Newt Gingrich’s Midterm Prediction - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Newt Gingrich’s Midterm Prediction
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich delivers the keynote address at The American Spectator’s 54th Annual Robert L. Bartley Gala on Oct. 20, 2022

The following remarks were delivered by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at The American Spectator’s 54th Annual Robert L. Bartley Gala on Oct. 20, 2022:

Well, thank you all very much. There are some introductions which are so overwhelming that I find myself sitting out there thinking, “God, I’m looking forward to hearing from this guy.” And Grover [Norquist] has now given the kind of introduction that my mother would have loved. Grover is an old friend. We go back to the days when he was young enough to be running around Afghanistan with the mujahideen trying to defeat the Soviet Empire. We go back to the very beginning of the no-tax-increase pledge.

I was just asking him a minute ago — [Americans for Tax Reform] now has regular meetings in 45 states and 26 countries. I don’t know of anybody that has methodically created that kind of intellectual network around the world and Grover is himself an extraordinary unsung hero of the fight for freedom.

Callista and I are delighted to be here. It is a remarkable experience. And I was thinking back, Bob, to the times when you would coerce me — I think that’s the right term — into coming over for dinners at the restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue. And he’d have about 15, 20 people in the room and we would sit around and talk about a variety of things, some of which involved the inadequacies of the Clintons, others involved the future of the conservative movement. But if you think about it, the contribution that Bob has made over a lifetime is extraordinary, and I think certainly parallels and rivals William Buckley.

And I must say, as a conservative, I find The American Spectator substantially more reliable than National Review, and I’m thrilled to be here.

And I also want to take just a moment and say thank you to Bob Luddy, who has been a remarkable supporter, not just of The American Spectator, but of so many projects. His school program, which deserves vastly more publicity than it’s gotten, is remarkable in its effect on helping young people have a dramatically better future. I was reminded — and I offer this just as a thought — that I wrote with my good friend Bill Forstchen three novels about Washington and the American Revolution. Sometimes, we undervalue in the American model the importance of successful people in making things happen. There is a scene in our final volume, which leads to Yorktown, where Washington arrives in Philadelphia with the Army out of money, unable to pay salaries, unable to buy food, and sits down with Gouverneur Morris, who does have resources, and, in a long dinner, Morris decides that he will risk his entire fortune to enable the American Army to get to Yorktown to work with the French and force the British to surrender. Morris later on paid a price for that. He did in fact go broke. But in the process, he created America. Now Bob has not had to finance the entire American Army, but, in many ways, he is in the same tradition of successful men who decide that part of the purpose of their success is to fight for and strengthen the cause of freedom. So Bob, we’re delighted to be with you tonight.

We are at, I think, a remarkable moment in history. I first started working on this project in August of 1958. My dad was in the Army. We were stationed in Europe. I watched the French paratroopers come back from Algiers and kill the French Fourth Republic and bring de Gaulle back to create the Fifth Republic, which is still today the longest-serving nonmonarchical government in the history of France. We moved to Stuttgart, we were stationed in Orléans, we moved to Stuttgart the week of the first Berlin crisis when the U.S. Army went ashore in Lebanon with nuclear weapons, tactical nuclear weapons offshore. In that whole process, I concluded that countries can die. I was going to be either a vertebrate paleontologist or a zoo director, but I thought about it all summer and decided that countries can die, that leadership is vital, and, in August of 1958, after a lot of thought and prayer, I decided that I had three assignments: How do you explain what America has to do to survive? How do you get the American people to agree to it? And how do you then implement it if you have their agreement? That’s basically all I’ve done since 1958.

We are at really one of the great turning points in American history, I think a turning point fully equal to Gettysburg, fully equal to Valley Forge. I think it’s easy to underestimate the scale of danger that exists today. We are closer to nuclear war than any time, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, including the 1973 confrontation, because in both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1973 confrontation, there were rational, bureaucratic people in the Soviet Union who understood the limitations of power. We have today a president who on a good day is an idiot and on a bad day you wonder whether Susan Rice, or who Obama has put in there to actually run the White House. You have in Putin a dictator who is delusionally out of touch with reality at least as much as Adolf Hitler was, and you have no idea what’s gonna happen.

And so I just want to start by saying anyone who does not take seriously the threat of a nuclear war is very, very foolish. And I recommend to all of you Phillip Wylie’s mid-1950s book, Tomorrow!, which was a novel about two cities in the Midwest, one of which gets hit by a nuclear weapon. If you read it, you’ll understand why I’ve spent my lifetime doing this. The human race, with Iran, Pakistan, India, China, North Korea, Britain, France, Russia, the United States, Israel, and more to come, is at any given day on the edge of an annihilation so horrible that as someone, I think Eisenhower, once said, “The living will envy the dead because the horror will be so great.” I don’t say that to scare you, but to sober you, to get you to understand how real what we’re doing is.

