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Gingrich: If the election were 'fair,' Obama would lose

May 12, 2011|By James Oliphant
(Fox News Channel )

Newt Gingrich has jumped into the presidential race. But to hear him tell it, the game is rigged.

President Obama, Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday evening, “can’t afford to run in a fair election. If he was on an equal playing field, he’d lose.”


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of the photo caption that accompanied this article said Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" on Tuesday evening. He appeared Wednesday.
Obama, the Republican candidate said, however, has the advantages of the presidency, support from the “left-wing media,” and the backing of labor unions and billionaires like George Soros.

Gingrich, who formally announced his run Wednesday online, said he is not expecting much help from the press. “If you are a conservative, you have to start with an assumption that you’re not going to get an even break from the elite media,” he said.

His answer was in response to Hannity’s questions about the twice-divorced Gingrich’s personal life.

Gingrich would instead like to focus on his rise to Republican stardom during the Reagan administration—and then his years as speaker of the House, when Gingrich worked with President Clinton to balance the budget.

Pressed by Hannity on how he would wipe out the current deficit, which makes the 1990s gap look a child’s wading pool, Gingrich asserted that he could do it within five years, provided the economy becomes more robust.

“I know how to get the whole country to resemble Texas,” he said. “President Obama knows how to get the whole country to resemble Detroit.”

During Gingrich’s time as speaker, Democrats were quick to point to tax increases during Clinton’s first term as a reason why the deficit was erased, while the GOP credited its stewardship of the government purse. But it was also a time when the American economy was in far healthier shape.

The 1990s seem farther in the rear-view mirror each passing day, something that underscores the challenges Gingrich faces in his presidential bid. Hannity, perhaps inadvertently, keyed on that, noting that when the Georgian last held office, people carried pagers rather than iPhones, the Spice Girls ruled the pop chart and “Seinfeld” was the No. 1 show on television.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

james.oliphant@latimes.com

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