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Newt Gingrich Stops at UNCW

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Newt Gingrich stopped in Wilmington Wednesday for a campaign rally at UNCW sponsored by the school’s College Republicans group.

The presidential primary candidate’s visit was just a day after front runner Mitt Romney clinched three wins in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Wisconsin.

Battling a cold, Gingrich discussed his goal for the country to expand its oil and gas production.

“We have to have as a goal: creating an American independence program so that we produce so much oil and gas that no American president ever again bows to a Saudi king.”

Gingrich says that in order for America to be energy-independent, the country would have to produce around 4 million barrels of oil a day. Since oil companies have to pay royalties for drilling on government-owned land, the candidate also suggests using those funds to pay down the national debt.

Along with boosting domestic oil production, the candidate discussed balancing the national budget.

“One of the largest cost savings that we could make towards getting to a balanced budget would be to have a brain science initiative that is designed to have breakthroughs in autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, mental health, concussions, traumatic injuries.”

Gingrich also talked about improving technology to make government more efficient and capable of fending off theft, like Medicaid fraud. With paper-based methods, Gingrich says that the government is unable to keep up with crooks who are scamming the system.

The Associated Press reports that Mitt Romney’s three wins this week have brought his delegate total to 658. Romney’s closest contender is Rick Santorum who has only 281 delegates. For the Republican presidential nomination, a candidate will need 1,144 delegates a feat that many expect Romney to complete by early June.

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After growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, Michelle attended Virginia Tech before moving to Wilmington to complete her Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Her reporting and nonfiction writing have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, within the pages of Wrightsville Beach Magazine, and in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Before moving to Wilmington, Michelle served as the general manager for WUVT, a community radio station in Blacksburg, Virginia. She lives with her husband Scott and their pups, Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.