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Gingrich Talks About Innovation, Future Challenges

March 29, 2012 – Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told a Georgetown audience yesterday that he is running for president based on two principles – values and innovation.

“Historically, we are a country that believes deeply in the work ethic,” he said. “This is a country that had a relentless sense of energy. …We were a people who solved problems all day every day.”

The student-run Lecture Fund, which has invited all of the Republican candidates and President Obama to speak on campus, sponsored the policy address, called “Giving Young Americans the Right to Choose a Personal Social Security Account.”

According to published reports, Gingrich’s proposal is similar to the partial privatization proposed in 2005 by President George W. Bush.

Wright Brothers

Gingrich said that the work ethic and independent innovation of early Americans would greatly benefit the country today.

He used the Wright brothers as an example.

When they wanted to learn to fly, Gingrich said, they didn’t get a Ph.D. in aeronautics or write to the government for a grant.

Instead, he said, the brothers used their own money, studied birds flying and continuously experimented until they were successful.

State of Innovation

Gingrich’s address also touched on what he sees as the current state of innovation in America.

“The greatest frustration I’ve had since leaving the speakership is the denseness of Washington in resisting new ideas,” he said.

He said this includes his proposal for personalized social security accounts.

“This is an example of innovation,” he said. “It increases your freedom by giving you control over your money. … In addition nobody tells you when to retire. It’s your choice.”

Political Leadership

Gingrich went on to predict some of the current generation’s future challenges.

“We are in deep trouble as a people,” he said. “This transcends Republicans. It transcends Democrats. … Your generation is inheriting a dysfunctional country, which cannot communicate with itself and whose political leadership has no ideas big enough to get back on track, and that’s why I decided to run.”

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