Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts visited Summerville as part of a two-day tour of the state, touring the state on behalf of Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. The mid-day stop at Sweetwater Cafe was a full house on Summerville's Main Street.
Watts told the audience he supported Gingrich because "we need someone who can challenge Obama from more than just talking points", saying that he'd planned to sit this race out, but after Iowa he decided to "get involved and get off the sidelines".
Watts defined the challenges facing the GOP as similar to what they faced in the 1990s, touting their records in reining in deficit spending, entitlement reform, debt reduction and tax relief, promising Gingrich would act on those issues.
He believed the Republicans lost their Congressional majority in 2006 when "some of the things the Democrats were doing, we were doing", predicting that in the face of what he predicted to be a billion dollar re-election campaign by President Obama. He believed the only want to win is with "someone who knows who they are, can complete in debates and has a broad historical perspective".
Watts served with Gingrich in Congress, having been elected to the House from Oklahoma in 1995 as a freshman in the first GOP congressional majority since the 1950s. Watts was also the first black Republican elected to Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction.