"What is the primary purpose of a political leader? To build a majority. If voters care about parking lots, then talk about parking lots." -- Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich (; June 17, 1943) is an American politician who served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. In 1995, Time magazine selected him as the Person of the Year for his role in leading the Republican Revolution in the House, ending 40 years of the Democratic Party being in the majority. During his tenure as Speaker, he represented the public face of the Republican opposition to President Bill Clinton.
A college professor, historian, and author, Gingrich twice ran unsuccessfully for the House before winning a seat in the election of November 1978. He was re-elected ten times, and his activism as a member of the House's Republican minority eventually enabled him to succeed Dick Cheney as House Minority Whip in 1989. As a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, Gingrich was in the forefront of the Republican Party's dramatic success in that year's Congressional elections and subsequently was elected Speaker of the House. Gingrich's leadership in Congress was marked by opposition to many of the policies of the Clinton Administration. Shortly after the 1998 elections, when Republicans lost five seats in the House, Gingrich announced his resignation from his House seat and as Speaker.
Since resigning his seat, Gingrich has maintained a career as a political analyst and consultant. He continues to write works related to government and other subjects, such as historical fiction. Recently, he founded the nonpartisan 527 group American Solutions for Winning the Future., and has been an outspoken critic of Barack Obama's presidency.
"A mere forty years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that's what freedom is all about.""An energy tax punishes senior citizens, it punishes rural Americans, if you use electricity it punishes you. This bill will increase your cost of living and may kill your job.""And my point was one I think that you'd agree with, which is there's no room in America for a black racist, a Latino racist, or a white racist, or an Asian racist, or a Native American racist. Now, we're either color blind or we're not color blind.""Frankly, Governor Romney in his career has created more jobs than the entire Obama cabinet combined, so he could actually talk about it.""Have you heard a single national figure tell you all of the crises of the recent past are not economic, they're cultural?""I believe we are now in a struggle over whether or not we are going to save America.""I believe we will elect a new President in 2012.""I discourage a cult of personality.""I think every religious person should have a deep sense of respect for other people's religious documents and religious symbols just as we were deeply opposed to the Taliban destroying the two historic buddhas which they blew up. So I think we ought to all oppose burning the Koran.""I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don't encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, obedient, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around a campfire but are lousy in politics.""I'm not a natural leader. I'm too intellectual; I'm too abstract; I think too much.""If the Obama administration is this afraid of Glenn Beck, how do they deal with the Iranians?""If the Soviet empire still existed, I'd be terrified. The fact is, we can afford a fairly ignorant presidency now.""If you're not brave, you're not going to be free.""Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.' Wouldn't they have to withdraw? New racism is no better than old racism.""In every election in American history both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins.""In the middle of a recession no tax increase is justified because it kills jobs, and any tax increase is a job-killing measure and should be defeated.""It is time we passed a balanced budget amendment and return this government to limited spending.""One morning, just like 9/11, there's going to be a disaster. I have yet to see the United Nations do anything effective with either Iran or North Korea.""Part of why the Tea Party so deeply threatened the elite media is the tea party looked around and suddenly realized, there are more of us than there are of them.""Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.""Politics and war are remarkably similar situations.""President Obama has created at least three jobs that I know of - Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Scott Brown.""Surely the President can agree with us, that theft from government is not good. I know it's bold. It's out on the edge. I know from a Chicago-Springfield background it's hard to fully grasp that honesty could be part of government.""The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.""The secular elites are so terrified of telling the truth about radical Islam. When you talk about the radical Islamists, we have got to get straight and get serious and talk about it in the right way.""The time has come to tell the truth about the corruption of the government employee unions in this country.""We don't we agree that litigation reform to lower the cost of healthcare would be a good starting point?""We tried to have diplomas without learning, we tried to have jobs without work, we tried to have houses without savings, we tried to have government without responsibility.""We're all human and we all goof. Do things that may be wrong, but do something.""Without Jimmy Carter we might not have gotten Ronald Reagan, without Ronald Reagan there would probably still be a Soviet Union.""You can't trust anybody with power.""You have to give the press confrontations. When you give them confrontations, you get attention; when you get attention, you can educate."
