Gingrich Calls Obama's Embrace of Algae Energy 'Weird'

FEDERAL WAY, Wash.- Newt Gingrich has been hitting Obama's energy speech since the president delivered it Thursday, calling the speech funny enough to be on SNL and "something worthy of Leno or Letterman."

Gingrich's biggest talking point about Obama's speech attacks the president for his embrace of investments in biofuels such as those made from algae.

He is referring to a point in Obama's speech when the president said, "We're making new investments in the development of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel that's actually made from a plant-like substance known as algae."

"Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17% of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in America," Obama said.

On Thursday night, Gingrich mocked the president's speech in front of an Idaho crowd, by suggesting that he should take a bottle of algae with him and "go around and we can have the Obama solution."

"And maybe what we ought to do at is we ought to get t-shirts that say 'You choose.'  Gingrich went on to suggest the slogans, 'You have Newt: Drill here, Drill Now, Pay Less. You have Obama: Have Algae, Pay More, Be Weird."

Gingrich himself has taken a lot of flack on the campaign trail this year for presenting ideas that the other candidates have called "grandiose" and "zany."

In particular, at a speech in Florida, Gingrich presented his idea for a colony in space.  "By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the Moon and it will be American," Gingrich said in January.

(Gingrich's space idea actually was parodied on SNL in February.)

While Gingrich said a base on the moon would only take 9 years - and could be done by the end of his second term, today he said the concept of algae biofuel that Obama presented could take years longer.

"It's a terrific concept, and I think in 20, 30, 40 years it will be at scale, maybe," Gingrich said.

Gingrich said that while he is a "big fan" of science,  Obama's biofuels endeavor could be like the bankrupt Solyndra project. "You know the President had this magnificent solar power investment and took 500 something-million of your money, (he) visited the plant because it was the plant of the future," Gingrich said. "I suspect in the next few weeks we'll see him at some algae plant."