Gingrich reflects on his years in Columbus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Gingrich reflects on his years in Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Friday waslike coming home.  He appeared in front of a packed house of supporters inColumbus.

"I went to Baker High School, and now, it's gone.  Andthat worries me because it was built the year I was born," Gingrich jokedwith the crowd.

In a sit down interview with News Leader 9, Gingrich describedwhat Columbus meant to him growing up and now.

"When you're an Army brat, you end up with several homes. AndI think emotionally I look at coming to Georgia through Columbus really as ahome coming."

The people of Columbus knew Newt Gingrich before he was theSpeaker of the House, before he became a Republican presidential candidate, andbefore he had even graduated from high school.

"My dad was a career soldier so we arrived when I was ajunior in high school. I went to Baker High and lived at Fort Benning, and Iwent to Columbus College when it was actually an Archer Hosiery Mill."

During his rally, he smiled, pointing to a familiar face.

"I have to tell all of you, this is Dr. Katrina Yielding whotaught me government."

News Leader 9 asked his 12th grade government teacher what he waslike as a student.

"Smart.  He was very outgoing.  He read insatiablyand enjoyed history.  As a matter of fact, told me that year he was goingto be the Speaker of the House of Representatives."

"I always go back to Columbus with a sense of fondness. I've done a lot of things with healthcare such as the diabetes project inColumbus.  And, I just have really, really fond memories ofColumbus," said Gingrich.

He says it has changed.

"It's been so modernized since I was there as a child. When you go downtown today and it really is a remarkably different city."

However, according to the Republican presidential candidate, onething still stays the same: the people.

"I have friends that I have made through the years, and so,to come back and see them."

Even though he's home, it is still business for the Republicanpresidential hopeful as he rallies for support from voters in Columbus andacross Georgia.

"We can have a vision of a much better America that has manymore jobs, has much less expensive energy, is much stronger militarily, has agovernment that is much for effective, and has returned power back to thecitizens and the states in a way that we give our children and grandchildren amuch better future."

With many in the crowd cheering, Gingrich criticized PresidentObama's proposed budget especially those affecting the military.

"The cuts he's proposing would leave us the weakest we havebeen since before World War II.  Weakness is an invitation to disaster,and weakness is an invitation to the risk of war," said Gingrich.

He also discussed raising gas prices saying his solution isdrilling within the United States that will bring prices to $2.50 a gallon soAmericans no longer will have to "bow to Saudi Kings," exclaimed theRepublican candidate.

From Columbus, Gingrich headed to Ohio and will make some stops inAlabama before the state's primary on March 13.  Georgia voters will lineup on Super Tuesday or March 6.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly