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Gingrich Offers Alternate Jobs Summit

Feeling snubbed by President Obama's planned jobs forum at the White House tomorrow, some conservatives are launching a jobs forum of their own.

Former House Speaker and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has announced he is launching a "Real Jobs Summit." The first stop is in Ohio, a potential swing state with an unemployment rate of 10.5 percent.

"After 10 months and the authorization of $787 billion in government spending, the economic policies of the White House and the Democratic Congress have failed." Gingrich wrote on his Web site.

Gingrich said he seeks to spur entrepreneurship and small businesses by lowering taxes, interest rates and debt.

Gingrich's summit is taking place in Cincinnati today and moves to Jackson, Mississippi tomorrow. The organization sponsoring the tour, American Solutions, promises additional Real Jobs Forums through 2010.

Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, which have expressed opposition to Obama administration policies, were not invited to the president's jobs summit, the Washington Times reports.

In a letter to the president on Tuesday, Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue supported the idea of the forum. But he argued for the elimination of what he cast as protectionist trade barriers and pushed for reducing the deficit and eliminating what he sees as unnecessary regulation. Donohue also argued for restrictions on litigation against businesses.

While noted supporters of the economic stimulus bill, among them Paul Krugman, are expected to attend the president's jobs forum, critics say that there will not be enough voices present to argue that there is already too much government interference in the economy.

"Right now, the rising deficit is creating a lot of uncertainty and a lot of worry on the part of investors in this country," said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., in a conference call with reporters. "Continued spending, as well as the rules that are being promulgated, are creating a lot of fear, so that investors are not jumping back into the game to create jobs."

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