Science and Technology in the 2012 Presidential Election:
Newt Gingrich (Republican)
- http://www.newt.org/ - campaign site
- http://www.twitter.com/#!/newtgingrich - Twitter
- http://www.facebook.com/newtgingrich - Facebook
- http://www.youtube.com/ngingrich - YouTube page
**UPDATE: Gingrich withdrew from the race on May 2.**
Newt Gingrich represented Georgia’s 6th district for 20 years in Congress, including four years as Speaker of the House. He was the architect of the “Contract with America” that helped the Republican Party capture the majority in the House in 1994. He served on the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush and has authored 23 books.
Gingrich has a “Day One Plan” that is a series of Executive Orders he intends to sign on his first day in office in order to enact rapid change.
Competitiveness and Innovation
Gingrich plans to “Make the United States the most desirable location for new business investment through a bold series of tax cuts.” He would eliminate the capital gains tax, reduce the corporate income tax to 12.5 percent, end the death tax permanently, and allow for 100 percent expensing of new equipment to spur innovation in American manufacturing. Gingrich has also noted the importance of education, particularly in science and math, for U.S. global competitiveness.
Gingrich has touted the importance of the U.S. space exploration program for the development of innovative technologies and the next generation of scientists and engineers. During a campaign speech in Florida, he promised a permanent American lunar colony by the end of his second presidential term.
STEM Education and Workforce
If America is going to remain competitive with China and India in the 21st century, then we must commit to improving education, especially in math and science, and moving from a bureaucrat-dominated status quo to an innovative system that emphasizes accountability, transparency, and parental choice.
Gingrich’s education reform priorities include: no caps on charter schools, shrinking the federal Department of Education, encouraging state innovation, and encouraging the hiring of part-time teachers in an effort to bring experienced industry experts to the classroom.
Gingrich also notes the importance of STEM education for national security, saying that the United States should incentivize math and science education in America to ensure the men and women of our Armed Forces always have the most advanced and powerful weapons in the world at their disposal.”
Finally, as part of his immigration plan, Gingrich advocates “in-sourcing” the best and brightest by making the visa process more efficient. Gingrich says “we can even consider a program that grants foreign graduates of our sophisticated math, science, engineering, and business programs a work visa with their diploma.”
In a 2006 interview, Gingrich stated “Evolution certainly seems to express the closest understanding we can now have.” He then said that evolution should be taught in science classes while intelligent design should be taught as philosophy. However, he appeared to question evolution at a September 2011 campaign event, saying "I always tell my friends who don't believe in this stuff, fine, how do you think — we're randomly gathered protoplasm? We could have been rhinoceroses, but we got lucky this week?"
Health and Medical Research
Gingrich plans to “repeal and replace Obamacare with a pro-jobs, pro-responsibility health plan that puts doctors and patients in charge of health decisions instead of bureaucrats.” Gingrich’s plan would aim to facilitate the application of medical breakthroughs by modernizing and speeding up the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. It would also invest in research for health solutions that “prevent or cure disease rather than treating its symptoms” as a “critical part of the solution to long-term budget challenges.”
As part of his Day One Plan, Gingrich would reauthorize the Reagan “Mexico City Policy” of Respect for Life, which prevents the use of tax dollars to fund organizations performing abortions abroad.
In a 2006 interview, Gingrich said “I am against human cloning research, and I am against research on aborted fetuses. Having said that, I would not seek to ban research on stem cells in fertility clinics.” However, in January 2012 he said he would ban all embryonic stem cell research.
Over the past several years, Gingrich has called for increased funding for neuroscience, particularly for research on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, mental illness, and learning disabilities. One of his key legislative proposals calls for FDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH) reform to facilitate the development of new treatments. Additionally, his plan to increase neuroscience research includes public-private partnerships and elimination of the capital gains tax.
Energy and Environment
Gingrich feels that contrary to popular belief, America has more energy than any nation on earth. All that's keeping us from becoming energy independent is a lack of political will to do so. He proposes a six-point energy plan that would:
“Remove bureaucratic and legal obstacles to responsible oil and natural gas development in the United States, offshore and on land.
End the ban on oil shale development in the American West, where we have three times the amount of oil as Saudi Arabia.
Give coastal states federal royalty revenue sharing to give them an incentive to allow offshore development.
Reduce frivolous lawsuits that hold up energy production by enacting loser pays laws to force the losers in an environmental lawsuit to pay all legal costs for the other side.
Finance cleaner energy research and projects with new oil and gas royalties.
Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would use incentives and work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.”
Gingrich argues that this policy would remove “obstacles to responsible energy development and create jobs in the United States” as well as “reduce the world’s dependence on oil from dangerous and unstable countries, especially in the Middle East.”
As part of his Day One Plan, Gingrich would approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Although Gingrich did an ad in 2008 with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on addressing climate change, he has since changed his stance. In a radio interview this year, he said he regretted the ad. "I was trying to make a point that we shouldn't be afraid to debate the left, even on the environment, but obviously it was misconstrued, and that's one of the things I probably wouldn't do again."
Currently, he questions the science behind climate change, as he said in a 2010 interview, "I don't think we're faced with a crisis of global warming. I think in fact that the scientific data is still very unclear."
National and Homeland Security
Gingrich outlines a seven-point plan for national security that primarily focuses on the U.S. “war against radical Islam.” He says we must “understand our enemies and tell the truth about them” and advocates for a unified strategy for “marginalizing, isolating, and defeating radical Islamists across the world.” Gingrich argues for securing the U.S. border and the implementation of his energy plan to reduce dependence on foreign energy. Gingrich also advocates incentivizing math and science education “to ensure the men and women of our Armed Forces always have the most advanced and powerful weapons.”
One of Gingrich’s Day One Executive Orders would be to “secure the border by Jan. 1, 2014, by any means necessary.”