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MILWAUKEE ? As presidential candidates travel the nation
promising change, former United States House Speaker Newt Gingrich said
Thursday each Republican candidate can do just that.
Gingrich, speaking at a Republican Party of Wisconsin
fundraising event, said one candidate needs to stand out with a broad vision of
change for the nation.
?What none of them have done yet and what they need to work
at is, like Reagan, develop a broad visionary speech that allows people to
understand what they would do, that brings people together in a way to say ?I got
it,?? Gingrich said. ?I think the candidate who creates that broad, visionary
sense of change will probably end up being the Republican nominee.?
Without endorsing one particular candidate, Gingrich said
John McCain promises changing special interest group relations in Washington,
Rudy Giuliani changed New York to make it the safest big city in America, Mike
Huckabee promises changes to income tax policies while Mitt Romney pledges to
use his business background to change the overall climate of Washington.
None of them, Gingrich said, has the broad visionary idea
down concretely yet.
And with no clear frontrunner in place yet in either party,
Gingrich said Wisconsin and other states with later primaries could have a
tremendous impact on who becomes the eventual nominee.
While Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, will likely have a greater
impact on the Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,
Gingrich said a Republican frontrunner could emerge, but there might not be a
?I think on the Republican side the odds are at least even
money that you could have at least three candidates very viable by the time
they get to the Wisconsin primary,? Gingrich said. ?And, ironically, that will
actually end up meaning the states that come later are more important, not less
important, in the process of finally deciding who the nominee is.?
Despite Wisconsin siding with John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore
in 2000, Wisconsin Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus said he is
excited at the prospect of the state?s impact in November’s general election.
?We have a very unique situation in Wisconsin,? Priebus
said. ?As I sit on the RNC ? we are very fortunate to have a few people in our
state that we can build our party around ? people like Paul Ryan, Jim
Sensenbrenner, J.B. Van Hollen.?
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who is also up for
reelection this year, said Republicans should be ?proud? of the selection of
presidential candidates they have.
?Any one of the candidates on the Republican side of the
aisle is eminently more qualified than the top three Democrats on the ballot,?
With the primary process drawn out over a series of months,
Gingrich, who said he would support whoever the Republican nominee is, does not
?I like competition. I think our candidates are better than
they were three months ago,? he said. ?I think they have learned a lot by
competing with each other, and I think that they will be much better to compete
with Sen. Clinton, who I think is probably most certainly going to be the
On the Democratic side, Gingrich said the political disputes
between Obama and Clinton do not surprise him.
?The Clintons have built a mean machine which has been very
good since 1978 at winning elections,? he said. ?They are very determined to
get back to the White House and are quite prepared to run over who they have
Gingrich added the Clintons were nice to Obama ?as long as
he wasn’t a threat,? which he has become in recent weeks.
While in Milwaukee, Gingrich promoted his ?Platform of the
American People,? a part of his recent book ?Real Change.?
In the Platform, Gingrich used a series of telephone town
hall meetings and surveys with the goal of finding a common ground between all
Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
Among his findings, Gingrich found 87 percent of Americans
support English as the official American language and 84 percent support a
one-page tax form option.
Several Republican state legislators attended the
event, including Reps. Robin Vos, Ted Kanavas and Jim Ott.