Newt Gingrich was born Newton Leroy McPherson, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to nineteen-year-old Newton Searles McPherson and sixteen-year-old Kathleen Daugherty, who were married in September 1942. His mother raised him by herself until she married Robert Gingrich, who then adopted Newt. Gingrich has a younger half-sister, Candace Gingrich.
Gingrich was the child of a career military family, moving a number of times while growing up and attending school at various military installations. He ultimately graduated from Baker High School in Columbus, Georgia, in 1961. He received a B.A. in history from Emory University in Atlanta in 1965. He received an M.A. in 1968, and then a Ph.D. in modern European history from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1971. His dissertation topic was titled "Belgian Education Policy in the Congo: 1945-1960." While at Tulane, Gingrich, who at the time belonged to no religious group, began attending the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church to pursue an interest in the effect of religion on political theory; he was soon baptized by Rev. G. Avery Lee.
Gingrich taught history at the University of West Georgia (then called West Georgia College) in Carrollton, Georgia, from 1970 to 1978. He also taught a class, Renewing American Civilization, at Kennesaw State University (then called Kennesaw State College) in 1993.
In 1974 and 1976, Gingrich made two unsuccessful runs for Congress in Georgia's sixth congressional district, which stretched from the southern Atlanta suburbs to the Alabama state line. Gingrich lost both times to incumbent Democrat Jack Flynt. Flynt, a Democrat, had served in Congress since 1955 and never faced a serious challenge prior to Gingrich's two runs against him. Gingrich nearly defeated Flynt in 1974, a year that was otherwise very bad for Republicans due to Watergate. A 1976 rematch was similarly close, despite the presence of Jimmy Carter on the presidential ballot.
Flynt chose not to run for re-election in 1978. Gingrich ran for the seat a third time, and defeated Democratic State Senator Virginia Shapard by almost 9 points.
Gingrich was reelected six times from this district, facing only one close race. In the House elections of 1990, he defeated Democrat David Worley by 978 votes.
Pre-speakership congressional activities
In 1981, Gingrich co-founded the Congressional Military Reform Caucus (MRC) as well as the Congressional Aviation and Space Caucus. In 1983 he founded the Conservative Opportunity Society, a group that included young conservative House Republicans. In 1983, Gingrich demanded the expulsion of fellow representatives Dan Crane and Gerry Studds for their roles in the Congressional Page sex scandal.
In May 1988, Gingrich (along with 77 other House members and Common Cause) brought ethics charges against Democratic Speaker Jim Wright, who was alleged to have used a book deal to circumvent campaign-finance laws and House ethics rules. During the investigation, it was noted Gingrich had his own unusual book deal, for Window of Opportunity, part of whose publicity expenses were covered by a limited partnership, which raised $105,000 from Republican political supporters around the country to promote sales of the book. Wright eventually resigned as a result of the inquiry. Gingrich's success in forcing the resignation was in part responsible for his rising influence in the Republican caucus. In 1989, after House Minority Whip Dick Cheney was appointed Secretary of Defense, Gingrich was elected to succeed him. Gingrich and others in the house, including the newly minted Gang of Seven, railed against what they saw as ethical lapses in the House, an institution that had been under Democratic control for almost 40 years. The House banking scandal and Congressional Post Office scandal were emblems of the exposed corruption. Gingrich himself was among the 450 members of the House who had engaged in check-kiting; he had overdrafts on twenty-two checks, including a $9,463 check to the Internal Revenue Service in 1990.
Election of 1992
As a result of the 1990 United States Census, Georgia picked up an additional seat for the 1992 elections. However, the Democratic-controlled Georgia General Assembly eliminated Gingrich's old district, which stretched from the southern suburbs of Atlanta to the Alabama border. Gingrich's home in Carrollton was drawn into the Columbus-based 3rd District, represented by five-term Democrat Richard Ray.
At the same time, the Assembly created a new 6th District in Fulton and Cobb counties in the wealthy northern suburbs of Atlanta ... an area Gingrich had never represented. However, Gingrich sold his home in Carrollton, moved to Marietta in the new 6th and won a very close Republican primary. The primary victory was tantamount to election in the new, heavily Republican district. Meanwhile, Ray narrowly lost to Republican state senator Mac Collins.
