October 26th, 2009
12:03 PM ET
9 years ago

Gingrich: 'You can't have a purely right-wing majority'

Gingrich spoke to CNN Radio.

Gingrich spoke to CNN Radio.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken considerable heat from conservative activists for endorsing Republican Dede Scozzafava over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in next month's special congressional election in New York.

But Gingrich is defending his approach to re-building the Republican Party. It begins, he said, by accommodating those who might disagree with you.

"Both parties have to recognize, you can create a center-right majority in America, which we did with Reagan in '80 and we did it again with the 'Contract with America' in '94," Gingrich said in an interview with CNN Radio. "You can't have a purely right-wing majority; you can't have a purely left-wing majority."

The former speaker claimed that Democrats are doing their part to help the GOP by promoting a liberal ideology. "Today, the Democrats are moving toward a secular-socialist model that is guaranteed minority in America," he said.

And he was cautiously optimistic about the 2010 midterm elections.

"Next year, I think we could win [governorships in] Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, the Senate seat in Illinois. In Ohio, we could win both the governorship and the Senate seat," Gingrich said. He also predicted losses for three prominent Democratic incumbents: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Along with the New York special election, Republicans are also watching two key gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Gingrich predicated the GOP will win in Virginia "by a big margin," but was less optimistic about the party's chances in the Garden State.

"I think we have a good chance to win New Jersey, if people conclude that voting for the third-party candidate just re-elects [incumbent Gov. Jon] Corzine," he said.

Listen here:

Filed under: Newt Gingrich
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. JP

    This is the most sensible thing I've heard Gingrich say in years.

    October 26, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Peter

    Wow, I'd like to say that since Republicans are attacking Gingrich perhaps they are losing their crazy...But then I realized Gingrich made a responsible endorsement for once, NOT endorsing the candidate to probably believes Obama was born in Kenya..

    October 26, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. They call me "tater salad"

    Reaganomics in the 80's didn't work Newt!!! And that so called "Contract with America" thingy turned out to be nothing but sheep food and an empty campaign slogan to help you crook, Republicans win the majority in both houses of Congress and look where we are today because of it! Nice try, but I haven't forgotten those day's and won't anytime soon! Like they say "Been there, Done that!"

    October 26, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Qban1029

    A secular model? Oh no, we wouldn't want to hold the principles of separation of church and state would we? Typical Republicans...they think we are out to kill their God. Just keep God in your heart, and let me worry about myself...thanks

    October 26, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Gary

    I think Newt and the members of the Old, Fat, Rich White Boy Club (GOP) should stop living in the past. Stop being the party of fear and No, and offer something! I haven't heard one counter offer to what the Democratic Party is discussing! All I've heard from the GOP is that we should maintain the status quo.

    October 26, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Keith in CA

    Sorry Newt, you're a little late with this. The GOP is tearing itself apart with its own intolerance. Limbaugh, Palin and the Tea Baggers want no part of Republican candidates who do not share their far right ideology. No room for moderates in the Party of No.

    October 26, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Duck Fallas

    Conservatives certainly are frightened creatures. They see the world collapsing. I hope their worls does collapse so the rest of us may move forward.

    Go Phils

    October 26, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. John Black Hills/SD

    The far right, and far left are unhealthy models for Americans, both sides of the extremes have done nothing but harm the nation, and those of us who live in it. The true "Moderates" are the winners because they have a mind of their own, I'll vote for a Rep. or Dem. who is a true moderate depending on my state or nations need during that cycle every time I vote. I agree with some of Gingrich but I don't believe there is a liberal ideology being presented by Democrats. If Gingrich is dubious of the bailouts, and the lender, who is the US tax payers who laid out the rules of "salary & bonus" until the loans are paid back, he's part of the problem, not the fix aka responsibility. Sorry Gingrich your wrong.

    October 26, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Jason

    Revisionist history is always pervasive on these blogs. "Clinton got a balanced budget with no help from Republicans" REALLY? Rep. held congress the balance budget was probably the last bipartisan thing that our government has done that was actually good for this country.

    October 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Susan

    I keep reading about a White House that hates America, and yet the only hate I really see is on the signs of Republicans, tea baggers, and out of the pens of bloggers here and the lips of Republicans. Your outrage at Obama might be credible if you had shown any concern at all over the Bush wiretaps and torture policies, not to mention the total destruction of the Constitution by him and the wasting of our military and treasury. Now you come off as sore losers who are grasping at any terminology to express hatred at Democrats and, yes, America. Obama is trying to correct the things that Bush didn't consider important, like taking care of our children and all our citizens. If that means some short term pain, so be it...we need to put OUR money to work for all of us, as stated in the Constitution, "for the general welfare."

    October 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Jobe

    Gingrich is right you have to be all inclusive. But he is wrong on NJ – they never seem to learn and will re-elect that ethically challenged fool in there now since that is in their DNA. Gingrich is is always so well spoken and logical that he it is natural for lberals to hate him.

