Gingrich speaks to Citadel cadets
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told Citadel cadets Wednesday the Founding Fathers probably wouldn't be behind the Occupy movement.
Looking at the occupiers' goals, the men who launched the nation would say "these are clearly people that need to go get a job," Gingrich speculated during a video conference seminar on conservative thought.
A day after losing the Florida primary to Mitt Romney, the former House speaker took time to honor a commitment to the school, speaking on the "DNA" of the nation's beginnings for a room of about 25 cadets and guests. His lesson lasted for more than an hour, beamed in from the next battleground state of Nevada.
In his lecture Gingrich, who won the S.C. GOP primary two weeks ago, spoke of the individualism that fueled the colonial split and war with the English crown, saying parts of that mission has been lost today to those who favor what he called over-reaching government.
While the goal in 1776 was life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Gingrich said there are those today who want to take away from the "overly happy" and redistribute to the "underly happy."
He spoke only briefly of President Obama. "He seems ready to take over every aspect of your life," Gingrich said.
Reached later, Occupy Charleston member Chris Inglese said it was "ironic" for Gingrich to throw stones at the occupiers when he was "selling himself as an anti- establishment candidate" in the primary, and following some of the same anti-establishment veins as the Occupiers.
For instance, Gingrich has lamented too much Wall Street money in politics, just like the occupiers do, Inglese said.
Gingrich is one of several figures invited to lecture at the school as part of a spring course called the Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is among the scheduled speakers.
Gingrich said America's texture comes from the fact the early generations were willing to set out on a path of self- reliance and struggle, a point Gingrich said has been cited by other historians.
"Americans are the people who left, and the Europeans are the people who didn't," he said.