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NEWT GINGRICH: Obama Administration Most Radical Ever

Editor's note: The following is a transcript of Fox News contributor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's speech on April 8 to the 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

ATTENDEE: Where's your teleprompter?
[Laughter.]
GINGRICH: Well, you know, when you speak from the heart, you don't need a teleprompter.
[Cheering and applause.]
Let me first of all thank all of you for such a warm welcome, and it's great to be back in New Orleans. I spent three years here at Tulane, and my younger daughter was born here, and we're always thrilled to come back to New Orleans.
It's great to be in a State that has a Governor as reform oriented, as intelligent, and as honest as Bobby Jindal.
[Cheering and applause.]
And, frankly, it's great to be next door to a State that has Haley Barbour as Governor too.
[Cheering and applause.]
Haley was my partner in developing the Contract with America when he was RNC Chair and a great moment.
I have to say, because I don't want to get in trouble now with all you Texans, it's also great to be in a State next door to Rick Perry, so I just want everybody
[Cheering and applause.]
But I really want to talk to you for a few minutes about where we are, and this is not a speech that I would have given a year ago or a year and a half ago, and I've thought about it a lot. I just finished and sent to my publisher at Regnery a new book that will be out in May called To Save America and the subtitle of it is Stopping Obama's Secular Socialist Machine.
[Cheering and applause.]
And I don't think I would have imagined when Callista and I went to the Inaugural in 2009 that we'd be where we are tonight. It's really quite remarkable.
President Elect Obama chose for his Inaugural Address a phrase from Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, "a new birth of freedom," which comes from the Gettysburg Address, a document which, by the way, also says "one Nation under God."
[Cheering and applause.]
And part of what I'm struck with after a year and a half of watching President Obama is how he only reads parts of things.
[Laughter.]
And he picks out a couple words that sort of feel right, and then he pretends that he understands the rest of it, but he doesn't.
The Republican Party was founded on freedom, not serfdom. The Republican Party was founded on the work ethic, not the redistribution ethic. The Republican Party
[Cheering and applause.]
The Republican Party was founded on defending America, not hiring lawyers for terrorists.
[Cheering and applause.]
And I think we're at an unusual moment in American history, and what I'm about to say, I wouldn't even have said to you in December. That's how much this has all evolved and all come together.
Last year, the President proved they had a machine. When I used the term "secular socialist machine," I mean that. And he proved they had a machine when they got $787 billion with no elected Member having read the bill. Now, "no taxation without representation," a term Obama might remember from history, which was used by the Americans to explain why the British monarchy was unacceptable, actually means that representation has to know what they are taking your money for.
[Cheering and applause.]
So, if you have spending with no representative knowing what it is, you don't have representative self government. You have a machine. And that was the first signal that this is very different. This is the most radical administration in American history.
And I began to realize after a year of watching them that if you think about the group that meets together in the White House, their experience is the machine politics of Chicago, the corruption of Springfield, and the radicalism of Alinsky. And it comes together in a format and then they meet with their two colleagues, Pelosi and Reid, and you have a perfect unrepresentative left wing machine dedicated to a secular socialist future.
And what really got me to understand how different this period is I believe this is the most serious conflict since the 1850s, and the reason I say that is the American people by last summer began to send a signal. They went to town hall meetings. They formed Tea Parties. The polling numbers got worse and worse.
[Cheering and applause.]
And the answer of the Democrats was to cancel town hall meetings, lie about the Tea Parties, and tell all their members to ignore the polls. Then they lost Virginia and New Jersey.
[Cheering and applause.]
Exactly as in 1993, they had lost Virginia and New Jersey. I thought, gosh, that would be a signal maybe they should slow down and think about this, and they accelerated, and they wrote this grotesque pair of bills in the House and Senate that were utterly incomprehensible, the largest increase in government in our lifetime, absolutely unenforceable, and represented a kind of ludicrous big government, big bureaucracy, high tax, micromanagement, Washington centered health system, utterly incapable of working. I mean, no rational person could believe that the current Federal Government could implement this.
[Applause.]
At the Center for Health Transformation, we had published a book last August by Jim Frogue called Stop Paying the Crooks, and we thought that was fairly clear.
[Laughter.]
I mean, look, when you talk to guys who have been educated at Columbia and Harvard, you try to get the language down to a rhythm that
[Laughter.]
