The upcoming presidential election likely will be the most important election in our lifetime.

I listen to the presidential candidates, and I really like what Newt Gingrich says and how he handles himself. However, we cannot afford to elect him as president.

Our mills in Maine stand empty because of Gingrich. We have this terrible housing crisis because of Gingrich. He pushed free trade (NAFTA) down our throats, and that is the reason we were in a recession at the end of President Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Gingrich got this passed and it resulted in the mass exodus of our labor-intensive manufacturing businesses. And he brags about it. I get sick every time I purchase items “Made in China,” and have no other choice.

As speaker, Gingrich helped Clinton repeal banking laws put in place after the Great Depression in 1933. These rules were intended to prevent our country from falling into the same trap we are in now. This opened the door for the Fair Housing Act, allowing people to buy houses they could not afford.

Gingrich calls himself a Reagan conservative. I beg to differ. His record proves otherwise. NAFTA was an idea put together by President Jimmy Carter, and slammed by President Ronald Reagan as the worst idea that would destroy American manufacturing, and it did. NAFTA has done nothing except make the rich, richer and the put hundreds of thousands of middle-class Americans in the poor house.

We cannot afford Gingrich as our 45th president, plain and simple.

Bill Griebel

South China

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