stand up to the winds of politics?

Ron Paul 2012. End the Fed.

The Candy Man

May 13th, 2011
9:17 pm

divorce is a sin on par with shoplifting or anal bungling.

curious

May 13th, 2011
9:40 pm

It’s all so simple. Eliminate all taxes, corporate and personal. Let’s go back to the Stone Age. In fact, why have a government? Everybody needs to begin packing iron.
At least GE used the money saved by not paying any taxes to employ 375 lawyers.
If no one paid taxes, we could all employ some Americans, not illegals, and achieve full employment and wealth.
We don’t need any social programs or defense, because like Boortz, Rush, Sean, Newt, we would be self made without any need for government.

IT’S JUST SO SIMPLE.

Olderandwiser49

May 13th, 2011
9:48 pm

Too much will be made of his divorces. No, I don’t think what he did says much about his integrity, character, or committment. I think it speaks volumes about how he changes direction when things don’t go his way. Gingrich has a history overflowing with changes in his policy directions. One month he speaks of “conservative values,” and the next week he’s on the couch buddying up with Pelosi in support of unconservative spending. It might help if he would stand up and say that one of his statements or the other was wrong, and that he was seeking to correct it. Instead, he has temporary amnesia about the contradiction from month to month. He will always blow with the wind. His goal is popularity, as is the case with so many egotists, and he doesn’t care which side is doing the applauding. Too wishy-washy to be President, and I believe his candidacy will hurt the GOP candidates. We can see what damage an ego-maniac can do to this country just by viewing the current Administration. Do we really need four more years of either of these two in office?

Ol' Timer

May 13th, 2011
11:05 pm

Ol; Newt’s logic escapes me. GE hires dozens of lawyers to throw sand in the air so they can find a way out of paying taxes. They pay ZERO. But if you lower the tax rate to 12.5% they’ll pay it.

Newt, if they pay ZERO why should they be happy to pay 12.5%. No company pays 35%. And, most pay none.

This “trickle down” approach has been tried for 30 years — and the Bush tax cuts are years old and where is the utopian outcome?

It’s all horse hocky! And, if you buy into this outdate approach that doesn’t work you’re dumb as dirt!

Z

May 13th, 2011
11:17 pm

Newt, one word for this morally deficient, ethically challenged X politician…ICK!

Alabama Communist

May 13th, 2011
11:22 pm

Will he tell the Republicans at Macon how he got a wind job in his car by his present wife when he was still married to wife 2?

bin laden

May 13th, 2011
11:29 pm

I MISS DUBYA

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

May 14th, 2011
2:16 am

@DannyX…….well done!

tc

May 14th, 2011
6:21 am

Newt is the best choice. I will support him 100%. GO NEWT!!

BitterEXdemocrackkk

May 14th, 2011
8:08 am

THANKS!, MrLiberty – I’m with YOU!!!

Ron Paul / Herman Cain 2012 !!!

(except Cain used to be a Federal Reserve Board member…will HE support abolishing the FED?)
He needs to be vetted on this now.

I dare say Gingrich would not support abolition of the FED…and he’s too much a democrackkk, too
much like Hillary & Co….

Road Scholar

May 14th, 2011
8:20 am

curious: Exactly. You nailed their position.

Newtie is Nuttie

May 14th, 2011
8:30 am

Yeah, right. Do the math on his age. He’s in it for the glory and perks. He’s older than Jack Flynt was when he finally beat him on the third try. He might get three votes in Iowa.

jconservative

May 14th, 2011
8:39 am

If one cannot keep their marriage vows why would you trust them to keep their oath of office?

rufus

May 14th, 2011
9:25 am

Have we really reached this low point in our society so quickly? Even Rome lasted longer then this before their morals killed them.

JDW

May 14th, 2011
9:35 am

Newt vs Ron Paul…this is better than The Three Stooges Go to Washington.

