CPAC 2014: Newt Gingrich: Hillary Clinton a ‘Prison Guard’ of Past
March 8, 2014
Newt Gingrich said Saturday that the key to defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016 is to cast her as a defender of the failures of the past, while promoting Republicans as the ones with the better vision for the future.
The former House speaker was speaking to activists gathered for the Conservative Political Action Conference here. His speech touched upon everything from Ukraine to charter schools, but he reserved much of it for how to deal with Clinton, a former secretary of state who is pondering a second run at the White House.
Republicans should frame the former first lady as “the leading prison guard of the past, propping up every failed bureaucratic institution,” said Gingrich, who made his own failed presidential run in 2012.
He cautioned his party, however, not to have too narrow a focus.
“If we spend the next three years being primarily anti-Hillary, we will virtually guarantee her election … “ Gingrich said. “To make sure that doesn’t happen, we must stop being the opposition movement, and we must become the alternative government movement that will help make the life of Americans better so that they understand what we would be doing that is right, not just what the left is doing that is wrong.”
Gingrich also ripped New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who managed Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, for his efforts to stymie the spread of charter schools, actions the Republican said will disproportionately hurt Latinos and African-Americans.
“He represents the teacher unions, who are the biggest prison guards of education,” Gingrich told a crowd that at times chanted “Newt!”
On the crisis in Ukraine, Gingrich argued that President Barack Obama should issue an order that allows U.S. natural gas to be shipped to Europe. Gingrich also supported expanding offshore oil and taking natural gas from federal lands.
“If this president had any sense of seriousness about Russia,” Gingrich said, “he would explain to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that we’re going to drive down the price of oil enough that Russia will once again be bankrupt, as it was in the Cold War.”
“If you look out five or 10 years, and that’s what strategy is, a poverty-stricken Putin is not a very dangerous Putin,” he added. “Much of his current power comes from the high price of oil.”
Gingrich wrapped up his 11-minute speech by saying that he does not mind that Obama is taking a break in Key Largo, Fla.
“The president spent all of last week proving that he was capable of being ineffective,” he said. “I believe he can be as ineffective in Key Largo as he was in the White House.”