Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sounded like a presidential candidate in a speech in Atlanta last night, railing against high taxes and trial lawyers and declaring "tonight and Saturday are the beginning of a movement" at a political convention organized by a group he runs called "American Solutions for the Winning the Future."
"We have to have citizens demand change, because change in America starts from the bottom and works its way up," Gingrich said, standing in front of a huge banner that read "Real Change Requires Real Change."
Gingrich's speech's was the start of a two-day conference that he has dubbed "Solutions Day," that will feature a series of workshops on policy issues in Atlanta.
The event is the latest move by Gingrich both to inject himself into the 2008 Republican nomination process and leave open the possibility of running himself. Throughout the year, Gingrich has castigated the current GOP field for not offering bold enough ideas, not building the kinds of campaigns that can not defeat Hillary Clinton and most recently skipping forums hosted by black and Latino groups, such as a forum last night at Morgan State University that the four leading Republican candidates did not attend.
After spending most of the year saying he was unlikely to run for president, earlier this month Gingrich said he would run if his supported pledged to raise him $30 million by November, a staggeringly high sum that would be more than any of the GOP candidates have raised in any three-month period during the nomination process. He would still enter the race with high negatives from his battles with the Clinton administration during the 1990's, although he is still popular among GOP activists.
The events on Saturday, which will be broadcast on the Internet and on the Dish network and Direct TV, will include presentations by former Clinton administration Elaine Kamarck on reinventing the federal bureaucracy and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey on the virtues of the flat tax. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a GOP presidential candidates, is also scheduled to speak
--Perry Bacon Jr.
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