Gingrich Backs Patriot Act With Call to Boost Terrorism Defenses for U.S.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the Republican presidential front runner, said that the U.S. must strengthen tools to detect and prevent terrorism because “all of us will be in danger for the rest of our lives.”

Speaking at a national security debate in Washington, Gingrich said that he would extend the USA Patriot Act which provides U.S. law enforcement with extra powers.

“You want to use every tool you can possibly use to gather intelligence,” Gingrich said. “The dangers are literally that great.”

The eight Republican presidential hopefuls met for a second take this month on national security and foreign policy. The debate was hosted by CNN and two non-profit policy groups, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas Governor Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, Texas Representative Ron Paul, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania took the stage just blocks from the White House.

Paul immediately tangled with Gingrich, warning against giving up liberty. “You can prevent crimes by becoming a police state,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roxana Tiron in Washington at rtiron@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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