Speaking to a packed house of members and guests from the Bartow County Rotary Club, Gingrich laid out an overview of his platform proposals over lunch at the Cartersville Country Club.
A former professor of history and author of numerous historical writings, Gingrich began his presentation by recalling a history lesson of America's past and the actions taken by the United States during World War II. He likened this to the debt and deficit crisis gripping America today.
"We were a serious people doing serious things," Gingrich said of U.S. accomplishments during WWII. "It recently took us 23 years to add a fifth runway at the Atlanta airport because we have become a childish people seeking to avoid risk by surrounding ourselves by government regulation and litigation, and we're now at a turning point in American history."
A quick outline of his recommendations for bettering the nation's economy centered around tax policies aimed at job creation, lessening government regulation and redefining an American energy plan.
Gingrich listed off taxes to be slashed or eliminated, including corporate taxes, capital gains tax and the death tax along with allowing for 100 percent expensing on new investment on equipment. Concern over regulation carried over to his call for replacement of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Drug Administration as well as repealing specific legislation, including the Dodd-Frank Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
"None of our current problems are acts of God, they're acts of politicians, so you can change them with remarkable speed when you get people who want to change them," Gingrich said of lessening taxes and ending over-regulation. "You would overnight start liberating the country. It's not a 20-year project, it's a 24-hour project."
As for energy, Gingrich spoke of lessening the dependence on foreign oil by drilling off-shore and opening federal land for exploration, adding an exception for national parks and wildlife refuges.
During a concluding question-and-answer session, Gingrich received an impromptu round of applause after giving a less-than glowing review of President Barack Obama.
"[Obama] does half of what he does out of sheer incompetence, the other half is out of radicalism, so you have the worst of all worlds. When he's competent, he's radical, and when he's not radical, he's incompetent," Gingrich said.
Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown said he was "very impressed" by the speech and glad to see a presidential nominee candidate visiting Bartow, which he could not recall happening in the past.
Bartow County Rotary Club President Butch Emerson expressed his gratitude toward the former Speaker of the House and his message concerning the nation's future.
"It's very meaningful because of the fact, it's not very often we have the former Speaker of the United States House come and talk to us. I mean, he was third in line to be president," Emerson said. "I like the way he addressed the problems with our country; he was honest, he was forthright. Some of the stuff he said was the Republicans' fault, some of it was the Democrats'. I think it was a very honest approach and I greatly appreciate it. It was good for our club, it was good for Bartow County and I appreciate it very much."
Following the lunch presentation, attended by state and local dignitaries along with members of the business community and additional area Rotary members, Gingrich followed his passion for history to the Booth Western Art Museum. During his tour, Gingrich paused to meet and take pictures with those at the museum, including a group of WWII veterans and members of the Kingston Woman's History Club.
Bringing the presidential hopeful to Cartersville was Cartersville native Jacob Hawkins, a 2008 Cartersville High School graduate and volunteer coordinator for the Gingrich 2012 presidential campaign.
"Jacob has been a tremendous hard worker for us and he suggested the Cartersville Rotary would be a great place to come and talk about some big ideas and lay out some things," Gingrich said.
On the Booth Western Art Museum, he said, "Having written four novels on the Civil War, I was intrigued to come here and see the collection. This is a great museum."