Election of 1994
Long-time House Minority Leader Bob Michel of Illinois had not run for re-election in 1994, giving Gingrich, the highest-ranking Republican returning to Congress, the inside track to becoming Speaker. In the November 1994 elections, Republicans gained 54 seats and took control of the House for the first time since 1954, whereupon Gingrich became the first Republican Speaker since Joseph William Martin, Jr..
Contract with America
In the 1994 campaign season, in an effort to offer a concrete alternative to shifting Democratic policies and to unite distant wings of the Republican Party, Newt Gingrich (with the help of other Republicans) came up with a Contract with America, which had ten items in it. The contract was signed by Gingrich and other Republican candidates for the House of Representatives. The contract ranged from issues with broad popular support, including welfare reform, term limits, tougher crime laws, and a balanced budget law, to more specialized legislation such as restrictions on American military participation in U.N. missions.
Congress fulfilled Gingrich's Contract promise to bring all ten of the Contract's issues to a vote within the first 100 days of the session, even though most legislation was held up in the Senate, vetoed by President Bill Clinton, or substantially altered in negotiations with Clinton. Over the objection of liberal/progressive interest groups and President Clinton, ASNE - Luncheon address by President Bill Clinton who called it the "Contract on America", many aspects of the proposal were implemented in subsequent legislation.
Legislation proposed by the 104th United States Congress included term limits for Congressional Representatives, tax cuts, welfare reform, and a balanced budget amendment, as well as independent auditing of the finances of the House of Representatives and elimination of non-essential services such as the House barbershop and shoe-shine concessions.
The momentum of the Republican Revolution stalled in late 1995 and early 1996 during a budget standoff between Congressional Republicans and Democratic President Bill Clinton. Speaker Gingrich and the new Republican majority wanted to slow the rate of government spending. Gingrich allowed previously approved appropriations to expire on schedule, thus allowing parts of the federal government to shut down for lack of funds. Prior to the government shutdown, Congress passed several continuing resolutions for funding, although both were vetoed by President Clinton.
However, Gingrich inflicted a blow to his public image by seeming to suggest that the Republican hardline stance over the budget was in part due to his feeling "snubbed" by the President during a flight to and from Yitzhak Rabin's funeral in Israel. The subsequent event caused Gingrich to get lampooned by some in the media, with one editorial cartoon depicted him as having thrown a temper tantrum. Democratic leaders took the opportunity to attack Gingrich's motives for the budget standoff, which may have contributed to Clinton's re-election in November 1996. Gingrich later commented on the incident, "Everybody in Washington thinks that was a big mistake. They're exactly wrong. There had been no reelected Republican majority since 1928. Part of the reason we got reelected ... is our base thought we were serious. And they thought we were serious because when it came to a show-down, we didn't flinch."
In her autobiography Living History, former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton shows a picture of Bill Clinton, Dole, and Gingrich laughing on the plane. Gingrich commented on this event in his book Lessons Learned the Hard Way, claiming that the picture was taken on the plane going to Yitzhak Rabin's funeral in Israel rather than on the return trip from Israel.
During Gingrich's term as Speaker, eighty-four ethics charges were filed against him, most of which were leveled by House Democratic Whip David Bonior. Eighty-three of the eighty-four allegations were dropped.
The remaining charge consisted of two counts “of failure to seek legal advice” and one count of “providing the committee with information which he knew or should have known was inaccurate” concerning the use of a tax exempt college course for political purposes. On January 21, 1997, the House voted 395 to 28 to reprimand Gingrich, including a $300,000 “cost assessment” to recoup money spent on the investigation.
The full committee panel did not reach a conclusion about whether the “Renewing American Civilization” college course had violated federal tax law and instead opted to leave it up to the IRS. In 1999, the IRS cleared the organizations connected with the courses under investigation for possible tax violations.
In the summer of 1997, a few House Republicans had come to see Gingrich's public image as a liability and attempted to replace him as Speaker. According to Time, the replacement was engineered by several Republican backbenchers, including Steve Largent of Oklahoma, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mark Souder of Indiana. They soon gained the support of the four Republicans who ranked directly below Gingrich in the House leadership...Dick Armey, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, Republican conference chairman John Boehner of Ohio, and Republican leadership chairman Bill Paxon of New York.
