Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is in Iowa, signing autographs in his new book and answering questions about whether he’ll seek the presidency himself in 2008. Gingrich says his “honest answer” is he doesn’t know whether he’ll run. Gingrich helped steer the Republican take-over of Congress in 1994 and authored the so-called “Contract with America” which outlined Republican promises to the country. He signed autographs at a bookstore in West Des Moines last (Wednesday) night. He’ll be in Sioux City for a book signing this afternoon and in Cedar Rapids on Friday. “I’m out here because I know every candidate and every reporter in the country will sooner or later come through Iowa and I’ve written a book called ‘Winning the Future’ which tries to outline what I think a 21st century ‘Contract with America’ ought to be like,” Gingrich says. “My hope is that whether they’re a Republican candidate or a Democratic candidate, they’ve got to step up to the plate and answer the questions about the scale of change we need.” Gingrich says the country faces tough challenge that will require “serious work” from politicians and from the American public. Gingrich made his comments last night during taping of an Iowa Public Television program that will air in two weeks, but something that happened in Washington, D.C., yesterday (Wednesday) was part of the discussion. The evacuation of key government buildings because a small plane was veering close shows there’s something “profoundly wrong” according to Gingrich. Gingrich says it highlighted the need for defense systems for the White House, the Capitol and the U.S. Supreme Court so they do not have to be evacuated in such a situation. “The image of America almost four years after 9/11 should not be our (political) staffs running down the street,” Gingrich says. The former Congressman from Georgia is also appearing at Republican Party of Iowa fundraisers during his visit.
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