October 5th, 2010
09:57 AM ET
4 years ago

Gingrich advice to GOP: Hammer food stamp increase

(CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is offering Republican candidates some unsolicited advice when it comes to shaping the closing message of their congressional bids.

In a memo being sent to several GOP candidates Tuesday, the potential 2012 presidential candidate is urging his fellow Republicans to craft the final month of their battles against Democrats as ones that come down to "paychecks versus food stamps."

"It is…an unassailable fact that in January 2007, when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over Congress, unemployment was 4.6 percent and food stamp usage was around 26.5 million Americans. Today, the unemployment rate is 9.6 percent and over forty million Americans are on food stamps," Gingrich writes in the memo. "Compare this to our record after we took control of Congress in 1994."

Gingrich, who played a vital role in crafting the GOP's 1994 "Contract with America," said his party's record of fiscal restraint during the 1990's offers a "vivid contrast between the record of the Pelosi-Reid Democratic Congress and the last time the Republican Party took control of Congress."

The former House Speaker has repeatedly injected himself into the national political conversation this season in dramatic form, most recently turning heads at the annual Values Voters summit in Washington last month when he compared the threat of terrorism to that of the Democratic Party.

He has also made several forays into key presidential primary states and recently said he will announce next March whether he intends to run for president.

In his memo to GOP candidates, Gingrich also says Republicans would be wise to hammer Democrats over failing to extend the Bush tax cuts before the elections.

In January 2011, taxes are scheduled to rise on virtually every American. Considering the perilous state of the U.S. economy, this decision by the Democrats to raise taxes is the very definition of irresponsibility.

Members of Congress headed home to their states and districts this week without voting on whether to extend the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 under the George W. Bush administration. Democrats argue that it's the Republicans that are holding tax cuts for the middle class hostage, in order to extend the cuts for the wealthiest Americans. The Democratic leadership has pledged to take up the issue before the end of the year.


Filed under: 2010 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Gingrich is full of BS and hope that the American people are as stupid and have a short memory.

    When Democrats took over the House and Senate in 2006, President Bush was president and had full veto power over any and all bills passed by Congress. Bush also used "signing statements," which were essentially line-item vetoes (and totally un-Constitutional), more than any other president in our country's history.

    So, Newt, crawl back in your hole and stop lying to the American voters. You just want to get back into power so you and your cronies can finish off the Middle Class like you tried so desperately to do during the Bush years.

    October 5, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    And if Bush and the GOP hadn't destroyed the economy, so many people would still have jobs and wouldn't be on food stamps. The problem came from your party, Newt. They're the ones to blame. Now you want to pee on someone's boot and tell them it's raining?

    Grow a brain, Newt. The American public is not as stupid nor sonambulent as you seem to think.

    October 5, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Dean

    Smart of Gingrich. If the GOP wants to win this elecection (and in 2012), all they need to do is focus on three issues:

    Jobs
    Taxes
    Entitlements

    If they speak to these issues, and not spend time on less important concerns, a majority of Americans will see that the GOP is more in touch with the American people than the Democrats.

    Vote Republican.

    October 5, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. MAhole

    Here we go again – another example of the Republicans not caring a hoot about the middle class. Without food stamps, there would be a lot of hungry children out there – through no fault of their own.
    A republican vote is just like shooting yourself in the foot in the next 2 elections.........

    October 5, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Alex

    Gingrich is psycotic!!! The current unemployment rate is a direct result of failed Bush and GOP policies. The prosperity during the 1994 years were a direct result of Clintons policies and him balancing the budget.

    GOP lines: blame all the bad we've done on Democrats and take credit for all the Democrat's successes.

    Does he really think America is that stupid?!?!

    October 5, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Dean

    Smart of Gingrich. If the GOP wants to win this election (and in 2012), all they need to do is focus on three issues:

    Jobs
    Taxes
    Entitlements

    If they speak to these issues, and not spend time on less important concerns, a majority of Americans will see that the GOP is more in touch with the American people than the Democrats.

    Vote Republican.

    October 5, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. JF

    "Gingrich, who played a vital role in crafting the GOP's 1994 "Contract with America," said his party's record of fiscal restraint during the 1990's offers a "vivid contrast between the record of the Pelosi-Reid Democratic Congress and the last time the Republican Party took control of Congress.""

    As opposed to the fiscal spending spree of the early and mid '00s. He expects the voters to remember the '90s, but forget what happened during the '00s?

    October 5, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. gt

    reid and pelosi have put this country in the gutter....those two have done more damage to american than ..any two people in the history of this great country....

    October 5, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Daniel Peterson

    What I don't understand is this assault on the the poor. How many people are poor in america as of the 2010 census? How many kids in America are going hungry? How many people lost their jobs while politicians, bankers and CEO lined their own pockets? The working class person is obviously not your base Newt. You are clueless.