The second greatest threat to the United States is, putting aside nuclear war, which is a horrendous thing and hopefully will never occur, although, I have to say, this administration is more likely to stumble into it than any administration that we’ve had since World War II. But putting that aside, the greatest threat to the United States is not the Chinese communists. The greatest threat to the United States is the American educational system. The greatest destroyers of America’s future are the teachers unions and the education bureaucracy. And those of us who are conservative and those of us who are Republican — and mostly that’s the same — have an obligation to be much blunter, much more direct, and to make this issue a head-on fight.

It is unbelievable. I was at the press conference in 1983 when Ronald Reagan released “A Nation at Risk,” which was a study that begins, “If a foreign power did to our children what we are currently doing, we would consider it an act of war.” 1983. It’s gotten worse, not better. And we should have an all-out cultural fight over the nature of reality, in my mind. I’m working on a paper, which maybe I should submit to The American Spectator. OK, in honor of the editor-in-chief and the next editor, I’m committing now to submit you this paper, which actually will fit The American Spectator’s style because it basically argues that there are two wings to the Democratic Party. One wing is weird, the other is insane. And I am prepared to defend that analysis, so I will presently submit the manuscript for all of you.

And here’s the challenge. I was asked to talk a little bit about the election. And I’m not going to talk much about it, your honoree tonight has written brilliantly on it and he’s one of the people I read regularly. Cut to the chase: We’re between plus three and plus seven in the Senate. We’re between plus 20 and plus 50 in the House. The most likely number for the House is plus 44. So we’ll be in charge.

Look, the reasons aren’t complicated and this is what the Washington elites never understand. I don’t care how many ads you buy. When somebody walks into the grocery store — Louis Brogdon, who works with us, went in the other day to buy four hot dogs. And it cost over $7. He came in the next morning, he was livid. So I don’t care how many ads they run. People go buy gasoline, they know it’s all a lie. They go buy food, they know it’s all a lie. They walk the evening news for the latest murders, rapes, carjackings, they know it’s all a lie. They watch the people pouring across the border, they know it’s all a lie. They look at the drug deaths.

We have a little project we’re working on at Gingrich 360. If you take the tragedy of the Vietnam War, 55,000 dead in eight years, and you look at the wall. And you then say, so if we extended the wall to honor the people who died of drug overdoses in the last 10 years, how long would the wall be? You add 1.1 miles. That’s how many Americans we have tolerated dying of drug overdoses while doing nothing. I just want you all to think about that. If we are a serious country and we love our children and we are tired of the way the current system has failed them at every level, we are talking about change so profound that historians will look back at the Trump administration as a moderate, modest effort because what’s coming is going to be change on such a scale that the Left will melt down, go crazy, become irrational, and spend their remaining years in New Zealand wondering what happened.

Now, I want to talk about two specific things about the election. One, I carry this card. This is the Commitment to America. I’m reasonably expert on these things. People don’t know this, by the way. Just for the record, the first Capitol steps event was September of 1980 with Ronald Reagan. The first contract is with Ronald Reagan. I happened to be involved in orchestrating that as a sophomore congressman. Actually, I was a freshman. I didn’t get reelected until after the event. One of Reagan’s biographers once wrote that the contract was at least 55 percent in Reagan’s 1985 State of the Union. Totally correct. When we said welfare reform, it was first proposed by Reagan in 1965. You know, both Grover and I had the great privilege of standing on Reagan’s shoulders for our entire career. People thought we looked good because he did. All we had to do was reflect Reagan. So, we developed a contract. I had reasonable involvement in the second one.

But here is what really is important: this is different. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the challenges I had. He has a whole different set of challenges. This system is so totally screwed up — bad English but accurate — that the contract would not have been adequate in this context. Now this is not essentially a political document — and, by the way, the only person who actually figured out the underlying management purpose of the Contract With America was Chuck Schumer, who wrote a book about it in 2007. And I did an event at the Press Club with him because I thought it was so cool. He has a whole chapter on why we did the contract. It was designed to radicalize the House Republicans. Winning the election was helpful, but the fact was I wanted to make sure if we won that we were so committed to very bold decisive action that in fact we would be a different party by the end of 90 days. And we were.

