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Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich “Comes Home” to Cobb

March 5, 2012


On Thursday, March 1 former U.S. Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke to a sold-out crowd of more than 550 guests at the Cobb Energy Center. The non-partisan breakfast, sponsored by WellStar Health System, was not Gingrich’s first time speaking to the Cobb Chamber.

During his time as Georgia’s Sixth Congressional Representative, Gingrich called Cobb his home and spoke to several Chamber crowds in the late nineties. “I went back in preparation for today to January 1998 when I came and spoke to the Chamber,” said Gingrich. “I realized that the reason I’m running was captured in that speech 14 years ago. Because nothing has changed, except it’s worse.”

During his speech the former Speaker referenced the Obama administration’s failure to control rising gas prices and balance the federal budget. He iterated the country’s need to cut taxes, cut regulations and become energy independent.

“It’s a very simple principle,” said Gingrich. “I’m in the business of shrinking Obama’s government to match the revenues that are raised. I’m not in the business of raising your taxes to catch up with Obama’s government.”

A question and answer segment followed Gingrich’s speech and members were given the opportunity to address some of their concerns for the upcoming election. When asked about his strategy for taking the Republican candidacy, Gingrich said one of his focuses was on an American energy policy to bring the price of gas down to $2.50 a gallon.“It’s a clear, simple message and it’s in people’s pocketbooks,” said Gingrich.

Gingrich’s visit to Cobb is not the first high profile visit from a presidential candidate; in June 2011 Mitt Romney visited Chamber member Kenny’s Great Pies as part of his campaign. This week’s breakfast is just another example of how the Cobb Chamber provides access to America’s highest profile political leaders, closing the gap between business and government.

“I’d like to think that any one of our elected officials would realize that we are an advocate for them, with more than 5,400 members here in Cobb County, as well as our business association partners that add thousands more,” said Cobb Chamber Chairman Tony Britton. “We can be their voice. We can be their advocate, and we can help make that connection for them.”

The Cobb Chamber continually advocates for a pro-business climate, and has several programs to strengthen Cobb’s working relationship between business and government, including the Washington Fly-In, Legislative Agenda, Area Council meetings and the 2011 Crescent Transit Summit.

“This breakfast with Newt offers our members a unique chance to get to meet with a legitimate presidential candidate who could have a big impact on policies over the next four years,” said Demming Bass, COO of the Cobb Chamber. “This gives them an opportunity to ask him the questions that are on their minds when it comes to the issues that are affecting businesses today.”

The non-partisan event provided a unique opportunity for Chamber members to bridge the gap between business and government relations. The Cobb Chamber is renowned for its pro-business advocacy efforts, and hopes to provide future events that will continue to bring these two realms together.

“Republicans and democrats alike can benefit from the Chamber’s many advocacy programs,” said Bass. “Regardless of your political stance, it is important to bring elected officials and business leaders together.”

At the breakfast Gingrich also spoke of his relationship with Cobb County, referencing his time as a Georgia congressman. “It is wonderful to be back home and I really appreciate this kind of opportunity,” said Gingrich. “I remember the very first time I came to the Chamber . . . it was a beautiful day in Cobb County, and I have to say every day that I’ve been here has been a beautiful day in Cobb County.”

WellStar Health System was the presenting sponsor for the event. For more information on Cobb Chamber events, visit www.cobbchamber.org/events. To learn more about Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract with America and his upcoming events, visit www.newt.org.

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