Asian American supporters share a photo opportunity with presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday at the headquarters of the Korea Times. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

Rafu Staff Writer

Republican candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich reached out to the Asian American community Thursday morning at an event at the Korea Times’ Los Angeles bureau. Introduced by Michelle Park Steel, Vice Chair of the California State Board of Equalization and highest ranking Korean American elected official in the country, Gingrich laid out keynotes of his platform for a small audience of supporters and media representatives.

The candidate spoke to his audience’s concerns, discussing the importance of military strengthening in the face of uncertainty in North Korea, corporate tax cuts to increase competition with China and India, and the maintenance of close economic ties with South Korea. Gingrich also stressed his desire to cultivate energy independence through oil drilling offshore and on federal lands, citing as an example lands in Monterey, California estimated to hold about 80 billion barrels of oil.

Audience members thanked the candidate for meeting with Asian American voters, a group whose support Gingrich describes as important for “putting California back in play.”

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