    October 5, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. robertJ

    Can you any Republican honestly agree with what this moron is trying to insinuate.
    Yes in 1994 things were better when the Repubs gained control ,because Bill Clinton had cut food stamp and unemployment fraud leaft over from Bush 1 and Reagan. He had also cut the deficit on his way to a surplus, and look at the mess they (Repubs) then created! Now the democrats take over from Bush 2 with ANOTHER financial BUSH crisis (as in savings and loans. now housing and financial markets-only this time on a global crippiling scale) except now it Wall Strret and derivatives (all of which were the result of Republican "de-regulation" BS) two unfunded worthless wars, a quadrupled national debt, and this supposedly bright man (Gingerich) blames the Democrats for not resolving the mess in less than 2years that took 15 years to create? Also for not resolving the mess left to the Democrats when having to try and work with people like Bonehead Boehner, Muffingead McConnel, Eric (the actor) Cantor, supported by the knowlegeable and honest folks like Meg Whitman, Christie O'Donnel , John Mccain and co. all of which practice totally unbiased gov. and politics. Are you Rep[ublicans naturally stupid and think everyone else is or do you conciensiously work hard at being morons?

    October 5, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Marty, FL

    Newt's GOP continues to mock struggling Americans while failing to accept personal responsibility for failed policies of tax cuts for the rich and corporate loopholes that sent our jobs overseas. Newt's message to the middle class: "Let them eat cake" while his elitism dines on caviar and laughs at the gullible. Won't work.

    Many decent Americans have awoken to the GOtP's nonsense.

    October 5, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given that there were different situations; GOP came in with unemployment around 5% or so and an upward bound economny; Democrats came in 2007 with the economny about to tank based on crazy spending and sub-prime loans bubble about to pop. It is kind of hard to compare the two different time. The reason why people need more food stamps now is because people don't have enough money coming in to be able to pay for housing and food. I would have Gingrich would be able to see that. I guess that he isn't as aware as I thought.

    October 5, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. Hypatia

    Food Stamps, huh? Does it occur to the Grinch that a Rethug government caused the recession that has so many people on assistance. Or did that conveniently escape his memory? I do hope that all the baggers take his unsolicited advice right to the crapper.

    October 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Ben in Texas

    Newt, you old cherry-picker. Why not make the more obvious comparison between the surplus left by Clinton and the massive debt left by W? Nah, you wanna make a "long distance" comparison between the crumbling, Bush engendered economy of 2007 with a totally different era.

    Why don't you point out that Bush was the worst president ever, as history will surely record? As a matter of fact, it is a wildly ironic that you choose to totally ignore the disaster that was George W. Bush and focus instead on those who have been left to clean up his mess.

    October 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. me

    You can tell CNN is in Politics mode, the first 4 stories slamming the GOP. And you ppl poke at Fox. That is so Liberal.

    October 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Anne

    All members of Congress should take a cut in salary of 50% and discontinue discretionary budget until unemployment in every state is under 4%. Estimated savings of 600 million in just 6 MONTHS! Over 1.2 Billion in one year. Will you accept the challenge?

    October 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. bravado in boston

    Oh but he forgot to mention that after the Dems took the majority in Congress, they did not have a veto-proof margin, nor did they have a super-majority and the filabusters began and ran and ran and ran and now well over 100 filabusters later, the GOP continues to obstruct efforts to get rid of the high unemployment!

    October 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Lori in St Pete

    There will be no jobs for Americans as long as the jobs can be outsourced to a third world cesspool for pennies on the dollar. it isn't that Americans are DEMANDING too much, but that the cost of living in America dictates that the minimum wage should be at least $15 an hour in most of the country, and slightly higher in some places, and slightly lower in others. Here in Pinellas County a worker needs to earn $15 an hour to be able to afford the rent on a basic, no-frills 1 bedroom apartment. Most jobs here pay between $8 & $10, and it's been that way for years – and many workers qualify for food stamps even though they work fulltime! Until employers are ready to pay a livable wage, or the cost of all goods, services and housing in America is cut by at least 60% nothing is going to change.

    October 5, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    G.O.P. – Our motto is "Take from the poor and give to the rich."

    October 5, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. WDRussell

    Newt the birther, talking about values, is like Charlie Manson talking about love and kindness.

    October 5, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. jillib

    Problem with Newts strategy is that only a small percentage of the popululation is dumb enough to buy his schtick. Many more still remember why, and at whose hand they're now having to receive food stamps rather than a paycheck. Many have also seen republicans repeatedly block initiatives for job creation and help for the middle/working class. Those same have watched the republicans rally against legislation to curtail the offshoring of American jobs.

    Only in the republican party can a disgraced former speaker still hold sway.

    Republicans think you're stupid. In fact, they've been nourishing ignorance – they're counting on it for electoral victories.

    October 5, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. Rick

    The Republicans started this mess.

    October 5, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Stop Soros

    Democrats pretend that they are compassionate. But the reality is that for a majority of people, perpetual welfare doesn't improve an individual's life. Taking away personal responsibility has weakened our country. Europe is a mess because of unions and their high welfare rate.

    Clinton's loan policies helped create this mess, while Obama's policies have lost jobs and made things worse. We can stop these crazy ideologues by voting out those that rubber stamped Obama's insipid agenda.

    October 5, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. me

    That's ok guys, you don't have to post it.

    October 5, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. Ed

    Newt go back to the swamp. Another stupid dumb ass GOPer. You guys are the ones that created this mess before Bush left office. He made sure all of this was going to happen under the next guys watch which he knew was going to be the Dems.

    October 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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