On July 9, DeLay, Boehner and Paxon had the first of several secret meetings to discuss the replacement. The next night, DeLay met with 20 of the plotters in Largent's office, and appeared to assure them that the leadership was with them.
Under the plan, Armey, DeLay, Boehner and Paxon were to present Gingrich with an ultimatum; resign, or be voted out. Combined with the votes of the Democrats, there appeared to be enough votes to vacate the chair. However, the rebels decided that they wanted Paxon to be the new Speaker. At that point, Armey backed out, and told his chief of staff to warn Gingrich about the coup.
In response, Gingrich forced Paxon to resign his post, but backed off initial plans to force a vote of confidence in the rest of the Republican leadership.
By 1998, Gingrich had become a highly visible and polarizing figure in the public's eye, making him a target for Democratic congressional candidates across the nation. His approval rating was 45% in April 1998.
Republicans lost five seats in the House in the 1998 midterm elections ... the worst performance in 64 years for a party that didn't hold the presidency. Polls showed that Gingrich and the Republican Party's attempt to remove President Clinton from office was widely unpopular among Americans.
Gingrich suffered much of the blame for the election loss. Facing another rebellion in the Republican caucus, he announced on November 6, 1998 that he would not only stand down as Speaker, but would leave the House as well. He had been handily reelected to an 11th term in that election, but declined to take his seat. Commenting on his departure, Gingrich said, "I'm willing to lead but I'm not willing to preside over people who are cannibals. My only fear would be that if I tried to stay, it would just overshadow whoever my successor is."
Gingrich has since remained involved in national politics and public policy debate. He is a senior fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, focusing upon health care, information technology, the military and politics. In 2003, he founded the Center for Health Transformation to develop a 21st Century System of Health and Healthcare that is centered on the individual, prevention focused, knowledge intense, and innovation rich.
In September 2007, Gingrich founded American Solutions for Winning the Future. The stated mission of the group is to become the "leading grassroots movement to recruit, educate, and empower citizen activists and elected officials to develop solutions to transform all levels of government." Gingrich spoke of the group and its objectives at the CPAC conference of 2008 and currently serves as its General Chairman.
Gingrich is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, focusing on U.S. politics, world history, national security policy, and environmental policy issues. He sometimes serves as a commentator, guest or panel member on cable news shows, such as the Fox News Channel. He is listed as a contributor by Fox News Channel, and frequently appears as a guest on various segments; he has also hosted occasional specials for the Fox News Channel. Gingrich is also a guiding coalition member of the Project on National Security Reform.
Newt and his wife, Callista Gingrich, host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. Recent films include, America at Risk, Nine Days that Changed the World, Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny,Rediscovering God in America, Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage, and We Have the Power.
Besides politics, Gingrich has authored a book, Rediscovering God in America, attempting to demonstrate that the Founding Fathers actively intended the new republic to not only allow, but encourage, religious expression in the public square. Since Gingrich has, "dedicated much of his time to calling America back to our Christian heritage," Jerry Falwell invited him to be the speaker, for the second time, at Liberty University's graduation, on May 19, 2007. Speaker Gingrich has also collaborated with David Bossie and Citizens United to produce and co-host with his wife, Callista Gingrich, two documentaries which share their names with the book.
Declined 2008 presidential run
Between 2005 and 2007, Gingrich expressed interest in being a candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for the Presidency. On October 13, 2005, Gingrich suggested he was considering a run for president, saying, "There are circumstances where I will run", elaborating that those circumstances would be if no other candidate champions some of the platform ideas he advocates. On September 28, 2007, Gingrich announced that if his supporters pledged $30 million to his campaign (until October 21), he would seek the nomination.
However, insisting that he had “pretty strongly” considered running, on September 29 spokesman Rick Tyler said that Gingrich would not seek the presidency in 2008 because he could not continue to serve as chairman of American Solutions if he did so. Citing campaign finance law restrictions (the McCain-Feingold campaign law would have forced him to leave his American Solutions political organization if he declared his candidacy), Gingrich said, "I wasn't prepared to abandon American Solutions, even to explore whether a campaign was realistic."
