Woodstock, Ga. - Newt Gingrich says the report card he'll be issuing on President Obama's energy speech Thursday afternoon will have a baseline test for approval: whether or not the White House will fire Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
If President Obama, the candidate said, is "really serious about helping the American people, having seen yesterday's testimony, he will fire Secretary Chu and get somebody who favors less expensive gasoline." Applause broke out from the crowd of approximately 250 people gathered on a parking lot for the grand opening of the Cherokee County Republican Party headquarters.
He joked, "I suspect the American people would chip in to buy the airplane ticket later on today."
Gingrich praised Chu's record as a "brilliant scientist" but said his testimony to Congress Monday reflected misplaced priorities.
"Dr. Chu, literally, testified in Congress that he did not favor lowering the price of gasoline, that they had no alternative policy to lower the price of gasoline and that his goal was to get on to other things and he announced grandly that they had a breakthrough on battery power for electric cars and that they had interesting research, is the way he put it, under natural gas," Gingrich said.
"Now, all of these things are interesting, and I'm for science, I am for developing the future," he continued. "But I think one of the lessons of Obama waste of over a half billion dollars over Solyndra is that you shouldn't confuse the future with the present.
Gingrich said that, since the 1970s, the United States has tried to solve the "wrong problem," which has been trying to develop energy alternatives, rather than the actual problem of relying too much on foreign countries for gasoline.
The Gingrich campaign bus underwent a minor makeover overnight, setting forth this morning with a new $2.50/gallon gas logo pasted on it. The logo, which first premiered during Gingrich's energy address to the California Republican Party Saturday, started with a sketch drawn by Gingrich himself and his chief of staff Patrick Millsaps.
The campaign has been trying to simplify their message using pictures and Twitter hash tags in order to cut through the clutter of traditional media, and Gingrich today joked about his latest project.
"We're trying to figure out how to design some kind of picture -- what does Obama baloney look like? It would be all left wing. Maybe it's baloney made from the left wings of turkeys," he free-associated, with a smile.