Peoria Public Radio News
6:01 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Newt Gingrich stops in Peoria for fundraiser

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich visiting animals at the Peoria Zoo.
Credit Orko Manna / WCBU

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited the Peoria Zoo Thursday before headlining a fundraiser for State Senator Darin LaHood.  The former Republican Presidential Candidate criticized President Barack Obama's speech on the economy this week in Galesburg:

“I think if the President had had a bipartisan speech, you could take it seriously. You could say, ‘Gee, this is about governing.’ Yesterday, unfortunately, was about posturing and blaming and partisanship. The election is over. The problems we have as a country – and you see this in Illinois with your state pension problem – the problems we’re faced with are real.”

Senator LaHood says he got to know Gingrich by helping in his 2012 presidential campaign. Gingrich was in town for a political fundraiser for LaHood. LaHood says Gingrich decided to take a few detours before the fundraiser:

“But when I asked Speaker Gingrich to come to Peoria and he agreed to it, it was his idea to want to come and see our zoo – our revamped zoo that’s absolutely wonderful. Speaker Gingrich has visited over 100 zoos, he’s very curious about the natural world. And then also we’re going to visit Caterpillar Visitors Center later on today, before my event. It’s great that we can highlight CAT and the zoo here today and have Speaker Gingrich as a part of that.”