2009 Election Involvement
During the 2009 special election in New York's 23rd congressional district, Gingrich endorsed candidate Dede Scozzafava, who had been chosen by the eleven Republican Party county chairs, in spite of criticism from the conservative base to which Gingrich has traditionally appealed. For this, he was heavily criticised for this endorsment, with Conservatives questioning his candidacy for President in 2012 and even comparing him to Benedict Arnold, a traitor during America's War of Independence. Gingrich has since regretted his decision.
2012 presidential speculation
Several political commentators, including Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic and Robert Novak in the Washington Post, have identified Gingrich as a top contender for a presidential run in the 2012 election, with Ambinder stating that he "is already planting some seeds in Iowa, New Hampshire". A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling indicated that Gingrich was the leading GOP Contender for the Republican nomination with 23% of likely Republican voters saying they would vote for him.
Gingrich warned, "If the Republicans can’t break out of being the right wing party of big government, then I think you would see a third party movement in 2012." Gingrich thrashed Republicans for allowing increased spending during the Bush administration and for not doing enough to block President Barack Obama's early initiatives. In an interview from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Gingrich said, "I am very sad that a number of Republicans do not understand that this country is sick of earmarks. They are sick of politicians taking care of themselves. They are sick of their money being spent in a way that is absolutely indefensible ... I think you're going to see a steady increase in the number of incumbents who have opponents because the American taxpayers are increasingly fed up." Gingrich noted how, at American Solutions, the organization is "working to help people with the April 15 taxpayers parties," because it was good for those Americans who are fed up to communicate how ready they are to fire some of their incumbents next year. When asked if he is thinking of running in 2012, Gingrich replied, "I want to spend all of 2009 trying to develop good policies at American Solutions ... trying to defeat bad policies, like the effort to take away your right to a secret ballot before being forced to join a union. We need to focus everybody on 2009 and finding solutions this year because we are on the edge of being in big trouble."
Gingrich has been married three times. He first married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old and she was 26. They had two daughters. Gingrich left Battley in the spring of 1980 after having an affair with Marianne Ginther. According to Battley, Gingrich visited her later that year while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery to discuss the details of their divorce. Six months after it was final, Gingrich wed Ginther in 1981.
Gingrich began an affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek, who is 23 years his junior, in the mid nineties, which continued during the Congressional investigation of Bill Clinton and the Lewinsky scandal. In 2000, Gingrich married Bisek shortly after his divorce with second wife Ginther was finalized. He and Callista currently live in McLean, Virginia.
Conversion to Catholicism
A Baptist since graduate school, Gingrich converted to Catholicism, his wife's faith, on March 29, 2009.
Gingrich has been a prolific amateur reviewer of books, especially of military histories and spy novels, for Amazon.com. As of 2004, Gingrich held the #488 spot among Amazon's top reviewers. Although a prolific author himself, Gingrich does not review his own works. According to The Weekly Standard, it is "clear that Newt is fascinated by tipping points--moments where new technology or new ideas cause revolutionary change in the way the world works."
Newt Gingrich is known for, and has written on several occasions about, his love of animals. According to USA Today, Gingrich's first engagement in civic affairs was speaking to the city council in his hometown, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, about why the city should establish its own zoological park. Gingrich wrote the introduction for the 2008 book America's Best Zoos. Gingrich is also known as a dinosaur enthusiast. A New Yorker comment on his 1995 book To Renew America noted: "Charmingly, he has retained his enthusiasm for the extinct giants into middle age. In addition to including breakthroughs in dinosaur research on his list of futuristic wonders, he specified 'people interested in dinosaurs' as a prime example of who might benefit from his education proposals."
Some specific viewpoints he has expressed in recent years include:
From Gingrich's five challenges:"No serious nation in the age of terror can afford to have wide-open borders with millions of illegal aliens crossing at will."
