A Day at the Races(4/18/14), Part 1

On Friday, I had the opportunity to attend two political meet-and-greets held around my area. The first one was hosted by Republican Congressman and US Senate candidate Phil Gingrey, and the second one was hosted by former Republican Mayor of Dalton, GA, and Gubernatorial candidate David Pennington, who is primarying incumbent Republican Governor Nathan Deal.

I arrived about a half-hour after the Gingrey meeting commenced, so I missed most of the introduction. The only thing I learned from those last few minutes of the introduction was what I saw from my seat, which was fairly close behind the speaker: That he dyes his hair black. After completing his introduction, he opened himself up to questions. The first serious question pertained to ObamaCare, which he vowed his every effort to repeal, and, on this subject and throughout the meet-and-greet, voiced his commitment to the rights of the states, local municipalities, and businesses to choose.

When asked about term-limits, he indicated his support for term limits, though expressed some question as to how many terms representatives and senators should be limited to, mentioning maybe 6 terms for representatives and 2 for senators. He also said that he is going to Washington to work, and if he has not worked in his first term, then he will go home. If he has worked, then, as he said “Lord willing,” he might seek a second term. Asked about tax reform, he affirmed his support for the “Fair Tax.”

The most pointed question asked was one regarding House Republican leadership and how they are not digging in against Obama. Gingrey started off by talking about the likable personality of John Bohener and what a nice guy he is, equating him with the popular kid at a college fraternity who all the kids want to be like. He emphasized the need for real leadership, citing Tom DeLay as an example. According to Gingrey, DeLay wasn’t dubbed ‘The Hammer’ for nothing, and that sometimes you don’t need nice guys on your team if you want to get things done. Gingrey also expressed both his elation over DeLay’s recent exoneration and sadness for the fact that he is now broke and has to start his life over again.

Teeing off of his remarks alluding to college fraternities, he reminisced over his college days, talking about how he and some friends of his got to see then-Senator Barry Goldwater speak and how this was a political revelation for him. He added that while his Liberal professors may have flunked him for his views, they never tried to warp his mind. He also explained what kind of a candidate he would be. He would try to be honest and straightforward with the people. He emphasized where he stood on issues, and also joked about how various news and media outlets have misrepresented things he has said. He concluded by saying that politics is not about whining about how one is treated by the media, and that people must stand firm and fight.

Around this time, somebody who had a child with cancer and was fighting with her insurance company was brought in to tell her story and to ask Mr. Gingrey questions about ObamaCare. Mr. Gingrey expressed his sincerest sympathies to her, re-affirmed his commitment to repealing ObamaCare, and gave her his card(he is a medical doctor) in case she needed to see a doctor in the state. I roughly and perhaps vaguely summarized because I don’t really feel right airing one’s personal information in a public forum.

Mr. Gingrey was asked about the prospect of a Constitutional Convention and whether or not he thought such would be hijacked by un-Constitutional types. He stated that he was encouraged by what he was seeing out of the move to force a convention and that he would be supportive of such. He also expressed favourable sentiments toward Dr. Ben Carson.

A lady asked him about foreign policy, and he was pretty well schooled on the subject. She talked extensively about the Muslim Brotherhood and the many threats posed by that organization. Mentioned was the fact that the government has members working for and advising them on various matters, which would explain the government’s labelling these military base shootings as being “workplace violence.” Political correctness was also brought up, as well as the nostrums about Christianity and Islam co-existing together, which, for that to happen, would involve one religion fundamentally changing its principles to conform with the other. In responding, Gingrey acknowledged the concerns broached and emphasized the need to strike a fine balance between maintaining the civil liberties of Americans and taking necessary actions against the terrorists.

Soon afterwards, the meet-and-greet concluded, with Mr. Gingrey thanking all of us for coming out to ask questions. I picked up a few stickers and soon had the opportunity to shake Congressman Gingrey’s hand. I asked him if it was OK if I quickly asked a question{I had been silent throughout so I could hear him speak and listen to his answering of questions(which narrowed my prospective questions down considerably)} He obliged, and I asked for his stance on the education initiative “Common Core.” He stated his complete opposition to Common Core, emphasizing the need for local control of school curriculum. He also said students should spend at least an hour-and-a-half on homework. After answering my question, I wished him good luck and went on my merry way.

Before the meet-and-greet, I was firmly supportive of Paul Broun. After listening to Gingrey speak, I am giving the most thorough consideration to both men(I will not support Karen Handel, Jack Kingston, or David Perdue). Stay tuned for part 2, where I chronicle the David Pennington meet-and-greet, which was held later that day.