Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich attracted a standing-room-only crowd in Council Bluffs earlier tonight. Gingrich’s status as a candidate gaining in popularity drew Drake University student Mike McInereneyto make the two-hour trip to see Gingrich at what was billed as a “Slice the Deficit” event.
“It was more focused on creating jobs in America, you know, reducing regulations on certain industries, so people really enjoyed it,” McInereney said. “It was awesome.”
Gingrich called the federal government bloated and wasteful.
“It’s an embarrassment,” Gingrich said. “We don’t have to tolerate the government being stupid — and it’s expensive.”
Gingrich has been getting rapped by rivals for proposing what they call “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. Gingrich told the crowd in Council Bluffs it’s a “hopeless” promise to suggest there’s a way to deport all the illegal immigrants who are here today. Gingrich, in turn, promises that as president he would secure the border within a year by using unmanned drones and fences in high-traffic areas. Teresa Butterbaug, an engineer from Council Bluffs, says Gingrich has handled the issue well.
“I like the way he stood for the immigration, especially shutting the borders,” Butterbaug says.
Gingrich is due to publicly sign a border security pledge Thursday, one of several campaign events he’s scheduled to attend in the central Iowa area.