BURLINGAME, Calif. – Flanked by $2.50 gas price campaign signs, Newt Gingrich on Saturday laid out his vision for energy production in America and picked apart the speech President Barack Obama gave on the subject earlier this week.
"We have more than enough energy in the United States that we do not have to rely on foreign countries, but we have an anti-American energy government, an anti-American energy bureaucracy, anti-American energy regulations,” Gingrich told the 500-person crowd at the California Republican Party Convention’s luncheon.
“The long-term answer is Americans producing their own energy,” he said. “We can be the largest oil producer in the world by the end of this decade.”
This could happen to no thanks of Obama, the former House speaker said, calling Obama’s speech at the University of Miami "factually false, intellectually incoherent, deeply conflicted on policy and in some places just strange.”
Gingrich, who uncharacteristically read from prepared remarks a lot, went back and forth quoting lines from the president’s speech Thursday and then explaining how he, “a historian,” believes Obama is inaccurate.
Gingrich chose to deliver this speech on energy in the state that has the highest gas prices in the country – the average for regular unleaded on Saturday was about $4.25 per gallon, according to the AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
Approving the Keystone Pipeline, which Obama vetoed last month, approving a return to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and approving drilling in areas of Alaska, Gingrich says, would provide “2.3 million barrels a day of additional energy.”
Never mentioning GOP rivals Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum by name, Gingrich said the choice between himself and Obama is simple.
“If you would like to have a national American energy policy, never again bow to a Saudi king and pay $2.50 a gallon, Newt Gingrich will be your candidate,” he said to cheers. “If you want $10 a gallon gasoline, an anti-energy secretary, and in weakness requiring us to depend on foreigners for our energy, Barack Obama should be your candidate.”
Herman Cain and Michael Reagan spoke before Gingrich at the luncheon, each laying out why they are supporting the former speaker in his run for president. The two men, along with Callista Gingrich, held their hands together high in the air after Gingrich concluded his almost hour-long speech.
Gingrich will now carry his new campaign focus on gas prices and energy to Georgia, where he will start campaigning Sunday. He assured Californians he would be back to campaign in their state.