April 2nd, 2009
11:56 AM ET
5 years ago

Gingrich warns of third party in 2012

The former Republican Speaker discussed 2012 during a recent speech at a Missouri college.
The former Republican Speaker discussed 2012 during a recent speech at a Missouri college.

(CNN) - Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is warning of a third party mutiny in 2012 if Republicans don’t figure out a way to shape up.

“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 said Tuesday. The speech, to a group of students at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri, was recorded by Springfield TV station KY3.

But Gingrich, bemoaning President Barack Obama’s “monstrosity of a budget,” acknowledged that Republicans are partially to blame for the escalation in federal spending.

"Remember, everything Obama’s doing, Bush started last year,” he said. “If you’re going to talk about big spending, the mistakes of the Bush administration last year are fully as bad as the mistakes of Obama’s first two, three months.”

Gingrich told the students that the current governmental system “is so sick, so out of touch and so arrogant that you’re going to have a nationwide rebellion at the polls of people in both parties who are just fed up.”

“You can do a Facebook page, you can Twitter,” he said. “I Twitter right now and I think we’re at like, I don’t know, 18,000 or 20,000 thousand people that follow my Twitter, which I have to say I think is nuts. But there are ways to communicate, you’re not trapped by CBS news.”

Gingrich has repeatedly said that he will decide in early 2011 whether he plans to seek the White House in 2012.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Kevin in Ohio

    Paradoxically, a third party is likely to result in one-party rule, further strengthening the hold the current dictatorship has on America.

    April 2, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. disgusted

    I welcome a third party. We need a third party.

    April 2, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Howard Hewlett

    I have thought for years that the Republicans were due to split as a result of the marriage between the right-wing fanatical religious zealots and the more logical, sensible business community. I can't believe this realtionship, forged by Reagan, has lasted this long. There interests that once united them have now devided them.

    The problem is that Obama has found that middle ground and no matter who wins the Rep nomination in 2012 if they can't find a sensible middle ground candidate they are going to lose worse than they did in '08

    American Politial Breakdown
    Far Right = 30%
    Far Left = 15 to 20%
    Middle Ground = 50%

    April 2, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Dave

    I love how Newt practiced all the same things Bush did and defended Bush throughout... and now tries to change his spots. I don't trust you, Newt. You're named after the wrong lizard... you're more of a chameleon, trying to change to be whatever you think will appeal to the public at the moment. If you ever got into office, though, we can bet you'd go right back to being the same big-government, overspending Republican you were back in the 90's.

    April 2, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. cheryl

    That is so true. I have never voted for a Democrat until November 2008. However, Sarah Palin caused me to vote for Obama/Biden. Republicans must get the house in order or I'll never vote for another Republican again. What is going on with our party?

    April 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Don

    That would be great, Newt. A second conservative party would split an already small GOP vote. You might snare some independents, but Obama also has populist appeal and will have actually done something for the American people by the time 2012 rolls around. A third party would make a difficult task of defeating Obama impossible. But, go right ahead. Teddy Roosevelt couldn't do it, but I'm sure you could .

    April 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Chloe

    Funny, every politician 'contemplating' a White House run in 2012 is all of the sudden being gracious to Obama! (e.g. Newt, Mitt).
    Both parties should beware though......whatever party the new 'third' party is splitting 'from' will be weakened and diluted for the 2012 Presidential run.......remember Ralph Nader in '04!

    April 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Roy Arellano (San Antonio)

    Our second president, John Adams, would rather have peace then arm against France; a unified nation under our constitution; with intelligent checks and balances: and true liberty rather then to do what is popular for "party" or "career"

    RESULT: one term president...yet I say, a great hero. One of our Best!

    "Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people." [President John Adams]

    The parties spins true knowledge. TERM LIMITS!

    April 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Enough

    Newt may be right on one thing: I will not vote GOP that does not shape up from Newt's kind of hypocrisy. Personally, I support doing away with that party nonsense altogether and having NO political parties. Politicians should have to stand on their own merits instead of hiding behind a misguided political affiliation.

    April 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    It has been time for a third party. The world is not black and white, so our politics shouldn't be just red and blue.

    April 2, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. ex-obama supporter

    with the President's stand on prohibition, and the way he treated those who participated in his online forums, i suspect, that many, who thought this President would be pragmatic on this issue, may go with a libertarian candidate, or someone like Ron Paul. gays, autoworkers, and disappointed, anti-war people, may even move to the far right, if they dont get what they want from the dems.

    April 2, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Jackie in Dallas

    Amazing. Newt got it right! If the Republicans do not moderate from their radical right wing stance, if they don't find a way to work with the Democrats, and if they don't start taking more responsibility for the shape the country is in, the majority of people will refuse to listen to them.

    I've voted both sides of the ticket, and even for a third-party on occasion. I vote for the individual, not the party. Time for more people to do the same? I think that IS what happened this last election. Given a choice between what was perceived as a left leaning Democrat, and a far-right radical Republican, millions of moderates of both parties or unaffliateds voted for President Obama. I'm glad to see that that lesson is finally sinking in.

    April 2, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Al Unser

    I am a former Republican who voted for Obama. I now consider myself a political independent. Although I retain much of my economic conservatism as I have grown & matured as a person I am much more of a social liberal. I think Newt makes a good point, although Bush's big government and bloated spending started 6 years, not one year ago. While I am fearful of the big spending by Obama, it worked in the Great Depression (to some extent). There is a fear of high inflation when we pull out of this (which I hope we are doing). The alternative, to do nothing is wrong.