I can also tell you — and this is a great story for someone who wants to write a book someday — that worked for almost four years. And then the norm reverted. The fact is in four years we reformed welfare, we had the largest capital gains tax cut in history, we reformed the FDA, we reformed telecommunication, we reformed Medicare, and we balanced the federal budget for four consecutive years for the only time in your lifetime. And then, frankly, the system burned out and we went back to being normal. But for that brief four-year period, we got a lot done. Here’s the challenge that Kevin has, and I think it’s different than the challenge I had. First, if you go to, there are 150 specific policy ideas. And the reason is that a year ago, Kevin went out to seven different working groups and said, “Come up with what we would do if we were in the majority.” I mean, I didn’t have that capacity. There weren’t five members who thought we’d be a majority. One of the reasons they all agreed to it is they knew it wouldn’t happen. But Kevin understood because they had been in a majority recently that we’re shooting with real bullets this time, this is not like the old days.

Second, what Trump did, which is truly historic and really deeply underappreciated, is he challenged head-on the very core skeletal structure of the elitist power structure, which, whether it was the FBI, the CIA, or Bill Gates, or ABC News, or Harvard University, that entire power structure was challenged basically by one person. And he just drove at it in a way which was in many ways closer to Thatcher in Britain than to Reagan in America. I mean he was really beginning, in the absence of COVID it’s likely that he would have been reelected and it’s likely that sometime in the second term we’d have begun to break the old order. But what happened was he aroused the Left so much that they managed to seize power — and, by the way, I don’t think the election was stolen on Election Day, but I think the election was rigged. I think it was rigged over a two-year period by a group of people who by every reasonable standard cheated. I mean, if the founder of Facebook puts in $415 million for turnout in Democratic areas, that’s just plain cheating. If you end up with Twitter cutting off the incumbent president of the United States, cutting off the oldest newspaper in the United States, that’s just cheating. So this was in my judgement a rigged election of profound dishonesty.

And what happened? This is what’s fascinating and this is part of why I became a historian rather than a social scientist, because history is much more complicated and much more interesting. The Left suddenly found itself with the House, the Senate by a very quirky 50 votes plus an idiot, I mean truly the dumbest vice president in the history of the United States, which by the way is the perfect match to the most destructive president since Buchanan, and I think is his best defense because nobody is going to replace him under the 25th Amendment if she’s the consequence. In that setting, what happened is the Left all came out of the woodwork. They had a moment of triumphalism. There is no idea too crazy. There is no personality too weird. I mean, look at the people Biden appointed. There are people that you would have been embarrassed to have been in a photograph with. They now have major government positions.

I’m going to close with two big observations. Mao once said that politics is war without bloodshed and war is politics with bloodshed, but they’re basically the same pattern. In the classic tradition of warfare, the Left has so overextended itself — and the best example is compulsory transgenderism, which 93 percent of Latinos oppose, 93 percent. I mean, just so you understand, just so all of you understand, this is not a quirk, every Democrat in the House voted for a bill which involves compulsory transgenderism and every senator up for reelection among the Democrats cosponsored the same bill, which calls for compulsory transgenderism. And among Latinos alone, it’s a 93 percent negative. It eventually drops down to being an 80 percent negative for the whole country. But these people are nuts. You can go through issue after issue after issue and they are crazy. So when I talked about writing an article for you on the weird wing and the crazy wing, I wasn’t kidding. These people are genuinely deranged. This is not a political ideology problem. This is a mental health issue. So, that’s problem No. 1. We have to drive home for the country, as Margaret Thatcher did, as Claire Berlinski describes in her brilliant book called, Why There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, we have to drive home to the country that this is not about personalities. This is about a big government socialist model which is profoundly, deeply wrong and has to be rooted out, period.

Second, the great challenge for the coming Republican majority is going to be 1) Follow the Reagan rule, which was really described brilliantly in Tom Evans’ book on the education of Ronald Reagan, about Reagan’s years at General Electric. Only pick fights on really big issues where you have huge majorities, so that when the media quits lying about you, you still have a big majority. Do not pick fights where you don’t have a huge majority. 2) Understand that the legislative branch takes four months to build an issue. The White House takes a week. So pick your fights, stick to them until you have totally convinced the country, and then you’ll win a crushing victory. So it’s got to be big enough that it’s worth at least four months. 3) Establish commissions and investigations to take apart the entire and unearth the entire system of corruption, dishonesty, but do it in a way designed to produce legislation to change things, not just to expose things. 4) Think through things with your allies — and this is where The American Spectator and each of you has a role — think through where when the fight gets really, really tough, and it will, because we are now threatening the mortal survival of an entire power structure, that our team has enough energy, enough courage, and enough drive to withstand the counterassault and to still be fighting for what really truly matters. If we do those things, within a decade we will have once again created the greatest empire of liberty in history and we will once again be the country leading the planet. And people once again will say it’s wonderful to have the Americans doing what it takes to create freedom.

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