And what we said in that book, which we absolutely stand by and the New York Post did an article this week that makes it even more absurd is we said, "The Federal Government is such a totally bad, incompetent manager of the health system that in Medicare and Medicaid annually, they pay between 70 and $120 billion a year to crooks." Now, we're not talking about marginal mistakes. We're talking about five pizza parlors in Miami that are certified as HIV/AIDS transfusion centers. We're talking about a dentist in New York who files 983 procedures a day. We're talking about, as the New York Post reported last week, people who stand at the subway station recruiting Medicaid people, put them in a van, send them to a dentist who cleans their teeth and charges the government for four or five procedures under Medicaid. I mean the kind of stuff that you can't make this stuff up. The Russia mafia dominates durable medical equipment in Los Angeles. I mean you can't the Federal Government is so totally incompetent, they tell you they have a very low cost of administration because they just write checks, no matter how stupid.
Now, I mean, you can have a very inexpensive administration if you're determined to know nothing, and that's the group they want to expand to handle all of American health care. So you would have thought at some point, they would have said this is not going to work.
So then we got to the final crisis. The polling numbers got worse. Historians will someday write that the longer Obama talked, the less the American people believed.
[Applause.]
And I'm not saying not to be negative about him. I'm saying it to describe the polling data that showed conclusively that the longer he talked about health, the weaker the bill got, because the more he talked, the more people paid attention. The more they paid attention, the more they thought this bill was really bad. Now and this is the problem of trying to have a great orator sell a bad product, is you draw attention to it.
So, finally, we got to the great, I thought what I would have said to you analytically if I was doing Hannity or something and they said, well, what does all this mean, I would have said to you that the Massachusetts election was a decisive moment.
[Applause.]
And people all over the country spontaneously rallied. In the last 14 days, Scott Brown raised $10 million on the Internet, of which I would guess 9,900,000 came from people he had never met because they were trying to send a signal.
Now ask yourself, if the signal is Edward Kennedy's seat is captured by a Republican who's opposed to Obamacare, how could you get a better signal? Okay?
[Cheering and applause.]
So there's a moment of exultation. I remember I was in Cincinnati with Rob Portman, who is going to be a great U.S. Senator, the night after the victory in Massachusetts, and we were all excited and we were all positive, and we think to ourselves, if the Democratic Party members have now heard from the Tea Parties, from the town hall meetings, from the polls, from Virginia, from New Jersey, and now from Massachusetts, surely they will understand that there is a message here.
And they did. It took them about a week. For about a week, they were stymied, and then they sat in the room at the White House and they said, "You know what, we are going to run over the entire country." And they decided to ram through the health bill, no matter what the American people felt, and by the way, as recently as early last week, by about 54 to 34, the country wants the bill repealed, and they don't get it.
[Cheering and applause.]
The President of the United States, the most radical President in American history, has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people. He has said I run a machine, I own Washington, and there's nothing you can do about it. Now that's where we are.
But I want to remind you as a historian that there are two rules. The first is elections have consequence, and, therefore, 2006 and 2008 has a consequence. The consequence is Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. However, consequences lead to elections.
So here is my promise. If we will go out and recruit at every level school board, city council, county commission, sheriff, judge, State legislature, Governor, Congress if we will recruit at every level, if we will work as hard as we can from now to Election Day, not giving up a single day, when we win control of the House and Senate this fall, stage one of the end
[Cheering and applause.]
Stage one of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts.
[Cheering and applause.]
And I say this because our friends in the news media said, you know, "It's unrealistic to talk about repeal and replace because after all he's going to be President for the next three years, and he'll veto a repeal bill," and I think they forgot that once upon a time that I used to be Speaker of the House, and I actually understand the legislative process. And the truth is
[Cheering and applause.]
The truth is under our Constitution, we simply the Congress doesn't have to pass the money. If EPA gets no budget, it can't enforce cap and trade. If HHS gets no budget
[Cheering.]
So stage one of Obamaism being gone is to simply win this fall and then not fund it for two years. Stage two is to be prepared in a positive way to offer such positive solutions that fit the values of the American people that in 2012, we're in a position to ensure the Obama joins Jimmy Carter in the tradition of one party Presidents.
[Cheering and applause.]
And that in that context, that we be prepared to commit that a Republican President and a Republican Congress in February and March of 2013 will repeal every radical bill passed by this machine.
[Cheering and applause.]
Now, the former teacher in me wants to give you three assignments because I can't help myself.
[Laughter.]
And having helped design the 1994 campaign, I think these are the right assignments, I think they fit where we are historically, and I ask you to take them very seriously. This represents the work we're doing at American Solutions where we're seriously trying to understand what has to happen, not to the Democrats, not to Obama, what has to happen for America, so that our children and grandchildren can live in the most creative, most productive, most prosperous, and safest country in the world, and that requires tremendous change.
