Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave a short speech to the American Public Israel Affairs Committee policy conference before members adjourned to hit afternoon lobbying appointments with 530 out of the 535 offices on the Hill.
Gingrich spoke via satellite on the Super Tuesday campaign trail, making former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) the only GOP presidential hopeful to come speak to the conference in person.
He said that Israel’s survival requires a resetting of how the Mideast is approached — something he said the State Department is bungling — otherwise the region will be “permanently on the edge of war.”
“This is an extraordinarily important time,” Gingrich said.
The Speaker vowed to initiate an American energy policy to “ensure again that no American president will bow to a Saudi king” and to “undermine the Iranian dictatorship by every method short of war.”
While not committing to a strike on Iran, he said he would share all available intelligence with Israel and if it decided to strike nuclear facilities to prevent a “second Holocaust,” “I would require no advance notice.”
He stopped after about five minutes of questions, believing that there was a panel in place to ask him questions like Mitt Romney had.
After being told there was no panel, Gingrich launched into new remarks about needing “a fundamental reassessment of our entire understanding of radical Islam.”
In his presidency, the Speaker vowed, “we would not keep talking while the Iranians keep building.”