‘Black Hawk Down’ commander stumps for Gingrich

Written by
Mitchell Schmidt | Iowa City Press-Citizen

Colonel Michael Steele says he supports Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s campaign for the former U.S. House Speaker’s ability to take action.

Steele, who retired in 2010 after almost three decades in the U.S. Army and was Company Commander of the U.S. Army Ranger company portrayed in the book and film Black Hawk Down, said this coming year’s election is pivotal.

“I believe we have one shot left, the way we vote is the way our nation goes and I think if we screw this up we’re not getting another shot at it, we have to pick the right man,” he said, adding that he endorses Gingrich’s campaign for a change in Washington. “I for one am tired of people talking, and would offer it is time to replace a professional talker in the White House with a professional doer. Newt Gingrich is a professional doer, he gets things done. And we are in a point in our nation’s history where we need to get things done.”

Steele addressed a small crowd of roughly 10 individuals Friday at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center along with Gingrich’s brother and 30-year law enforcement official Randy McPherson.

McPherson admitted this was his first political speech but said he wanted to endorse Gingrich for president, not just because of their family ties, but for the presidential candidate’s view toward law enforcement and gun rights.

McPherson said he supports Gingrich’s pledge for “positive campaign” ads but added that it is sometimes frustrating when so many negative ads have been run recently in the state leading up to the Jan. 3 caucus.

“What’s your positive idea?,” McPherson asked of opponents of his brother’s campaign. “If you don’t think that ‘s a good idea, what do you think would be?”

McPerson, chief of the cigarette Enforcement Division in the Pennsylvania Bureau of Criminal Tax Investigation, said he is encouraged by reports of possible record numbers of Republican voters in Iowa on Tuesday.

“I think it just shows there are a lot of people who want to see change and are not happy with the current thing and they’re voicing their opinion,” he said. “A huge turnout is indicative of what’s going to come in the general election.”

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