The first thing I want to ask you to do will sound a little academic, but it's really important in setting up the arguments for the next three years. I urge you to join me in talking about a secular socialist machine. It's important to be clear who these people are. They don't want to talk about it honestly and openly, but on every front, they're increasing government. On every front, they are trying to micromanage our lives. On every front, they want to raise taxes, spend more, have politicians become more powerful, and citizens become less powerful. And we need to make clear to the American people that this is not a normal series of elections. This is not two groups that share the same ideas and we're struggling over power. This is a fundamental fight over the core definition of America, and it is going to require us to talk, I think, in a very different language than normal politics.
[Applause.]
I think it requires us to talk about the American culture, not American politics. Does the work ethic matter, or is redistribution the alternative? It's very central. Are we endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or does government define who we are? Just think about but I want you to think about the more we make this a choice about the nature of America, the weaker they are.
So, first, I'd like to ask you to think about this term. I spent several years trying to think through how to explain why is Sacramento such a mess, why is Albany such a mess, why is Washington following Sacramento and Albany, why has Detroit as a city been destroyed, what is it that's happened, and what's happened is that you've had a machine that has a set of values that are antithetical to creativity and productivity and the work ethic, and that machine exists for the purpose of taking away your money, controlling your life, and redistributing your goods to other people based on political whim. It's fundamentally wrong, and it's fundamentally the opposite of the American tradition.
So it's very important for us to be prepared to say, look, if you think it's a secular socialist machine, the stimulus bill was perfect. $787 billion in absolutely unfunded liability given away by politicians on behalf of politicians for your children and grandchildren to pay interest on the rest of their lives. Why wouldn't a secular socialist machine do that? It has nothing to do with the nature of America. Why wouldn't they pass a $2,600 health bill that dramatically expands the power of government and creates 159 new offices, agencies, and commissions? That's the nature of that kind of organization. So I urge you to really think about what we're up against and what we're faced with.
The second thing I want you to think about is, frankly, even more unusual for American politics. I want to give you and I say this, having been Speaker of the House, having spent seven years working in the executive branch as a volunteer, having thought a long time about the nature of where we are. I think the most important governing slogan of the next 25 years is very simple and very different. It's "2+2=4."
[Cheering and applause.]
Now, I got to this because two years ago, Callista and I made a movie called Ronald Reagan Rendezvous with Destiny, and in making the movie, we went to Gdansk, Poland, interviewed Lech Walesa who had been the leader of solidarity and the President of Poland, and then we went to Prague and the Czech Republic and interviewed Vaclav Haval, who had spent three years in a prison and then ended up as President of the new free Czechoslovakia.
Both men said to us the decisive moment in the emergence of freedom in Eastern Europe was a year before Reagan was elected. It was when Pope John Paul II took a nine day pilgrimage and went to Poland, and in that nine days, over a third of the people of Poland came to see him physically. And so we decided to do a movie about it which is called Nine Days that Changes the World, which we are premiering tomorrow night at Mount Vernon, and it's about freedom through faith and how the two are totally related to each other.
And we have a Polish figure who was there in 1979 who said, "You know, we looked around at 3 million people in Warsaw, and we looked around and suddenly realized there are more of us than there are of the government. So why are we afraid of them?"
[Cheering and applause.]
Now, solidarity went from 300, from 500 or 600 members to 10 million in a year. There was a constant tension, a constant struggle for 10 years, from June of 1979 when the Pope visited to June of 1989 when Poland had its first reelection, and within the two years, the Soviet Union disappeared.
In that struggle, the Polish people came up with a slogan which they printed and they put in their windows. It was "2+2=4." Now, the Communist leadership knew that "2+2=4" was subversive.
[Laughter.]
But it was very tricky for them to go into a shop and say, "You really have to take that sign down," because it meant they were saying you couldn't say "2+2=4," which made them look just stupid.
The term came from two places. The first was a novel by Camus who wrote in The Plague, "There are times when a man can be killed for saying 2+2=4 because the authorities can't stand the truth." Now, I would suggest to you that Congressman Waxman personified Camus. AT&T following a law which Congressman Waxman helped write reported accurately that the new health bill would cost the company a billion dollars. Congressman Waxman being an egocentric centralized figure of political power beyond the reach of normal humility promptly attacked AT&T for telling the truth, demanded they have public hearings. I hope all 3,500 companies that have to meet this law will ask to come to the hearing and they will all agree to testify about the accuracy of their assessment, and let Congressman Waxman live with the fact that he has written a disastrous bill that's indispensable that is grotesquely more expensive.
