Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says President Barack Obama, who Wednesday launched a four-state tour plugging the administration’s renewable energy policies, should label his programs “greenback,” not green. The former House speaker also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that a Mitt Romney adviser’s comment that the contender can reset “like an Etch A Sketch” shows the former Massachusetts governor can “turn on a dime.”
Obama “doesn’t have a green energy policy — he has a greenback energy policy,” Gingrich said. “He keeps shoveling out greenbacks to failing ideas and propping them up with our tax money and with our children's money. I am for green energy, but I want to draw a distinction between green energy and greenback energy: Green energy has to ultimately be commercially competitive.
“The president recently said drilling wasn’t the answer for gasoline — he proposed algae. We went out and talked to the experts: They think it’s at least 10 years away, and they think the equivalent cost is between $140 and $800 a barrel,” he said. “Now, that’s not economically competitive. There’s no indication that Barack Obama has a clue about economics and every indication that he is raising the cost of oil and gas for the American people, raising the cost of electricity, deepening the recession, and hurting the pocketbook of every American family.”
Van Susteren then turned to a Romney campaign adviser’s comments that the front-running Republican candidate for president could reset “like an Etch A Sketch.” She noted the former Massachusetts governor did not make the comparison, and asked Gingrich why he and others went on the attack.
“Well, first of all, it’s his communications director, so he’s pretty high up in the organization. Second, the reason the Etch A Sketch comment is so powerful is it reminds everybody of Romney's initial problem,” Gingrich said. “He had been a fairly liberal governor of Massachusetts — he invented Romneycare — he said at the signing ceremony his senior collaborator was Teddy Kennedy.
“Now what you get [is] one of his senior advisers reminding everybody that Romney could turn on a dime — the day after he gets the nomination, he could say: ‘You know, I got to go to the center. I got to win the election. So let me sell out every conservative principle I promised,’” he continued. “And now he tells us he won’t do it — maybe he won’t do it.
“But . . . maybe they’ve already been talking in the senior staff about how they'll jettison the conservative stuff in order to run in the general election.”
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