WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich said Friday that if elected president he will repeal health care and finance reform, end overseas abortion aid, approve a major oil pipeline and move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem -- and that's just on Day 1.
Before an approving crowd of thousands at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the former House speaker laid out a cluttered schedule that would repudiate "at least 40 percent of (President Barack Obama's) government on the opening day."
"When the Congress comes in (in early January) it will stay in session and by January 20th, it will have repealed 'Obamacare,'" Gingrich said to a loud roar, referring to the president's landmark legislation that has helped provide coverage for tens of millions of uninsured Americans.
Also going under the axe would be the Dodd-Frank bill on Wall Street reform and the Sarbanes-Oxley bill on corporate accountability reform.
"That afternoon on the very first day, we should sign the repeal of all three. That's a reasonable start."
He also would immediately approve a controversial Canada-US oil pipeline, "abolish all of the White House czars," and shift the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
A 1995 US law calls for the move but successive presidents have used the measure's waiver authority to postpone it.
The Obama administration regards Jerusalem as a final status issue to be resolved in stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The first day of a Gingrich presidency would also see all US aid halted for groups that fund abortions overseas, "and we will have an executive order to repeal every act of religious bigotry by the Obama administration."
Hours earlier Obama announced a compromise to defuse a row over access to birth control, a controversy that critics claimed was proof of the president's war on religion.
Gingrich, who is known for a bombastic style seen as a mix of self-confidence and arrogance, must first come out on top in the fiercely fought Republican party nominations race, then prevail over Obama in November.
Gingrich trails former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and finished poorly in three primary and caucus contests this week won by rival conservative Rick Santorum.
But he insisted he was still the man to beat, and said the Washington elite in both major parties feared a Gingrich victory.
"This campaign is a mortal threat to their grip on the establishment, because we intent to change Washington, not accommodate it," he said.
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