February 11, 2011
Two political powerhouses were in Kansas Friday night. The two men who made names for themselves on opposite sides of the aisle in the nation's capitol appeared together in Salina.
An unusual political pairing. Republican Newt Gingrich and Democrat Bill Bradley. One a possible future presidential candidate. The other a former White House hopeful.
Bradley is a Rhodes Scholar, former NBA basketball player and US Senator. Gingrich helped the GOP take back the capitol in 1994 after 40 years of Democratic control. He quickly rose to Speaker of the House. They're on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but they definitely don't hate each other.
"I always like to go wherever I can with the speaker," Bradley said as the two sat down. "I think he's a man of ideas and I look forward to interacting with him."
"Every time we've been together through an idea oriented discussion, it's very confusing for the audience because we don't follow any of the models about how Democrats and Republicans are supposed to work."
With world events in Egypt topping headlines, both took time to speak about it.
"This (Mubarak) is somebody who has stood with us for 30 years and it's a dangerous signal to say to people around the world that the US is prepared to cut you off as soon as it's convenient," Gingrich said.
"We are not in control of every event that occurs in the world," Bradley said. "The people of the country have something to say about it."
The two held a discussion for the Salina chamber's members Friday. Both chimed in on the direction of the country since President Obama took office.
Bradley first explained that Obama inherited two wars, a tremendous fiscal debt and a housing crisis, among other things.
"He has, I think, responded in a measured way," Bradley said. "I think in terms of foreign policy that he's taken many decisions to operate multilaterally as opposed to unilaterally."
"I think the challenges we face are all dramatically bigger than President Obama and almost all of them preceded him," said Gingrich.
But Gingrich also believes the president has responded in the wrong ways.
Lastly, when both were asked which one would run for president in 2012, they looked and pointed at each other.