DERRY, N.H. (CBS) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich returned to New Hampshire for the first time since the rocky start to his presidential campaign. He gave a substantive speech on the economy and health care, weighed in on NY election “tea party candidate was a significant problem,” and avoided questions about his Tiffany account at a town hall event in Derry.
Gingrich started his day on the New Hampshire campaign trail in Derry, with a speech on jobs, the economy, and health care. He told the group at a medical center that we have reached a moment of “crisis in America” and said the return of power to the states and the people is urgently needed. “This means rejecting a government of we the bureaucrats, and replacing it with a government of, by and for the people.”
Gingrich is trying to change the dialogue from the rough road since his campaign kick off: backlash from his party following his comments about the Ryan Medicare plan, reports of a $250,000 to $500,000 on a Tiffany credit card, and more recently a protester dumped confetti on Gingrich and his wife at a book signing.
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.
In his speech, Gingrich promised to work to repeal President Obama’s health care reform. He said, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, unaffordable, unworkable, and stunningly unfair.” He says the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
Gingrich also criticized Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for his efforts to contain the costs of health care in Massachusetts. However, he didn’t mention Mitt Romney who passed health care reform in Massachusetts. Afterwards, Gingrich wouldn’t take questions about this.
At first, Gingrich walked away from the podium without taking questions, but then a voter asked if he would respond to questions from the crowd. One man asked if he would support state’s rights for the legalization of marijuana, because he is a proponent of state’s right. Gingrich responded that he would uphold federal laws in a drug case.
We attempted to ask Gingrich questions afterwards. At first he responded to a question about the recent NY Senate race upset, and said that, “The Tea Party candidate was a significant problem. It’s one of the things we have to worry about all of next year. The biggest single factor was the Tea Party candidate split the conservative vote.”
We asked whether he believes working families will be able to relate to him with the Tiffany charge account, Gingrich responded, “You’re far more fascinated about that than normal Americans. Normal Americans ask about jobs, they ask about energy, and things that affect their lives.”