[Cheering and applause.]
And I think they should all just wear little signs that say "2+2=4" and insist on telling the truth.
The second example came from Orwell's 1984 in which he has the State torturer say to the innocent citizen he's torturing, "If we tell you that 2+2=5, it equals 5. If we tell you 2+2=3, it equals 3," and the citizen is thinking but what if it really equals 4. Now, Orwell who was a left wing intellectual wrote 1984 not about the Soviet Union but about Great Britain, and he said, "This is my warning that the centralized government of the Labour Party could lead inexorably to dictatorship, which is the warning of Hayek in The Road to Serfdom, that the more planning you have at the center, the less freedom there is for the individual, which is the perfect model for understanding Obamacare's drift towards a terrible system of bad health dominated by bureaucrats.
Now, in that setting, so let's take "2+2=4." The President would have us believe that we can run up $10 trillion of deficit because, after all, 2+2=7,000. The President would have us believe that he can have a fancy week long period of rhapsodic enjoyment of nuclear disarmament while ignoring Iran and North Korea and Pakistan because, after all, 2+2=16,400. The President again and again lives in a fantasy foreign policy, which is a direct threat to the survival of the United States because he doesn't want to confront the fact that in a world where 2+2=4, the greatest threats to America are problems that he doesn't even want to describe honestly.
So I think this idea of slowing, let's slow the dialog down and get to basic facts. I will give you one example of how "2+2=4" applies to American politics and culture. I'm going to give you a half a sentence. You give me the second half. If you can't afford to buy a house
ATTENDEES: Don't buy it.
GINGRICH: Let me test this, okay? I want to see. How many of you agree if you can't afford to buy a house, don't buy it? Raise your hand.
[Show of hands.]
Now, I want you to think about this because you've had no national political figure in either party have the courage to tell you this. For 25 years, we've lived a lie. For 25 years, we've said, "If you can't afford to buy a house, we'll waive your credit rating. If you can't afford to buy a house, you don't need a down payment. If you can't afford to buy a house, don't pay any principal, just pay interest. If you can't even afford to pay interest, we'll give you below market interest rates." Now, it turns out that even at that point, buying a house involves costs that don't show up initially, like the roof leaks, the plumbing has to get fixed, and all of a sudden, you discover people who can't afford to buy a house can't afford it.
Now, if you do that to one person, it's a personal tragedy for their family. If you do it to a million people, it's a national crisis. And yet have you seen any change in policy? Have you seen any sense of recognition of how totally utterly wrong Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are? Have you seen any signal that this whole system of rigged socialized, government dominated, redistributionist housing in the end can't work? No. They keep trying to find new ways to prop it up, new ways to have gimmicks. So, if you really are serious about "2+2=4," you are going to find yourself in new conversations on education, new conversations in health care, new conversations in housing, new conversations in the economy, and this is all, I think, very, very important for the future of this country.
I'll give you one last example of "2+2=4." The New Yorker magazine last August wrote a piece called "The Rubber Room" in which they described teachers in New York City who are so bad, they cannot be allowed to teach but whose union contract takes seven years to fire them. These teachers are now put in rooms called "rubber rooms" where they just sit and do nothing all day. While they're sitting there for the seven years it takes to fire them, they are increasing their pension by 2 percent a year. So, if they can survive all seven years of boredom, they get a 14 percent higher pension for having done nothing for seven years, now $50 million a year.
I have a simple model that I want us to run a national campaign on. Everybody in America who believes that $50 million a year in New York City could be spent better educating poor children, so they could go to college instead of prison, you're on our side. Everybody who believes no, no, no, it's important to pay the $50 million a year on totally failed teachers, so the union is happy, you're on their side. Now let's have a debate and see which side has the majority, and I'll bet you we have an 85 or 90 percent majority because it's nuts.
[Cheering and applause.]
So, number one, I'm asking you to help popularize and help people understand what a secular socialist machine is.
Number two, I'm asking you to consider looking at American Solutions. We'll presently be producing bumper stickers, posters, window posters, other things that say "2+2=4."
Number three, this may be the biggest change, and we're going to need your help talking to every Republican candidate and every Republican incumbent and every Republican consultant. What the left wants to do I mean, they know they can't win a fight where they're honest about who they are, so they want to be dishonest about who we are. What the left wants to do is say, we're the Party of No, and, frankly, if you go through the legislative process and the setup and the fact that they only bring up their things and so the big votes are always on their things, so Republicans do vote no on their things because their things are really disastrous, you know, and then they say, "See, I told you they were the Party of No because look at all the no votes."