Gingrich supports a "guest worker program" for foreign workers, allowing foreign workers to come to the United States and work for a period of time, then return to their home country. Gingrich also supports the idea of allowing some of these guest workers to become citizens. In his book, Winning the Future, he says:
"Along with total border control, we must make it easier for people who enter the United States legally, to work for a set period of time, obey the law, and return home. The requirements for participation in a worker visa program should be tough and uncompromising. The first is essential: Everyone currently working in the United States illegally must return to their home country to apply for the worker visa program. Anything less than requiring those who are here illegally to return home to apply for legal status is amnesty, plain and simple."
Even though he has expressed skepticism that man is significantly affecting the climate, Gingrich does support steps to lower carbon emissions as an act of prudence. He favors tax breaks to mitigate carbon emissions instead of cap-and-trade and has expressed commitment to a conservative take on conservation efforts. Gingrich's environmental ideas were revealed in his book, A Contract with the Earth.
Wall Street bailouts
In late 2008, Gingrich voiced his strong opposition to the U.S. government bailout of Wall Street. He described the $700 billion bailout plan as "just wrong," that "it's likely to fail, and it's likely to make the situation worse over time." Gingrich further reiterated that the bailout was "essentially wrong" in other appearances on Fox News on September 23 and 24, 2008. Some commentators have speculated that he undercut John McCain by rallying the conservative elements in the House to vote no on the bailout. By September 29 he decided that he would "reluctantly and sadly" support it.
In an interview with The Economist, Gingrich stated, "As a British court noted, waterboarding is not torture." Gingrich also believes George W. Bush's policy of "aggressive national security" kept the US safe and "blocked a number of planned attacks," but he admitted that "In the larger and longer war with the irreconcilable wing of Islam, it is clear we are not yet winning".
In terms of national security, Gingrich commented, "...we are watching the Obama administration return to the criminal-justice attitudes that failed to keep [the U.S.] safe in the Clinton years... The Obama team is even more pro-terrorist rights and anti-national security than the Clinton team was."
Islamic law (Sharia)
He is the first major American politician to assert that Islamic law...sharia...is a threat to American freedom. In a speech on July 29, 2010 at the American Enterprise Institute, he stated: "The fight against sharia and the maddrassas and mosques which teach hatred and fanaticism is the heart of the enemy movement from which the terrorists spring forth. ... One of the things I am going to suggest today is a federal law which says no court anywhere in the United States under any circumstance is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law." He also says there is a need to oppose not only the violent advancement of sharia, but also its non-violent encroachment: "This is not a war on terrorism. Terrorism is an activity. This is a struggle with radical Islamists in both their militant and their stealth form. The militant form believes in using military power in one form or another. The stealth form believes in using cultural, intellectual, and political [means]. But their end goal is exactly the same." He also uses the term "creeping sharia" in his elaboration on the threat of the non-violent advancement of sharia.
Gingrich favors rigorous mathematics and science instruction in public schools, introducing competition between schools and between teachers, and permitting prayer in public schools.
In 2009 Gingrich teamed with two unlikely allies to promote their shared view of education reform: civil rights activist Al Sharpton, and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan. After the three had visited a number of U.S. schools that were implementing education reforms, on November 15, 2009 they appeared together on NBC’s Sunday morning news and interview program Meet the Press. During their interview Gingrich said that “education is the number one factor in our future prosperity, it's the number one factor in national security and it's the number one factor in [our] young people having a decent future. I agree with Al Sharpton, this is the number one civil right of the 21st century.”
Ginrich's 2010 book To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine, the chapter co-authored by Lisa Keegan, Nancy Sinnott Dwight, and Fred Asbell, states, "We must be an intellectually hungry, morally strong, and urgently demanding nation with an education system capable of responding to a voracious American desire to learn."
Criticism of Obama Administration
Gingrich has been an outspoken critic of Barack Obama, whom he described as “the most radical president in American history.” Gingrich has argued that it is necessary to “save America” and stop Obama's "secular socialist machine.” He has characterized Obama's universal health care reform as leading America towards authoritarianism, totalitarianism, and the end of democracy.
Gingrich attracted criticism in 2010 from George W. Bush's White House chief of staff Andy Card over remarks he made during an interview with National Review, in which he claimed “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?....That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.” Card referred to Gingrich's comments as "not helpful" to Republicans trying to win in that election.