Top Republicans Address GOPAC (4/7/97)
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GOPAC Greets Gingrich Warmly
Speaker insists he wants to "maximize" votes for tax cut
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 8) -- Embattled House Speaker Newt Gingrich was greeted with cheers and a standing ovation at the annual meeting of GOPAC, the political action committee he founded.
Harshly criticized in recent weeks by some in his own party over his suggestions to separate GOP-backed tax-cut proposals from an overall balanced budget agreement, Gingrich sought to bolster his tax-cutting credentials.
"All I said was, let's find a way to maximize the votes for a tax cut and maximize the votes for a balanced budget -- and we should be able to do both this year," he told the gathering, many of whom sported "Newt's Friend" stickers. (160K wav sound)
Many believe, however, that Gingrich has been replaced as the Capitol's top GOP power broker by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who told the GOPAC gathering on Monday that tax cuts will be high on the legislative agenda. "And I want you to know that the speaker says that too," Lott noted.
Sidestepping his own ethical issues, such as how he plans to pay the $300,000 fine levied by the House ethics committee, the speaker said Americans need to know more about Democratic fund-raising and "exactly what happened over the last few years, to root out any corruption."
During his recent trip to China, Gingrich asked his Chinese hosts to aid in an investigation into whether Chinese officials sought to influence U.S. elections. He returned to that theme last night, asserting, "No foreign government no foreign company, no foreign individual should be allowed to invade the American political process." (160K wav sound)
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