Savannah, Ga. - It's not just Energy Secretary Steven Chu who Newt Gingrich says should be replaced in the administration. The candidate is suggesting Interior Secretary Ken Salazar needs to step down as well.
"If the president would replace Dr. Chu with one of the people who has developed North Dakota Oil and then replace the Secretary of the Interior with one of the people who has developed North Dakota oil, in about 90 days you would have a revolution in developing oil and gas in the United States."
A scattered audience of approximately a hundred people gathered in the sweltering Savannah heat to listen to the former House Speaker deliver a half-hour speech. Polls indicate Gingrich may be widening his lead to double digits in Georgia and the candidate continued his call for President Obama to increase domestic energy production.
To critics who say $2.50 gas is impossible, Gingrich pointed to the price of natural gas, which he said has fallen amid increased domestic production.
"You tell me why it can't happen to oil," he said. "Now, all of our many friends will say, well, you have to understand oil is a world market. True. Natural gas is a world market. Well natural gas is more locally defined. True. How much more locally defined? Twenty percent? Thirty percent? You can't tell me supply doesn't have some impact."
He mocked Obama referring to algae in his Miami energy speech. "Do you know how whacked out you have to be?" Gingrich exclaimed, estimating it would take another 25 years before algae would produce significant amounts of commercially viable energy. "What does the president expect us to do between now and then?"
"One of the things Obama has go to worry about is when we get to five or six dollar gasoline this summer, this economy is going to crater," he warned.
Gingrich called himself as a "change agent" compared to Mitt Romney who he called a "fine manager in the business world who frankly didn't change Massachusetts at all" and Rick Santorum, "essentially a big government, big labor conservative who is a team player."
"Unlike Governor Romney I am not going to Washington to manage the decay and unlike Senator Santorum I am not going to Washington to join the team," he said. "I want to create a new team called the American people who force dramatic bold change on Washington and I want to force Washington to decide do you want to be on the American peoples' team or do you want to get fired and go home?"
The candidate declared "so much of the Washington establishment is opposed to me" because he's not Mitt Romney, "clearly the inside establishment candidate."
"The fact is they can't push me around and it drives them crazy. What they want is somebody who's malleable and who's going to go along to get along."