In an interview on Fox News, GOP candidate Newt Gingrich said that his energy plan — in addition to lowering gas prices, creating jobs, and freeing the United States from dependence on the Middle East for oil — “could create a debt repayment fund, take the royalties over the next generation from oil and gas and actually pay off the federal debt if you had the discipline to balance the federal budget.”
Voters say news on the economy and jobs has improved in the past year, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center, but bad news about gas prices and a general negativity about the economy tarnishes most hopes for a change in public perception. Eighty-nine percent of those polled rate current economic conditions as fair or poor, a number Pew says has changed little in the last four years, though 44 percent of respondents say they think economic conditions will improve in the next year.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney returned to the East Coast but called in for a “telephone town hall” with Illinois Republicans (ChicagoTribune) to tout his experience in business world, which he says will easily translate to success in the White House. “The economy is in my wheelhouse, it’s something I know well,” he said, adding that “it helps to have run something and understand the economy by working in the real economy.”
President Obama on Wednesday held a joint press conference with visiting British Prime Minster David Cameron, touching on every current foreign policy issue from Afghanistan to Syria and beyond. Obama called the war in Afghanistan “a hard slog” but continued to stick to his guns on exit strategy. “In terms of pace, I don’t anticipate, at this stage, that we’re going to be making any sudden additional changes to the plan that we currently have,” he said.
In Illinois Wednesday, Republican candidate Ron Paul, spoke to about bringing troops home and saving money in the process (NewsGazette). “The wars need to end, and we need to bring the troops home,” Paul said. “We’re wasting money overseas, and it is time to come home.”
— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor