At the 32nd Annual National Conservative Student Conference in northwest Washington D.C., former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich took the podium to address an enthusiastic crowd of young right-wingers from all geographic locations and strains of conservatism. Gingrich, echoing fellow conference speakers like Bay Buchanan and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), emphasized the "fundamental" nature of this year's mid-term elections.
"Very few elections in American history have this big of a choice confronting the nation," Gingrich said. "This election is bigger, or as big, as any I can remember."
Gingrich laid out the thesis of his new book, To Save America, a free copy of which was provided to those in attendance. The former speaker detailed the "crossroads" today confronting America; a choice between upholding the conservative principles of liberty, opportunity, and limited government or embracing Obama's "secular socialist machine," epitomized by increased government intervention, dependency, and economic equality through redistribution. Gingrich pointed to Obamacare and Finreg as just two recent examples of the "intellectual arrogance" of Obama and the left, and of their desire to control the lives of average Americans.
Bay Buchanan, treasurer for Ronald Reagan's 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns, likewise said that this November would mark "the direction we must take if we are to survive." Rep. Rogers concurred that the coming election signified a "fight for America's future," but expressed optimism that Obama-prescribed socialism was "not in our DNA."
Gingrich fielded several questions from student attendees regarding specific policy issues, but dodged queries about a potential presidential bid for the 2012 election. Although he told the crowd that "it was early to decide" and reiterated the difficulties involved in securing the Republican nomination, when asked if he would construct another Contract with America, Gingrich replied, "if I were to run, we would want to create a sharp document" for the American people.