Now, I will say up front, anybody who voted no on the health bill did exactly the right thing, and there are times you should vote no.
[Cheering and applause.]
But in the tradition of the Contract with America which led to the first Republican majority in 40 years and in the tradition of the campaign we ran in 1996 which led to the first reelected House majority since 1928 think about that, first time we reelected a Republican majority since 1928 it's very important to understand what your opponent is trying to do to you and to, frankly, set up a fight that they can't win.
So here's what I want to ask you to encourage every candidate you know, every incumbent you know, every staff person you know, every consultant you know. I think we should decide we're going to be the Party of Yes, and we should say Republicans can say yes to a balanced budget through controlled spending. Republicans can say yes to more jobs through tax cuts. Republicans can say yes to balancing the Federal budget without a single penny of tax increase by reforming government. Republicans can say yes to stopping the crooks from taking money from Medicaid and Medicare.
[Applause.]
Republicans can say yes to spending the money helping American soldiers get better equipment rather than paying the money to lawyers to defend terrorists.
[Cheering and applause.]
Republicans can say yes to an American energy plan that produces American energy to keep American dollars at home to create American jobs.
[Cheering and applause.]
Republicans can say yes to the right kind of health reform. Republicans can start by saying yes to litigation reform to protect every doctor in America with inappropriate and unnecessary defensive medicine.
[Applause.]
Republicans can say yes to allowing individuals and small businesses to group together to be able to buy health insurance at a lot lower cost with no government involvement.
[Cheering and applause.]
My point is there are many things that we can say yes to, and if we would discipline ourselves to start out every conversation, whatever the news media asked us and however the left attacks us, our first answer should be let me tell you what I'm for, and we should go to first principles.
Let me give you an example that I find absolutely amazing, and it explains part of why I have "secular" in the term "secular socialist machine." Rick Tyler, who runs Renewing American Leadership, at my request left Los Angeles and drove three and a half hours out U.S. 15 and turned south and drove eight and a half miles on a two lane road in the middle of the Mojave Desert. He came across a cross which had been erected in the desert in 1934 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars on behalf of the American dead in World War I. That cross today is surrounded by a plywood box because a government employee decided they were offended that this cross was on Federal land, and the ACLU has filed a lawsuit.
Now, from my personal perspective, a secularist who is terrified of a cross in the middle of the Mojave Desert is a totalitarian. They are so frightened of any choice, of any freedom, of any option that I think they verge on being deranged.
[Applause.]
And I think a country which was founded on the premise that our rights come from our Creator has some right to decide that our Creator can appear in public life.
[Applause.]
But I would simply say that in a positive way. I would say yes to allowing the Veterans of Foreign Wars to honor the American dead of World War I in the middle of the desert without offending anybody who doesn't actually need to go there. I'd say to the ACLU, "Don't go to that part of the desert. There's another 60,000 square miles."
[Applause.]
But I think we need to get in the habit. We're going to face many challenges over the next few years, and we need to get in the habit of taking them head on. So, if somebody came up to me and said how do you feel about the whole cap and trade regulatory energy tax business, my first reaction would be to say I want to talk about what I feel good about saying yes to. I can say yes to more American energy. I can say yes to lower cost of energy. I can say yes to more American jobs. I can say yes to doing smart things to save the environment, but I want to do smart things to save the environment, not stupid things. So I think there are ways to do this that are totally effective and that put us in the middle of the argument in totally positive ways.
I think we have to have the courage to go into every neighborhood in America, and we have to have the courage whether it's you know, if the NAACP would invite us to come visit, we ought to go and say, you know, we would like to fundamentally rethink education in the inner city, so the poorest children in America can go to college and not go to prison. We would like to fundamentally rethink
[Applause.]
Let's rethink the cost of big government in urban America, so small businesses can create jobs, so if kids do graduate from school, they can actually find work. I mean, we shouldn't bear the burden of ignoring the degree to which this administration is going to be a catastrophic failure. This is going to be, on economic terms, the worst administration since Herbert Hoover, and you watch, as time goes on, this economy is not going to recover when you have a giant energy tax, a giant health tax, the end of the Bush tax cuts. All the different things they want to do in parallel are going to end up being a tremendous burden on this economy.
And they had their own head advisor on economics Larry Summers said on Sunday that it was a disaster for small business. Well, our answer ought to be and in American Solutions we have five specific tax cuts for small business and for business in general. And, by the way, the American people when asked by CBS News, by 59 to 21 said they thought the business tax cuts using the word "business," business tax cuts are more effective than government spending at creating jobs.
[Applause.]
