Generally speaking, politicians need to possess many skills when running for public office; a velvet tongue is chief among them. But in a puzzling and blatant example of what not to say, Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich took aim at General Motors, and the Obama administration, when he claimed to supporters at a rally in his home state of Georgia that ‘”You cannot put a gun rack in a [Chevy] Volt” [which you can view here via Fox News].
Gingrich’s comments come in the wake of fellow republican and presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum who recently stated that President Obama placed “Earth above man.” The former speaker of the house also went on to say “there’s no reason we couldn’t have a stable price around $2 or $2.50,” for a gallon of gasoline by simply “drowning demand in supply.’”
Speaking from an automotive perspective, Gingrich’s comments have us a bit baffled. Not only can you put a gun rack on a Chevy Volt – although why you would want to currently escapes us – Gingrich’s perceived attack on GM’s fuel efficient auto doesn’t seem to make much political sense either.
The American auto industry is finally getting back on its feet – GM recently announced a record $7.6 billion profit last year, the highest in the company’s 103-year history –- and Newt Gingrich is trailing behind both Romney and Santorum in many state polls. Will his recent gun-rack gaff set the trailing Republican further back?
Regardless of what your personal feelings towards Chevy’s Volt are, the reality is that success and support of American companies like General Motors is good for the country.
For a right-leaning conservative candidate like Gingrich, it seems odd he would take aim at GM. The American automotive company is the largest in the country, with Chevy Volts being assembled domestically at GM plants by Americans, for Americans.
Following the rally in Georgia, Gingrich was by no means in a conciliatory mood when he appeared on CBS’s “This Morning” with Charlie Rose. Gingrich went so far as to accuse the Obama administration of wanting higher gas costs, referring to previous statements made by the current administration that suggested American gas prices should elevate to European levels.
When questioned by host Charlie Rose whether he actually believed President Obama wanted higher gas prices, Gingrich responded by saying that back in 2008, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, wanted gas prices to equal that of Europe. Gingrich further went on to attack the President’s policies toward energy as “outrageously anti-American.”
With Gingrich labeling President Obama for his “outrageously anti-American” policy toward energy, we continue to scratch our heads at what Gingrich actually considers “American.” The Republican candidate has long been a proponent of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline citing it as a solution to country’s energy demands – in reality at full effect the pipeline would only contribute about 5-percent of the nation’s energy demands — and a creator of thousands of jobs for Americans (Bloomberg later reported that number to be in the region of 20 – yes, only 20).
For those that may be unaware, the Keystone XL pipeline would stretch from western Canada all the way down along the Gulf Coast of Texas. Not surprisingly, it has been met with a great deal of opposition on Capitol Hill as well as notable environmental agencies such as the Sierra Club.
As is the case in many election campaigns the slightest misstep can cause irreparable damage. Up until now, Gingrich’s outrageous comments may have fallen like flakes of snow on an otherwise lost campaign, but his latest could be the avalanche needed to bring the whole thing down.