the long march of newt gingrich

Newt's Quotes

The following quotations are taken from QUOTATIONS FROM SPEAKER NEWT: The Little Red, White and Blue Book of the Republican Revolution (c)1995 by Peter W. Bernstein Corporation. Reprinted with permission from Workman Publishing Co.

Growing Up

"My father was a soldier then, and the house we lived in was right across the Seventh Army Headquarters. Late at night he would get a call, and in the early morning hours the entire headquarters would move into the field. I could see it all from my bedroom window --tanks, trucks, armed personnel carriers. It gradually dawned on me that this wasn't a game. In a sense, my mother, my sisters, and I were being held hostage to world power. Faced with this, I began to wonder what it was all about, why my father was risking his life, why my country was in danger."

-Recalling life at age 14 on the Army base in Stuttgart, West Germany. Campaign profile
(Ingram Library, West Georgia College)

"I think I was very lonely and I think I was driven...If you decide in your freshman year in high school that your job is to spend your lifetime trying to change the future of your people, you're probably fairly weird. I think I was pretty weird as a kid."

-The Washington Post
January 3, 1985

The Rise To Power

"I understood totally that in my hometown and among people who knew me, there would be a lot of people who would be very cynical [about the divorce and his remarriage several months later to Marianne Ginther] and would say, "Who does he think he is?" And part of my conclusion is the same one I'm sure you run into. If the only people allowed to write news stories were those who had never told a lie, we wouldn't have many stories. If the only people allowed to serve on juries were saints, we wouldn't have any juries. And I thought there was a clear distinction between my private life and the deliberate use of a position of authority to seduce and abuse somebody in your care. And I would draw that distinction.

I would say to you unequivocally --it will probably sound pious and sanctimonious saying it-- I am a sinner. I am a normal person. I am like everyone else I ever met. One of the reasons I go to God is that I ain't very good --I'm not perfect."

-Mother Jones
November 1984

"You talk about crying! The spring of 1988, I spent a fair length of time trying to come to grips with who I was and the habits I had, and what they did to people that I truly loved. I really spent a period of time where, I suspect, I cried three or four times a week. I read Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them and I found frightening pieces that related own life."

-In the same newspaper article, Marianne revealed that their marriage had been "off and on" for some time. Gingrich himself said that the marriage had a 53-47 chance of lasting.

The Washington Post
June 12, 1989

"I think I am a transformational figure. I think I am trying to effect a change so large that the people who would be hurt by the change, the liberal machine, have a natural reaction...I think because I'm so systematically purposeful about changing our world...I'm a much tougher partisan that they've [the Democrats] seen...much more intense, much more persistent, much more willing to take risks to get it done."

-Comment in an October 17 interview on his role as a "lightning rod."
The Washington Post
December 20, 1994

"As a historian I understand how histories are written. My enemies will write histories that dismiss me and prove I was unimportant. My friends will write histories that glorify me and prove I was more important than I was. And two generations or three from now, some serious sober historian will write a history that sort of implies I was whoever I was."

-The Washington Post
January 3, 1985

The Republican Revolution: Overthrowing the Welfare State

"The 1990s must be a decade of invention, innovation, creativity and reform. We must decentralize power and programs away from Washington. We must liberate individuals, neighborhoods and local and state governments so they can experiment with new and better methods of getting the job done."

-Heritage Lecture, "The Washington Establishment vs. The American People: A Report from the Budget Summit"
August 22, 1990

American Values

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
Perseverance is what you do when the seventh girl turned you down for dancing and you go to the eighth girl, or boy in the modern era.
Perseverance is what happens when, in my case, I ran for Congress twice and lost. I ran a third time to win...
Perseverance is what it takes to get a Ph.D. or it's what it takes to finally have saved up enough money to buy that house or to buy that first car."

-Renewing American Civilization, Class 2

American Diversity

"I think that on most things most days, the vast majority of practicing homosexuals are good citizens. So why would you say that of all the different groups you can pick on, this is the one group that you are going to single out?...
[The Republican Party's position] should be toleration. It should not be promotion and it should not be condemnation. I don't want to see police in the men's room, which we had when I was a child, and I don't want to see trying to educate kindergarteners in understanding gay couples.

-The Washington Blade
November 25, 1994

"It is madness to pretend that families are anything other than heterosexual couples. I think it goes to the core of how civilization functions.

-The Washington Blade
November 25, 1994

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

"If Thomas Edison had invented the electric light in the age of the welfare state, the Democrats would immediately introduce a bill to protect the candlemaking industry. The Democrat ticket would propose a tax on electricity --in fact, Al Gore does propose a tax on electricity. Ralph Nader would warn that electricity can kill; and at least one news report would begin, 'The candlemaking industry was threatened today.'"

-Speech, the Republican National Convention in Houston
August 1992

Health Care

"It is astonishing to me --in this era of widespread and well-deserved disillusionment with big government-- that so many well-informed, concerned citizens would want to nationalize and bureaucratize American medicine, some as explicitly as the highly structured National Health Service in the United Kingdom. We only need look at the postal and public school systems to learn that nationalization means neither efficiency nor economy and at the telephone system to learn that private monopolies also have their flaws."

-Unidentified newspaper article
(Ingram Library, West Georgia College)

The New Agenda

"And I would say to my friends on the left who believe that there's never been a government program that wasn't worth keeping, you can't look at some of the results we now have and not want to reach out to the humans and forget the bureaucracies."

-Speech on opening day of the 104th Congress
January 4, 1995

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