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Gingrich makes play for gold vote

- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2012

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Newt Gingrich has moved to capture some Republican voters who lean toward Ron Paul and other Republicans who were Jack Kemp followers by naming two gold bugs to the Gingrich future team of advisers.

The former House speaker says he intends to appoint investment banker Lewis E. Lehrman, famous in the Reagan era for his red suspenders and gold-standard advocacy, and Jim Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, as President Gingrich's Gold Commission - if and when of course Mr. Gingrich wins both the Republican nomination and the general election in November.

Mr. Paul, a Texas congressman with a conservative libertarian world view, earlier had promised to appoint Mr. Grant as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

"It is a smart move to pitch both the Paul enthusiasts who may not think Paul has a chance and the Kempians," conservative fundraiser Richard Norman told The Washington Times.

"Kemp and Paul are about as far apart as you can get but the one thing that unites them is a return to the gold standard."

The late Mr. Kemp was the darling of the many in the conservative movement when as a New York congressman he cosponsored what became the three-year across-the-board 25 percent cut in personal and corporate income-tax rates.

Mr. Gingrich told the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Charleston the day after his debate in South Carolina that pegging the dollar's value to gold should be considered by a presidential level study group.

Mr. Lehrman headed such a commission in the administration of Ronald Reagan.

Last year, Mr. Lehrman authored a book titled, "The True Gold Standard: A Monetary Reform Plan Without Official Reserve Currencies."

Mr. Gingrich described Mr. Lehrman and Mr. Grant as "distinguished students of monetary policy and long-time advocates of a return to hard money — a dollar as good as gold."

Mr. Gingrich has established himself as a hawkish interventionist on foreign policy, the opposite of Mr. Paul's view that America does best when it minds it's own business.

"I have had, and will continue to have, many strong disagreements with Congressman Paul during the campaign, but I believe he has made an important contribution in the field of monetary reform," Mr. Gingrich said.

Mr. Gingrich however said he is "not presently committed" to a return to the gold standard abandoned in 1933.

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