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(NECN/CNN: New Orleans, La.) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) labeled President Barack Obama "the most radical president in American history" during remarks made at the three-day Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
The event, held in New Orleans, turns to 2008 vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Friday.
Gingrich took umbrage with Mr. Obama's policies, particularly health care reform and economic stimulus legislation, saying they have put the United States on the road to socialism.
"The President of the United States, the most radical president in American history, has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people," Gingrich said. "He has said 'I run a machine, I own Washington and there is nothing you can do about it.' Thats where we are."
Gingrich has not made clear his intentions for 2012, the year of the next presidential election.
"That will be up to God," he said, "and the American people."
Material from The Associated Press used in this report. Video courtesy of CNN.