The question that left Newt Gingrich speechless — briefly — in New Hampshire
A young New Hampshire voter left Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, 68, speechless on Thursday night when he essentially confronted the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — and other older voters in the room — with their mortality.
“I’m curious what hope you can give America in these dire times,” the 22-year-old man asked. “I know that many people in this room are on their way out. I say that in a respectful way — that in maybe ten years a lot of these people in this room will have passed away.”
“Don’t try to defend that [comment] because this could get worse,” Gingrich said at a campaign event in Meredith as the crowd gasped, laughed and applauded the young voter’s remarks.
But the man continued. “I noticed that in my age bracket no one cares about politics because it’s something for old people,” he said. “What can be done in eight years [in the White House] that will affect the life that I have yet to live, that you have already lived.”
“There are moments in this business where I am just left speechless,” said Gingrich, before going on to explain why most political issues, such as the threat of a nuclear Iran and crippling student loans, were not just an “old person’s concern.”
When calling on the next voter to ask a question, Gingrich then quipped: “Are you going to suggest anything about how soon we’re passing away?”
Gingrich is sitting in fourth place, some 30 points behind former Massachusetts Governor and frontrunner Mitt Romney, ahead of the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary, according to a recent poll.
Photo credit: Newt Gingrich speaks as he tours the Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. gun factory in Newport, New Hampshire January 6, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer