Newt Gingrich holds rally at UNCW

Newt Gingrich, still vying for the GOP nomination, made an impromptu stop at UNCW today. He spoke in Lumina Theater at 3:30 p.m., the room packed with students and community members, supporters and opponents.

Awaiting a student organization sponsor, Gingrich’s rally was confirmed by UNCW Media Relations a mere 24 hours before the event. Hours before his scheduled appearance a line began forming outside of the Fisher Student Center.

Gingrich began his 30-minute speech: “The change we need is more complicated than anybody in the traditional political system understands. It’s more complicated for one very simple reason: the world is changing very dramatically.”

He spoke on energy, proposing an American energy interdependence program. “We have to have as a goal, creating an American energy interdependence program so that we produce so much oil and gas that no American president again ever bows to a Saudi king,” said Gingrich. He suggested that such an energy program would allow America to focus on fighting terrorism.

To rising gas prices, Gingrich said: “Remember the day Obama was sworn in gas was $1.89 a gallon. That was less than four years ago. Why is it impossible to lower it now?” Part of his goal as president would be to lower gas prices to $2.50 a gallon.

Gingrich also addressed health care and the need to research neurological and mental diseases like Alzheimer’s, autism and bipolar disorder. He stressed the enormous cost that these diseases incur.

“We spend billions on treatment and pennies on research,” he said.

Early on in the rally, Ron Paul supporter Trevor Bradford, a sophomore at UNCW dressed in an American flag outfit, stood up and yelled: “A true Republican believes in a non-interventionist foreign policy.” Gingrich replied: “I love people who listen as well as talk.”