Gingrich speaks at Judson in Fox Valley visit
By Dave Gathman email@example.com March 15, 2012 3:08PM
Former U.S. Speaker of the House and Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich waves to supporters and media Thursday prior to an appearance at Judson University in Elgin. March 15, 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 17, 2012 8:12AM
ELGIN — Speaking Thursday morning to a capacity crowd of some 600 people in the Herrick Chapel at Judson University, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called for an end to discrimination against Christians, a nationwide effort to cure brain diseases, an intense search for oil within the U.S., and the privatization of Social Security.
But in what Gingrich campaign staffers had described as a “Hispanic town hall meeting,” very few brown faces were visible in the crowd, and the former speaker of the House took no questions from the audience. He was introduced by Mark Vargas, a Hispanic Judson alumnus, and the opening prayer was offered by the Rev. Henoch Fuentes, Chilean-born pastor of Evangelical Covenant Church of Elgin.
Also Thursday, Gingrich led rallies at Barrington High School and Lake in the Hills Airport while his wife, Callista, read her children’s book “Sweet Land of Liberty” to students at Goddard School in Lake in the Hills and Sunny Hill School in Carpentersville.
Even while his Congress and President Clinton were cutting overall federal spending and balancing the budget in the 1990s, Gingrich said, he pushed through a twofold increase in spending for the National Institutes of Health. Now, he said, “I propose we should have a Brain Science Initiative,” putting researchers to work on the causes and possible cures for autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, brain injuries and psychiatric illnesses.
“If we could postpone the onset of Alzheimer’s by just five years — not cure it, but just delay it by five years — we could save $6 trillion by the year 2050,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich fired his most critical comments against not his Republican rivals in the March 20 Illinois primary but against President Obama. Standing in a pulpit and speaking to people sitting in pews, inside a Baptist college, he accused Obama of “appeasement of radical Islam while crushing Christian and Jewish” ideas.
He noted that the Declaration of Independence speaks of all men being “endowed by their Creator” with unalienable rights.
“You loan power to the government,” he said. “The government never loans power to you. And the government can never come between you and your faith.”
While the government forces crosses and manger scenes to be taken down and tries to force Catholic institutions to pay for contraceptives, Obama seems apologetic about other religions such as Islam, he said.
In the general American culture, he referred to an unnamed new TV series — most likely “G.C.B.”, which some have interpreted to stand for “Good Christian Bitches” — that he said uses the term “Christian” in a derogatory way in its title.
“Imagine the same show with the word ‘Muslim’ in the title instead of ‘Christian.’ It would be unthinkable.”
Gingrich said one reason Obama must kowtow to Muslim nations and Muslims is that the West depends on Mideast oil. But he said that foreign policy insecurity and even the nation’s budget deficit can be cured by developing federally owned energy sources here at home.
“I want to have an energy policy that will have America producing more oil than any other country in the world, so we can stare down the Saudis until they stop financing madrasahs (Muslim educational institutions).”
He said opening federal lands to oil drilling would bring in $16-$18 trillion in royalties from oil companies over the next generation. He said that should be put into a special fund to sink the national debt, much of which is owed to China.
He said the existing $2.2 trillion that theoretically is in the Social Security Trust Fund should be set aside from the rest of the federal budget and used to pay off existing Social Security recipients, while employees should be allowed to take their new Social Security contributions and invest the money on their own.
“No longer would government say when we can retire.” The retirement age would be decided by how well our investments did, he said.
Vargas said that although Latinos often vote Democratic, they should be natural Republicans because they share GOP ideals — “limited government, family values and faith.”
Many of those attending were holding signs or wearing buttons with the message “Don’t Believe the Liberal Media.” A man passing out the signs and buttons said he worked for the Media Research Center. But asked to explain further, he said the Media Research Center doesn’t allow him to talk to reporters from the media.
One of the few Latinos in the audience, developer Joel Galvan of Elgin, said he was Midwest regional director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the George W. Bush administration. He argued that Hispanics should applaud Gingrich’s ideas.
“Latinos are working people,” Galvan said. “We can’t afford $4.29 a gallon for gas. People come here for the chance to work and to make a better life for their children. But our children are being told, ‘Drop out and the government will take care of you. Get pregnant and the government will take care of you.’ That’s not Latino. Family values are our core strength.”
Judson spokeswoman Mary Dulabaum said the school’s administrators want to make clear that hosting the Gingrich rally doesn’t mean Judson is endorsing him.
Local Rick Santorum supporters reported earlier this week that they had been trying to arrange a rally in Elgin for today, but they said Thursday that Santorum now was expected to campaign in Arlington Heights.
There were unconfirmed reports that Santorum might spend Election Night in St. Charles.