By David Espo
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — To hear Newt Gingrich tell it, the dramatic conservative change he promises will begin even before he is sworn in as president in 2013.
“My goal would be by the end of that first day, about the time that President Obama arrives back in Chicago, that we will have dismantled about 40 percent of his government,” he tells audiences.
It’s characteristic Gingrich — bold and rich with details that lend credibility and evoke applause from supporters, yet sometimes based on assumptions that strain the imagination.
As he has done elsewhere, Gingrich outlined his Day One scenario on Monday for a small audience in Jacksonville, Fla., as he embarked on a final, full day of campaigning on the eve of Florida’s Republican presidential primary.
Suggesting he has the day timed to the minute, Gingrich adds that “about two hours after the inaugural address” he will sign an executive order that eliminates all the czars Obama appointed.
Often, he promises to issue between 100 and 200 executive orders before the day ends, a large number that conveys big plans, but few specifics.
Approving the construction of a pipeline between Canada and Texas is one, and in Tampa during the day, he said he would “repeal every Obama attack on religion.”
In an aside meant to appeal to tea party sticklers for openness in government, the orders are to be posted online well in advance of the November election “so everyone in America will know what is coming.” Gingrich invites suggestions on what orders can be issued.