So let's be up front. We can say yes to cutting the regulatory burden on small business, so that people can focus on creating jobs, not filling out Federal paperwork. We can focus on saying yes to having we propose at American Solutions a 50 percent reduction in Social Security and Medicare tax for both the employer and the employee for two full years to jump start the economy, to increase the liquidity of small business, and to give every working American some money to take home, because, frankly, I'm tired of figuring out new ways to help people who aren't working. I want to find new ways to help people who are working.
[Cheering and applause.]
So, in closing, if we're the party that really believes 2+2=4, we're going to tell the truth about terrorism, not hide from it. We're going to tell the truth about defending America, not hide from it. We're going to tell the truth about balancing the budget, not hide from it. We're going to tell the truth about government being the fourth bubble after information technology in '99, housing in '07, and Wall Street in '08, and we're going to insist from school board to city council to county commission to State government to Federal Government, we're going to shrink the cost of government and increase the effectiveness of government to eliminate the bubble before the bubble eliminates the future for our children and our grandchildren.
[Applause.]
And then let's have a positive campaign this September and October between the things we say yes to lower taxes, more jobs, less spending, lower deficits, lower interest rates and the things they say yes to higher taxes, fewer jobs, bigger government, more bureaucracy, more powerful politicians. And let's see where the American people want to choose, and my prediction is we will win in '10 and in '12 decisive elections because we will represent the values, the vision, and the hopes of the American people, and they will represent a future absolutely unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans.
With your help recruiting every possible candidate at every possible level, we have a chance in the next three years to fundamentally reset American government and American politicians, I think, for the first time since 1932, and I believe the radicalism of this administration and the incompetence of this administration make it possible to have a decisive choice for every American. And we need to make sure it's a choice of two positive versions, not Obama versus anti Obama but America versus a secular socialist machine.
[Cheering and applause.]
So I know we've been running pretty long. I was told we could take questions for a few minutes. Are there microphones, or is that not appropriate? What is the wishes of the conference managers? You don't know either. You and I are in great shape.
[Laughter.]
Okay. Well, go ahead. In the absence of somebody telling me otherwise, I'm going to just take a few questions. Go ahead. Yes, ma'am.
Ah, there is a microphone person. Good. Is there a second microphone person over here? Okay, good. Well, find somebody. Okay.
[Laughter.]
ATTENDEE: Hi there. I'm from Colorado. I'm not from Southern Republican State. I apologize for
GINGRICH: No, that's fine. That's fine. You're not from Canada.
[Laughter.]
ATTENDEE: Have switched my party affiliation in line waiting to see Sarah Palin two years ago, personal responsibility is huge to me, and I find it amazing that the earmarks thing is so hard for Republicans to get their arm around. I love Jim Inhofe, but I know that he is not he says it's a responsibility. The question is why is it not something that should be a something for the Republicans to just sign their name to, to say no more? There should not be a badge of honor to bring it home. If it can be done locally, do it locally. Otherwise, Massachusetts, I wanted to send money, whatever you want, when they elected Scott Brown. That's something we should be able to do.
GINGRICH: Look, I think that it's clear that the Republican Party is going to move decisively towards saying no earmarks. I think the earmarks are the politics of the past and they're the politics of the machine, and I think we'll win this fight. And over the next year or two, you'll see the Republican Party virtually unanimously adopt a no earmarks policy. And then they have to have the courage when they win office to keep their word. It's very important. Don't promise things you won't do.
[Cheering and applause.]
GINGRICH: Okay. Over here.
ATTENDEE: What are your personal plans in 2012?
[Cheering and applause.]
GINGRICH: I suspect that will turn out to be up to God and the American people. I don't know that I can tell you about 2012.
In 2011, Callista and I will probably in February have to make a decision about whether or not to run, but I don't want to
[Cheering and applause.]
I don't want to look, this is very important. I'm glad we have lots of great potential candidates. I like virtually all of them, and I think it's important for all of them to get out there and campaign, but let's all get out and campaign this year to win this year's elections to maximize this victory.
[Cheering and applause.]
ATTENDEE: Is Obama head of the machine, or is somebody over him?
GINGRICH: No, I don't first of all, he's clearly the head of the machine because he's President of the United States, and it's an enormously powerful job.
The machine has actually grown over a long period of time. It's not so much it's not a personal machine for him. It's all of the tenured faculty on the hard left. It is the news media people on the hard left. It's Federal judges on the hard left. It is the bureaucracy which self selected on the hard left. It is the Democratic politicians like Pelosi who represented her position. It's many of the labor union leaders, particularly the government employee unions who are deeply committed to bigger government and higher taxes at any cost. And so they all collectively form this organization, but their attitude, as I explain in To Save America their attitude is they have to be a machine because they'll never win in an open fight.
