Newt Gingrich pushes tax, health reforms

Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, seen Thursday at a town hall in Des Moines, Iowa, wants changes in taxes, health care and Social Security.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Hoping to revive his flagging bid for the Republican presidential nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling for an overhaul of the way Americans pay taxes, buy health care and contribute to the Social Security system.

Gingrich mapped out the 10-point plan, which he's calling The 21st Century Contract with America, in a speech at a Des Moines insurance company Thursday. Key elements include repealing President Barack Obama's health care plan, giving taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and allowing young people to opt out of Social Security.

Gingrich is putting the new Contract with America at the core of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, betting it will set the tone for the campaign discussion going forward.

"This is the essence of, hopefully, the next 10 years," Gingrich said. "It shows you the direction, I think, the country has to go, it shows you how I think we can get there."

Gingrich's floundering presidential bid has fractured what was once a rock star Republican image. Not long ago he was the sought-after intellectual guru of the GOP. Now, all but broke, he's finding himself fighting for air time -- if not respect -- at Republican presidential primary debates. Polls have generally put him toward the back of the pack, although he ran third in a recent CNN poll behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.