Newt Gingrich came to the Register to meet with the editorial board today, and we had an interesting discussion. As this editorial notes, the topic was mostly jobs, inasmuch as his American Solutions organization held a "jobs summit" tonight in Irvine. Newt's handlers said they had 2,000 RSVPs, but they weren't sure how many would show. Newt talked about a cutting the payroll tax (SS and Medicare) in half for two years, letting the death tax stay dead, cutting the corporate rate to 12.5 percent (like Ireland), and the capital gains rate to zero (like China).
Newt is hardly a libertarian; I suspect if we had touched on foreign policy he would defend the empire, just urge it to be smarter. For a generally conventional conservative, however, he is intellectually aware and interested in ideas as well as strategy. Here's a blog post I did, here is a short interview Brian Calle conducted, and here's a video of the entire discussion/interview (maybe not). I suspect he would still run for president if he thought he had a chance, but I doubt if he does. Nonetheless, an interesting person.