MINNEAPOLIS – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is advising Republican candidates on November's ballots to frame the choice for voters between Democrats as "the party of food stamps" while selling the GOP as "the party of paychecks."
With a month to go before the election, Gingrich brought his branding effort to Minnesota on Wednesday. He raised money for Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer and the state GOP during a private fundraiser.
He told reporters later that Republicans can campaign as the party of opportunity.
"Most Americans would like to get a paycheck," Gingrich said. "Most Americans would not like to be forced to have food stamps handed out by liberal Democrats."
Gingrich is considering a run for president in 2012 and is about to head off on a 12-city "Jobs Here, Jobs Now" tour with stops in South Carolina, Georgia, Iowa and Wisconsin, among other places.
Gingrich this week distributed a memo to Republican hopefuls saying they should use the final month to stress tax and spending cuts as a way to spur job growth while attacking Democratic policies as detrimental that effort.
He blamed policies by a Democratic Congress and President Barack Obama's administration for pushing the number of people receiving food stamps to historic highs. U.S. Department of Agriculture Data show 41.8 million people were on government nutrition assistance programs in July, up from about 32 million when Obama took office.
"It's perfectly fair to say they are earning the title of the party of food stamps," he said. "By contrast, we have historically since Ronald Reagan of 1980 been the party of job creation."
Hari Sevugan, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said Democrats are pulling the country "out of the deep ditch" the current administration inherited from a Republican White House.
"Under Republican economic policies, nearly 800,000 Americans lost their job every month," Sevugan said. "Under Democratic economic policies, we are adding jobs every month. That's the choice."