I think a remake is in order. Newt can play Curly (now that Sonny has ridden off into state funded riches), Paul makes a great Larry, and all we need is Moe…I hear the current season of Celebrity Apprentice is winding down.

clifton

May 14th, 2011
10:31 am

Newtie is another of many serial philanderers who, ironically, found God and his one true love at the same time he started receiving Social Security checks.

bart

May 14th, 2011
10:57 am

Gingrich is not only an embarrassment to the state of Georgia but also to the Republican Party.

midtownguy

May 14th, 2011
11:07 am

DannyX; Bravo! And all those divorced and re-married born-again fundamentalists are going to go to hell. Let he who is without sin . . . . . .

Gail

May 14th, 2011
11:10 am

OH MY GOSH—–as if everyone of you are sooooo perfect. PLEASE….we all make mistakes and staying married to somebody you know longer love is a BIG mistake. I do not care if he has been married 10 times, he is STILL a good candidate. GROW UP people.

Real American

May 14th, 2011
11:35 am

Gail, he CHEATED on 2 wives….CHEATED. He didn’t just fall out of love and then get a divorce. HE CHEATED and got caught.

Gail

May 14th, 2011
11:44 am

SO he cheated……do you know how many people I have known in my life that have done the same thing????? IF we judge people by the cheating, we would have NOBODY to run for office. IF people would tell the truth………

newt's women

May 14th, 2011
12:01 pm

will newt pick up a hotter, younger looking chick for the campaign? His 3rd wife is getting a little old looking.

midtownguy

May 14th, 2011
12:02 pm

It is not a matter of morality, it is a matter of character. We all have moral failings. Some of the most prominent leaders of this century had mistresses. If he had divorced when no longer in love then pursued a new relationship he would not be being judged so harshly. But he got caught cheating twice and divorced as a result of it. That is a pattern. A pattern of moral failings.

You wonder if he would have divorced any of them if he had not gotten caught and had been able to “have his cake and eat it too” as they saying goes, all the while preaching “family values.”

I wonder how many defending Newt’s relationship record would be perfectly OK if they caught their spouse/partner cheating on them?

Bill B

May 14th, 2011
12:18 pm

Apparently very few people are familiar with Lillith and Adam. When Lillith left it became Adam and Eve. Check it out Bible thumper.

Gail

May 14th, 2011
12:41 pm

YES, he would have divorced them BECAUSE it is evident that he did not love them OR he would not have cheated. People do not normally get divorced UNLESS there is somebody else.

Gail

May 14th, 2011
12:46 pm

FYI Midtownguy, I would not have anybody that cheated on me……..

Sam I Am

May 14th, 2011
12:56 pm

So Gail, how many people have you known that did the same thing?

E Thompson

May 14th, 2011
1:39 pm

All you negative commenters,Get your heads on straight,. OR BETTER YET,FLUSH YOUSELVES. THAT’S ALL YOU KNOW HOW TO DO IS BAD MOUTHING. PROVE ONE THING where YOU have ever been SUCCESSFUL…
YOU’RE THE REASON WE HAVE WHO is “RUIN -ING” OUR COUNTRY NOW BY TURNING IT SOCIALIST….YOU BETTER WAKE UP !!!

NEWT GINGRICH—– IS THE MOST SUPERB PERSON FOR THE PRESIDENCY OF OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA..

MAY .GOD BLESS NEWT GINGRICH.

GOD BLESS AMERICA.!!!

Gail

May 14th, 2011
7:38 pm

Sam I AM you are either in a bubble or just naive. I work in a government job and you would be amazed at the people that are having affairs and they are ALL married. Several churches I know of have LOTS of cheating going on……most subdivisions have multiple affairs on going all the time…This happens all the time….the doctor in our town cheated with the attorneys wife…..my gosh look around, read the paper…..I WOULD not cheat (my husband is deceased) but I would not cheat nor put up with being cheated on. POLITICS and personal life are seperate right? That is what they say about our current president.

Gail

May 14th, 2011
7:41 pm

E THOMPSON YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!!!!!! GO NEWT!

no name

May 16th, 2011
10:01 am

Gail and Mr. Thompson,
You use your words very loosely. That’s right blame everything on the current president. If it does not go right blame him! I’ll tell you this, Newt should not ever consider running for president. He can’t keep one lie straight, let alone others. President O’bama may not be the answer but he sure would be better than his counterpart. By the way, morality does mean a lot in this country whether we like it or not. Newt, concentrate on your personal life, that’s where you are needed most………..