I mean, if they go to the American people and say, "How do you feel about the rubber rooms in New York City?" people will just run over them, and so their attitude is, well, we don't care what people think. That's why Card Check is the perfect model of the modern system. They can't win any more elections with secret ballots. So their answer isn't how do I fix the union movement; their answer is how do I eliminate secret ballots. Now, that's a perfect example of a machine mentality.
[Applause.]
ATTENDEE: Speaker Gingrich, you said let's recruit from school board to Senate. Tell us what you think the perfect or the better candidates are going to be.
GINGRICH: Well, in my first role having helped grow the Georgia Republican Party from 1960 when it virtually didn't agree I mean, it almost didn't exist and at one point, we had no Federal elected officials when I was running. I ran twice and lost and finally won the third time. My first rule of thumb is simple. Any candidate is a lot better than no candidate. So, if you sit around looking for the ideal candidate and as a result the filing date closes with nobody running, that's very foolish.
Second, you can say, well, so and so is a weak candidate. Well, I mean, have you looked at the Democrats?
[Laughter.]
I mean, their majority includes about a third of their people are folks you would never have recruited, but that's their majority. So I'm just saying you've got to have a sense of recruit the best person you can find, but recruit somebody. A rising tide doesn't raise boats if they aren't in the water, and we're going to have a rising tide.
I was talking with Nick Ayers at the Republican Governors Association. He and Haley Barbour are doing a terrific job. And, you know, Nick was outlining for me there are more governorships open this year than any time in the last hundred years, and that in 15 of 16 key States, we're now ahead, and
[Applause.]
And if we win these governorships, they could be worth as much as 25 to 30 seats in the House over the next decade in reapportionment, and if you go out and make sure that we elect, you know, if you have State legislators on the ticket along with candidates for Governor, suddenly if the wave occurs and all the evidence right now is that there's a wave building because Gallup reported that there was a 20 something point difference between Republican and Democratic enthusiasm. Now, that is catastrophic if you're the Democrats.
My prediction is it will get worse, not better for them, because these things tend to compound over time, and it will presently sink in on people that shooting 3 point shots may be clever, but it doesn't put anybody to work, and what we need is a President, not an athlete. We need somebody who actually focuses on getting people back to work.
[Applause.]
Okay. We're going to take two more.
ATTENDEE: Speaker Gingrich, I really believe that in this year and in '12, we're going to do a good job of taking our government back, but it's not going to do us any good unless we do something about our education system. Our children are being subverted. They do not know what our real history is. They have no idea what our Founding Patriots were, what they stood for. Kids are not even taking civics in high school anymore. They don't know how our government works. We've got to work on that or we're going to lose it all over again.
GINGRICH: Well, that's part of the purpose for saying I say consistently State legislators and I say school boards, and the fact is we need to have a direct choice between the ideological left wing efforts of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers and then these schools of education and the rest of us.
I wrote a book a couple of years ago called Rediscovering God in America which was my answer to the Ninth Circuit Court ruling that saying "one Nation under God" was unconstitutional as part of the pledge, and, of course, "on Nation under God" is Lincoln's phrase in the Gettysburg Address. And in Rediscovery God in America, I outlined the actual historic facts of all the major Founders using the monuments in Washington as an organizing model, and then we did a movie Callista and I did a movie, the same name.
Here's the reason I tell you the story. I would say every State should adopt a law that at some point in school, every child should encounter the Declaration of Independence. Now, if you encounter the Declaration of Independence, you have to answer the question what did Jefferson mean when he wrote we are endowed by our Creator.
Now, the only way you can explain that, that's historically accurate, is he meant God. So, if your rights come from God, to what degree does that change the whole underlying ideological fabric of modern education? Well, it shatters it.
In my new book, I actually have the Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and 11 of the 12 steps involve a higher being. We once had a Federal official who approached somebody at Alcoholics Anonymous and said, "You know, if you would drop that stuff about higher being, we could finance the rest of the program."
[Laughter.]
And the guy said, "I don't think you understand why it works."
[Laughter.]
One last example because I think this is a head on fight that we should take as a head on fight. I think we should be prepared to take on tenured faculty. We should be prepared to take on school systems. We should be prepared to take on boards of education. We should be prepared to take on schools of education.
I'll give you one last example. The Founding Fathers in writing the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 to help organize Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota wrote, "Religion, morality, and knowledge being essential, we must have schools."
