He’s found himself at the top of the polls in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and now former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is reaching out to the small business world to help him secure it.

Gingrich participated in a town-hall-type teleconference today to answer small-business owners’ questions about how he might help them in a Gingrich presidency.

Gingrich said during the call that his 21st Century Contract with America—a play off his infamous Contract with America in 1994—will help business owners, thereby helping the U.S. economy compete on a global scale.

“I think we need a very substantial shift toward a pro-jobs program that includes a change in taxes, a change in regulation, a focus on American energy, and a recognition that job creators matter and are very, very important,” he said.

To compete with other major nations on jobs, Gingrich said he supports abolishing the capital gains tax and moving to 100 percent expensing, which would allow companies to write off all of their new equipment in one year.

“We want our workers to be the most modern, the most productive, and the most creative,” he said. “That’s the only way to compete with China and India and sustain high-value jobs.”

Gingrich also said he would immediately repeal the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as president, which was one of the nation’s biggest financial reforms in history. The Dodd-Frank Act included the Durbin Amendment, which was responsible for capping swipe fees that quick serves and other retailers have to pay credit card companies.

Gingrich said the Dodd-Frank Act “is killing small banks, killing small businesses, [and] crippling the housing industry.”

Like all of the candidates for the Republican nomination, Gingrich said he would move to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was President Obama’s sweeping health care reform.

He also wants to remodel the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration (OSHA).

With less regulation, lower taxes, and more favor for “job creators,” Gingrich said he believes the U.S. can get back on track as the top economy in the world.

“I think it’s very important for us to recognize that the United States is still the engine that pulls the world, and if our economy is not growing, then we are faced with some very, very grave challenges, and the entire world is faced with grave challenges,” he said.

The call was sponsored by the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Restaurant Association, the National Association of Home Builders, and Associated Builders and Contractors. Similar calls had previously been hosted for Congressman Ron Paul, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, and Governor Rick Perry.

By Sam Oches

Legal, News