    October 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Lanae

    Even though I don't like Newt, he is right.
    Most of these right wing conservatives like Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity and others must haven't watched last years election results. This country is CENTER-LEFT. The NY-23 district is MODERATE!! Most americans are either Moderate Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats and Independents. The left(liberals) and Right(conservative) FRINGE don't control this country. If they still aren't convinced maybe they need to check out majority of the polls that said the republican party is shrinking and will continue to shrink in the next decades. Democrats make up 35% of the electorate and Independents is 36% and growing and Republicans represent a smalll minority of 20% and half of that has been hijacked by Social Conservative nutcases. Independents will eventually be the MAJORITY of the electorate and will control all elections. NY-23 was won by PRESIDENT OBAMA in 2008, the last republican that resigned was a MODERATE REPUBLICAN, not a CONSERVATIVE WING NUT! Hoffman will get crushed and will be won by either Scozza or Owens and its looking like Owens is going to win since he is a MODERATE/BLUE DOG Democrat which is representive of the district.

    October 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Victim of Obama Greed

    Reid, Dodd and Specter all NEED to lose. Dodd should have been thrown out for his role in the housing crisis, along with Barney Frank. Let's quit blaming Bush for everything and put the blame where it belongs.

    October 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. R.B.

    It's good Newt has finally realized this and is communicating it. However, the fact remains that the American people want reform and need our leaders to take action to improve our economy, health care, and infrastructure, not to mention to forge a real, comprehensive solution in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most people don't care if you are right-wing or left-wing, they just want someone to WORK to better America. I think most people realize when politicians fight and get nothing done —AMERICA LOSES. No more debates. It's time for both parties to shut up and put up. Give us your ideas. Your deliverables. Not your idealogy.

    October 26, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. chamberlady

    For those who blame everything on the President and the Congress, have you been in a COMA FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS? For God's sake, they inherited this mess from your hero, George W. Hitler and his Gestapo headed by the puppet masters, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld!

    We didn't get here in November folks – this was a runaway train that is taking a long time to stop, much less change course.

    Can the right wing haters give the President a chance to get his seat warm in the oval office before they get the rope to lynch him? (Oops – was that a racial reference that perhaps he can do no right because he's not white enough for you? You bet it is!)



    October 26, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Dale

    Wow, I never thought I would hear Newt speaking sense. He is absolutely correct. Whether you lean left or right, if you are an extremist, you are by definition in the minority. If the Republicans kick out all the RINO's, they are basically handing elections to the Democrats.

    October 26, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Perspective

    Newt is apparently losing credibility within his own party by choosing the establishment side of the GOP over the conservative ideal from the base. A Newt vs. Palin per se.

    October 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. We Won Get Over It

    Guess old Newt himself is off on the wrong foot. The majority of Americans support the Democrats right now, because they are helping to clean up the mess bush made. The MSM gives more fact time to the ones who caused the mess, because THEY think it improves their viewing with all the conterversary....BUT guess what it doesn't it just makes the democrats stay on their steadfast path to continue to clean up...trouble is the republicans, well now they don't know what in Hades a mop is. They are out of touch with REAL AMERICANS.

    October 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Ray Ray

    Looking for a Party

    Well said!!!!

    I've always thought that if someone came along who was fiscally conservative and more socially liberal, I would be on board. But the people who talk about gov. interference are the quickest ones to mandate standards on faith, personal life, marriage, morality, etc.

    But as it stands now, the right is made up of people who value money over freedom, and the left is made up of those those who value freedom(and life) over money. Would it be so hard to get a good balance of both?

    October 26, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Brian

    So far, Obama is really doing a great job. Assuming the economy recovers he should coast to re-election-and it will be well deserved. This country is center-left, as Democrats have won the popular vote in 4 of the 5 last presidential elections and have majorities in the House and Senate. Anyone who thinks this country leans right is a fool.

    October 26, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. LIP

    Gingrich is right. It is just a matter of a few elections and the American public, full up with liberals and entitlement programs for the poor people that would rather not work for a living and illegal aliens, will vote out those that need to go and go fast.
    Let the house cleaning begin and lets include the Senate as well.

    October 26, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Ted Tartaglia

    Gingrich is about the only Repub, besides Meagan McCain, who shows signs of reasonably intelligent thought these days. The religious right-wing whackos should listen to him unless they are irrevocably committed to self destruction

    October 26, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Too True For You

    This guy failed us miserably once before, and it is beyond ironic to hear this man above all others talk about the middle ground.

    This is the champion of the famous "take no prisoners" conservative politics. The one who out and out lied about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the hypocrite who said it's "'not an insult' to compare those who criticize the war in Iraq or even the president to the appeasers who enabled Hitler. The one who said " The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.”

    Yeah, we need that turkey back.

    October 26, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. clifford in New York

    You liberals and Democrats in general are in deeeeep do do in the up coming elections! The History of the Republican party shows that they have done MORE for the middle class AND minorities than most of you are willing to admit. Do the research and find out the truth before you shoot off your uneducated mouths! Don't forget about all the Democratic Segregationist....................Lester Maddox, George Wallace! The 1964 Civil Rights bill was pushed through by Republicans! Even Martin Luther King was a registered Republican for crying out loud!

    October 26, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Wingnut

    Pick a wing, you are all Kooks! Once anyone tells me they they are left-wing or right–wing they lose credibility in an argument. You are biased... because you believe in what you believe.... Much like me, I am biased towards being middle of the road...

    So while Newt may be full of it..... and hypocritical to some, at least what he is saying shows an attempt at looking at a broader sense of US (us or US, however you want to view that) in that people disagree on issues, and we need to find the best SOLUTIONS......not make political plays to suit the ideaology of one side or the other. Seemingly impossible with such divide in this country as it stands....but if you posters and myself and the politicians and mostly the media outlets try to be a bit more open-minded, maybe we can find common ground instead of pointing fingers all the time.

    October 26, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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