Monday, January 19, 2009

Gingrich: "Huge jump from transcontinental railroad President to Pothole Presidency"

One day before President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural, NPR sits down with former Speaker Newt Gingrich on the direction of the party.

He advocates smaller, but better government, and points to Lincoln's support for the transcontinental railroad, Roosevelt's construction of the Panama Canal, and Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System as examples of large government projects that worked for the American economy.

But isn't that what Nancy Pelosi's arguing for, large-scale public works?

Gingrich replies:

"Well, I haven't heard them describe any large projects... Lincoln didn't say 'Let's build 75 small railroads, one in each Congressman's district'.... you can have a bill that says I am for transportation, here's $40 billion dollars, there are no earmarks, but by the way, the whole bill's going to be spent fixing potholes. There's a huge jump from the transcontinental railroad president to a pothole presidency."

(Ea.) Then grades Barack:

"I give President-elect Obama very high marks both for how he selected his cabinet.... and the fact that he did the opposite of FDR.... Roosevelt, in 1932, would not intervene at all until the inauguration, and the situation got much worse."

Keep listening.