Gingrich was joined by wife Callista at Wednesday's rally.
COVINGTON -- GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich stopped in Covington Wednesday to tell voters the upcoming presidential election is "the most important election of your lifetime."
Gingrich wasted no time in attacking President Barack Obama on his foreign and energy policies in a speech that earned him lots of cheers and a few outbursts of "Give him the boot Newt!" from an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Peachtree Academy on U.S. Highway 278.
"The Bible teaches us that without vision, the people perish," Gingrich said. But Obama's vision "is not the answer we want and it's not American," he said.
Gingrich said it's time to get back to the fundamentals of the Declaration of Independence, "which says our Creator has entitled us to certain inalienable rights. Those rights include the willingness to stand up to federal judges who don't understand that they are not allowed to rewrite the Constitution."
Gingrich continued his criticism of Obama's recent apology over the burning of the Quran by U.S. soldiers at an air force base in Afghanistan. Gingrich said the soldiers were destroying Qurans that had been defaced by Muslim prisoners.
"I believe when a president, as commander in chief, apologizes at a time when young Americans are being killed, there is something profoundly wrong," he said.
Gingrich said it's a one-sided model that allowed the U.S. Army to burn Bibles in 2009 after they were sent unsolicited to Afghanistan to convert Muslims with little attention, but merited an apology when Qurans were burned.
"We're not in the business to try and appease people who are religious fanatics. We're in the business to achieve a safe country so we can leave. Our objective is not to stay; our objective is to get out of there," he said.
Gingrich said he believes America can produce its own oil and gas and be independent of reliance on the Middle East. The country's natural gas supply has been underestimated in years past, and is now thought to be up to 125 years, he said. Gingrich wants to remove obstacles to oil and natural gas development in America, offshore and on land, and make America the No. 1 producer and supplier of oil again.
"That would mean that no American president would ever again bow to a Saudi king," he said, and the crowd whooped and hollered.
Gingrich said more than 1 million jobs could be created, and between $16 and $18 trillion in revenues could be generated to pay off the national debt and decrease gas to between $2 and $2.50 a gallon.
Gingrich stressed that winning Georgia, which has the most delegates at stake on Super Tuesday on March 6, is imperative to the success of his campaign.
"I am pretty confident I am the one candidate who can stand up on stage and debate Barack Obama," he said.
Several in the crowd said they like Gingrich's no-nonsense approach.
"I think he is very intelligent and I think he has been around the block more than once and we need somebody with his intelligence and his creativity to move this country forward," said Kathy Silvio of Covington.
"Even though he has baggage, he's still the sharpest knife in the drawer," said Lonnie Michaelson of Oxford. "A lot of it is just his vision, his grasp of the situation. He can put it all together in perspective for us. The problem with this administration and the Clinton administration is they could run for office but couldn't govern."
Kathy Garner of Forest Park was visiting friends in Oxford.
"I met Newt 30 years ago in 1982. I liked his ideas then and I like his ideas now. He's straight up and puts logic to problems rather than just saying what people want to hear," she said.