When they opened the Visitors Center at the Capitol, they edited the first three words, and it began "Knowledge being essential." I want you to go back someday and read Jefferson carefully. Read Washington carefully. Read John Adams carefully. All of them believed if you don't teach values, if you don't teach moral formation, if you don't teach character, you can't keep a free society because it degenerates.
[Applause.]
Last question.
ATTENDEE: Mr. Gingrich, would you comment on Republican socialism light? For example, what I'm talking about is Paul Ryan announced the GOP Road Map for America in which he proposes, among other things of redistributed wealth, he proposes a flat income tax with a $40,000 exemption for a family of four. Now, you said 2+2 must equal 4. We cannot survive when half the people in this country pay no income tax, yet say to their Congressman, "Vote for that bill, but send the bill to my friend here, and while you're at it, send me some of his money." That's the Republican plan. Would you comment on that, sir?
GINGRICH: Yeah. I'm not sure that I feel quite as strongly as you do about that, and the reason is when we first created the Federal income tax, frankly, nobody below a million dollars a year paid anything, and it was adopted as a program at the very top end, but it didn't involve redistribution.
And I think if you look at Paul Ryan's Road Map, the book he's written, he has outlined and I think he's one of the most brilliant Members of the Congress. He's outlined a transition on entitlements back towards a defined contribution model of entitlements which totally eliminates the whole income redistribution model that we're currently trapped in and moves people back to the idea that when you go to work, you ought to build up your savings, so that you can rely on your income, so you can pay for your health care and you can pay for your retirement in a way that encourages you to work. And I think Paul Ryan represents a bit step in the right direction. And, candidly, I'm not
[Applause.]
I am very happy to figure out how you have radically smaller government in which fewer and fewer people have to pay taxes because you're not redistributing if you design it in such a way that those people then become self reliance, so you're not giving them earned income tax credits and you're not giving them nine other subsidies, but you're saying we want to find a new model where if we're not taxing you, we are expecting you to be responsible for taking care of yourself, and we're using the tax money from those who are successful to pay for national security, to pay for the things that matter to the whole nation in a way that's effective.
And I think this goes back to the Founding Fathers. None of the Founding Fathers would have said that George Washington owning Mount Vernon as the largest land owner should pay the same tax as somebody who was a cobbler living in Alexandria. They would have said that they're in different settings. But he would have said Washington did not owe part of his income for the cobbler who lived better than he earned. And I think we need to draw a distinction.
[Applause.]
So we might have a modest let me just I just want to close with one last personal comment because I'm really thrilled to be here. I think this is truly a historic turning point for America. I think we have every reason to be optimistic and to believe that the American people overwhelmingly prefer to have a return to a classic America of opportunity and courage and belief rather than a secular socialist machine that tries to define for all of us what we're allowed to be.
[Applause.]
What I want to say to you and what I want you to go back home and say to ever young person you meet I got actively involved. My dad was a career soldier. We were living in Orleans, France, in 1957, '58. We watched the death of the French Fourth Republic under the Algerian War, 100 percent inflation, and the paratroopers literally landed in Paris, killed the Fourth Republic, and called de Gaulle back to create the Fifth Republic, which still exists today.
As a young kid from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who had spent some time at Fort Riley, this was all amazing. I was a freshman, and in between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I decided that this is all real, countries can die, countries can have terrible events, and that the quality of our civilian leadership and our ability to talk among ourselves as a people to reach three things, what do we have to do to be safe, free, and prosperous as Americans, how do we elect the people who do what we have to do, and then how do we implement it, so the people decide to continue the direction necessary for our freedom, our safety, and our prosperity.
I've done this now, literally, since August of 1958, and what I want to say to you is that the only reason somebody like me with no personal money, on great background the only reason I could do all this is because of people like you, that these meetings really matter. They're places where we reunify ourselves, we reengage ourselves, we recommit ourselves. And when you go back home, if you will talk to every young person you can find and tell them what this is really about is their country and their future and their life and we need them as citizens to do what citizens need to do, I believe that together there is enough human energy in this meeting and enough networking in this meeting that you can decisively change the future of this country and give your children and your grandchildren a new birth of freedom and ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people will not perish and will not be replaced by a machine.
Thank you. Good luck, and God bless you.
[Cheering and applause.]

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor and former House Speaker. His new documentary, co-produced with is wife Callista, "Nine Days That Changed the World," about Pope John Paul II's trip to Poland in 1979, premiers at Mt. Vernon on Friday, April 9. Click here for more: www.NineDaysThatChangedTheWorld.com.