THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA—Newt Gingrich has been roundly mocked by both the media and his opponents for his preposterous proposal to build a moon base by 2020. As outlandish as that claim may be, it's nothing compared to the promises Gingrich offered yesterday during a campaign stop at The Villages, a planned retirement community in central Florida.
A huge crowd of seniors—numbering possibly in the thousands—packed into a parking lot outside a Barnes & Noble on a warm and sunny afternoon. A hot-dog stand held a steady line throughout the event, and its neighbor stand offered a full bar of beer and liquors. Golf carts—the apparent vehicle of choice in the area—whizzed by, fighting with SUVs for parking spots.
It was a bizarre scene, but nowhere near as ridiculous as the tail end of Gingrich's speech. Overall, it was mostly his standard stump, with a few extra zingers directed at Mitt Romney. Then, near the end, he offered a laundry list of promised accomplishments. This wasn't the typical first 100 days agenda; the proposals were all things Gingrich promised to achieve by his very first day in the White House:
- "I will ask the new Congress to stay in session on January 3, and I will ask them first to repeal Obamacare. I can ask them to repeal Obamacare, because I haven't passed something that resembles it."
- "I will also ask them in the same session to repeal the Dodd-Frank bill, which is killing banks."
- "I will ask them to repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley bill."
- "On the inauguration day, about two hours after the inaugural address, I will sign a series of executive orders. All of them will have been published by October 1, everyone in America will know what is coming."
- "The very first executive order will eliminate all of the White House czars."
- "My goal would be, by the end of that first day—about the time that President Obama arrives back in Chicago—that we will have dismantled about 40 percent of his government on the opening day."
"I think this is doable," Gingrich said. The former speaker expects each of the bills to have already passed and be ready for him to sign on the first day of his hypothetical presidency. "On January 20, I will sign all three as a sign of our seriousness about changing Washington," he said.