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Posted at 11:14 AM ET, 12/22/2011

Newt stumps in Short Pump

Newt Gingrich landed at the Hilton in Short Pump to speak at a Republican Party of Virginia fundraiser this morning. And, Newt being Newt, he managed to offer plenty of good quote for the overflow crowd.

Among the highlights — even while actively petitioning at the event, Gingrich confidently stated that his campaign would file 12,000-14,000 signatures by today’s 5 p.m. deadline for getting on the primary ballot. Other campaigns — like that of Michele Bachmann, and perhaps Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman — may not be so fortunate. The mystery of who is actually heading up the Gingrich effort in Virginia was cleared somewhat with word that Mike Brown, who ran Del. John Cox’s campaign, is leading the Virginia petition effort. So, for the time being, that makes Brown the go-to guy in the state.

In his remarks, Gingrich emphasized his history professor roots, using them to defend his aggressive take on judicial overreach in the War on Terror and also to let us know that he has another book coming out next year on George Washington at Yorktown.

He also reiterated that, should he be the nominee, he will challenge the president to a series of seven, three-hour long, Lincoln/Douglas-style debates. If the president doesn’t accept the challenge, Gingrich intends to let the White House scheduling office dictate his own campaign’s schedule, as he promises to appear within four hours of wherever the president has been to offer a rebuttal.

On specific policy matters, Gingrich called for zeroing out both the capital gains and death tax, cutting the corporate tax rate to an Irish-like 12 percent and making the regulatory climate more business friendly. He called for Congress to pass, before the inauguration, repeals of Obamacare, Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank. He wants the Food and Drug Administration reformed so that it speeds up drug approvals and he wants to abolish the current Environmental Protection Agency and replace it with an “Environmental Solutions Agency.” The biggest hiring criteria for the revamped agency? Common sense.

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Norman Leahy  |  11:14 AM ET, 12/22/2011

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