Newt Gingrich will unveil a new Contract With America in Iowa on Thursday, and it seems as if it will allow him to both unleash his ideas while also corralling them into a grander campaign theme and strategy for his revived presidential campaign.
Gingrich, who has polled as high as third in national surveys after a string of impressive debate performances, spoke in Doylestown, Pa., on Tuesday at a packed event organized by the founders of the Kitchen Table Patriots, a local Tea Party organization.
In the last week, Gingrich has said his new contract will be an evolving document that will be formed by his ideas and those of voters.
Gingrich, as he said again on Tuesday, has also been asking voters to be “with him” and not just “for him.” Gingrich said that if people were just for him, then they would just vote for him, go home, and expect him to clean up the country’s mess. Instead, Gingrich asked the audience to be with him not just through November, but for eight years after that to help return power back to the citizen from czars and bureaucrats in a big government run amok.
This framing strategy potentially allows citizens to be stakeholders in a Gingrich campaign and potential presidency, while giving him a way of organizing all of his ideas and potential supporters around one fundamental theme of returning power back to the citizen.
On Tuesday, Gingrich was again a whirlwind of ideas. He talked about replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with something that works better. He said that because liberals hate vouchers but love Pell Grants, he wanted to give Pell Grants for K-12, so that schools would have to pay attention to parents and not to the federal Department of Education.
He referenced Abraham Lincoln’s comments after the Dred Scott decision, in which Lincoln said that it should not be possible for nine appointed people to dictate to all Americans. Gingrich threatened to abolish the courts run by liberal activist judges.
And Gingrich said his contract will be different from the 1994 contract because, after watching things like the stimulus bill and ObamaCare being passed in Congress, he decided the new contract would be more “directional” and out in the open, something that would allow for regular hearings before legislation is written “the old-fashioned way.”
According to Gingrich, Americans have “to believe in our system of representative government,” which cannot happen if legislation is written by staffers prone to be influenced by lobbyists.
Gingrich also differentiated himself from some of his contenders. He jabbed Gov. Rick Perry‘s Texas DREAM Act, which gave instate tuition rates to illegal immigrants, by joking about how, if citizens want cheaper tuition, they should attempt to cross the border, come back, and declare themselves noncitizens.
He also praised the spirit of the FairTax, but said he would be leery of the federal government imposing a national sales tax and an income tax because it would give Congress two methods in which to further tax Americans.
In doing so, he differentiated himself from businessman Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan that calls for a 9% flat tax on income, a 9% corporate tax and a 9% national sales tax.
Gingrich also spoke, as he brilliantly does, about why America is exceptional. He said he has been shaped by Gettysburg, Valley Forge, and the events leading up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
“Freedom survives one generation at a time,” Gingrich said. “You are the land of the free if you are the home of the brave.” Gingrich’s task ahead is to get enough people to join him in finalizing a contract that becomes an eight-year blueprint that can be used to return more freedom to individuals and, in so doing, strengthen and restore the country’s foundation.