    April 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Patrick - Indianapolis

    We have been warned in the past that a two party system is a dangerous road. How much more proof do we need? If you only listen to the mainstream media, there were only 2 parties running. There were quite a few brilliant people running that didn't get their messages heard because they don't cater to the corporations which run the country. I doubt this gets posted but it sure would have been nice to give the 3rd party players a good share of the soapbox. Smart people, less corporate suck ups.

    April 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. KJ

    I'm not one who often agress with Newt Gingrich, but I can honestly say he has "hit the nail right on the head" in this article. The politicians in DC are so out of touch with the American people it's sickening.

    Exactly what we need in this country is a third party movement. Imagine, no bickering, no partisianship and absolutely no "good ole boy network". The Politicians in DC today do NOT represent what we the people elect them to do, and that is REPRESENT US.

    We need term limits in both houses.....

    April 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. sensi johnson

    Is this all America has to offer? The re-surgence of old politicians who feels the know how best to shape the future of country? what's wrong with grooming others or being a little patient if not with President Obama, your own party? I don't see brilliance here from Newt, rather I see greed, vengence, personal ego, and the lack of commonsense. I think America deserves better than this divisiveness coming from Newt and the rest of croonies. My 2 cents.

    April 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Mike O'Brien

    I agree with Newt Gingrich.., last year in November, I decided to vote for a Democrat, including the entire Democratic Party in Montana. First time in my life (age 65) that I have done this. I have lost all confidence and faith in the Republican Party. Sorry, Newt. Mike in Montana

    April 2, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. Salmon

    We're currently trapped in a dated two-party system that doesn't provide adequate ability for those on the right, the left, and even the center to have a more meaningful voice in the process of electing our President. People are often faced with choosing between "the lesser of two evils". Third parties would thrive if we had a runoff election of the top two vote getters if no candidate reached a certain threshold (maybe 45% of the vote). The additional costs of the runoff would easily be offset by a vastly improved process where people would vote for their candidate of choice without concern that they are throwing their vote away (and essentially to the opposition). The election schedule would need to be tweaked a little to ensure adequate time for a runoff, but that should not be a significant logistical hurdle.

    April 2, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Independent from WI

    "Obama and the Democrats appear to be clueless that public outrage is not just about greedy, reckless irresponsible Wall Street. We are also outraged about reckless out of control government spending, Wall Street bailouts, and wasteful government spending.
    If Obama and the Democrats don't get a clue and if Republicans don't win back the trust of being the party of small government and fiscal responsibility, there will be a third party. And I would not be surprised if it included as many ex Democrats as ex Republicans."

    I'll vote for that.
    Democrats or Republicans I think NOT.

    We need two NEW right and left parties (or a third moderate party) BUT what ever we need is not THOSE TWO. They had their chance.
    We can then hope to reverse the economic damage done by congress, Bush and Obama before its too late.

    April 2, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Reality Check

    "Obama and the Democrats appear to be clusless that public outrage is not just about greedy, reckless irresponsible Wall Street. We are also outraged about reckless out of control government spending, Wall Street bailouts, and wastfull governmnent spending..."

    But to blindly and willfully ignore the lessons of the last 8 years is almost criminal. Bush signed the first bail out package: he could have vetoed it and the Bridge to No Where is a GOP project ... just like the 58 pieces of pork in ol' Mitch's pocket.

    Neither party is perfect but to ignore the excesses of one and blame only the other is foolish and non-productive.

    April 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Educated Voter

    Bush was the president of large government and big spending only during the last year of his presidency? Ever hear of no-bid contracts? how about no negotiating with big pharma by government to get quantity discounts on medications? The list goes on. Sounds like Newt is giving only partial truths for a change.-------- And if the Republicans form a third party, who will be attracted to it except the same people who are in the Republican Party now? No right wing religious types? No neocons? Just upstanding moderate Republicans? Yeh, right. That would give that party about 2% of the electorate.

    April 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. trying to be reasonable in WV

    Newt may be right about a third party, but if that party resembles him and his political agenda, such a party would have little hope of capturing a majority of Americans. Why? Newt is simply too far to the right. The number of comments espousing a centrist party resonate with me. I think that the best governing eras in our republic have come when centrist governments are in power (read Avlon's _Independent Nation). While I think Newt will attract quite a number of libertarians who are disgusted with the GOP's reliance on toxic socially and religiously conservative issues, I don't think that Gingrich is close enough to the center to attract a majority of Americans.

    April 2, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. laughing@theGOP

    I do think there will be a new party emerge..

    purple party

    But I don't think it will be republican or democrat..

    it will be of the new and improved .. a mix of everything.

    that cares about
    Human rights
    civil rights
    Real immigration issues ( not keeping good people out)
    More of a people's goverment
    Globel rights and warming

    A party that does .. what is right for ALL.. not just some

    traditional goverment is out... people who push, mix religon and beliefs are out.

    new generation of goverment and individual beliefs should not be a part of it

    I hope this party will go for WORLD.. not just USA

    G20.. will be the future power for all

    April 2, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. William

    Mr. Gingrich hit the nail dead on. I for one will be registering as an independent after 34 years of voting as a republican. The party has lost there way, and there focus!

    April 2, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. John

    There is plenty of blame to go around, Newt...

    Now, if only we Democrats could shape up and start paying our taxes!

    On a serious note... Professor Gingrich is bringing forth some vital issues.

    I am a liberal and a Democrat, but I believe that Republicans must find their voice and not become merely obstructionist. A single party system is not acceptable.

    And just how would a three-party or a multiple-party system serve our country? This issue must enter into a longer and broader national discourse.

    April 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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