Newt Gingrich Talks Leadership and Politics in Odessa

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A big name came out for April 15th tax day. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke to hundreds at TEA party protests before making his way to Odessa Thursday evening. He spoke to West Texans on a variety of issues.

"I think it's healthy to have a new wave of Americans joining the political process and expressing their values and their ideals and expressing their anger at the incumbents and the mess we're in," Gingrich said.

On Thursday, UT Permian Basin welcomed the author and political analyst to speak with students as well as address the topic of leadership to the public. It comes after a day full of TEA party protests around the country. He said that movement and support through the Internet will have an impact in the November elections.

"The TEA party and the Internet was probably the decisive factor in electing Scott Brown (R-MA)," Gingrich said. "That this nationwide surge in citizens who had never been involved before that when the word went out three weeks before the election that Brown had a chance, he raised 10 million dollars in the last 14 days on the Internet. That would not have happened in the pre-Internet world and I think it wouldn't have happened without the energy of the TEA party movement."

Gingrich discussed how the Republican Party now has the chance to create some momentum by doing more than just opposing the President, and pushing for more than being "the party of no", as opponents have dubbed them.

Odessans who came out Wednesday told NewsWest 9 Gingrich himself has lots of qualities that could help in a future presidential campaign. However, when asked about being a presidential candidate in the future, he said to ask him again in February.