November 13th, 2010
07:01 PM ET
8 years ago

Gingrich relishes his role as history buff

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich is often a political provocateur, taking aim at President Barack Obama and the Democrats, but at a book signing Saturday, he was simply a history buff.

At an event promoting his most-recent book, "Valley Forge," the former House speaker, who appeared with his wife Callista, took several questions from the small crowd, most of them focused on American military history. He also indulged in some historical what-ifs.

"What do you think would have happened if Stonewall Jackson had survived?" one audience member asked. "Who was the better general, George Washington or Robert E. Lee?" a second attendee asked.

Laura Itle, who calls herself a fan of history, attended the book signing at a Borders' bookstore in Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia.

"People often forget he's a historian," Itle said about Gingrich. She added she agrees with his politics only "sometimes."

Gingrich did offer some advice for President Obama after an attendee asked if George Washington's experiences could be a lesson for the current president.

"The president should slow down," Gingrich said. "He just suffered a dramatic defeat in the midterm elections … George Washington thought a lot. He was deliberate and slow."

Obama should "stop and come to grip with it," he said.

Gingrich's book tour comes as he considers a presidential run in 2012. He will make three stops in Iowa next week, an early presidential caucus state.

Potential candidates often release books and promote their image around the country before election cycles to drum up attention.

Gingrich's book, "Valley Forge," is a historical novel that tells the story of how George Washington, in command of the Continental Army, survived the harsh winter of 1777 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It was co-authored with Bill Forstchen.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. MS

    Yes Mr Gingrich is such a history buff that he doesn't even know our founding fathers were Anti-Colonialists

    November 13, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Bob in Pa

    This huy knows his stuff. More people should take the time to listen to him speak. Although many are afraid they will actually learn something.

    November 13, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Nelson Mandela suffered in the worst way because of what he believed in and had he accepted defeat at the hands of those who tried to destroy him, South Africans would never be free. John, Bobby and Martin were killed because of their beliefs in America and all people. The history that Newt refers to in his book clearly isn't representative of the 21st century when President Obama has made history because the America we live in today is not and never will be the America Newt wants to turn back to.

    November 13, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Adalbert

    This egomaniac is only interested in power and MONEY.

    November 13, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Kara

    If washington had sped up a little bit, he might have got rid of slavery.

    November 13, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. diridi

    clown, and history Bufoon...o.k...talks silly..

    November 13, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Mickey, NY

    Newt Gingrich will do his best, as will the other terrorist traitors in the GOP/Conservative Party, to rewrite history in an attempt to make their FAILED policies acceptable.

    REAL Americans aren't buying your crap, Newt!

    November 13, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. CyndyP

    I don't believe a word this man has to say!

    November 13, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. Patrick from Minnesota

    If Newt stays out of politics and retreats to military history, America would be a better place for everyone, even Republicans

    November 13, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. ken

    I would love for Newt to be History for now!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 13, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. ED FL

    Neutered Newt is now trying historical venues now that his age has caught up with his past philandering. This guy is stuck on himself and ONLY he thinks he is or has contributed to any part of this countries success. His most famous act was crying about not getting to ride in the Presidents section of air force one when they went to Europe to attend a funeral for a dignito.ry person. He could be in first place if it was for helping the country to its present decline.

    November 13, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. George of the jungle

    Newt should stick to history. The man is a disgrace as a husband and a failure in politics. Typical repo. Lie cheat and if caught blame someone else.

    November 13, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. George of the jungle

    where are the jobs repos? you have been elected for two weeks now.If this was the president you would be complaining about him by now. Newt and the tea bag gang are good at complaining but not to good at fixing. Palin giving advice is a real joke. She should stay home and give some of her advice to her kids. Wait maybe she already has.Get your face out their and creat stories about yourself dosen't matter about what just take the money from tv and magazines and run. Better than a real job or education right!!!!??

    November 13, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. ScadBigEye

    Remember, Newtered GetRich – those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it!

    November 13, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. Larry historians but can't stand them if they are not bi-partisan or moderate from their political perspectives. I have a hard time believing anything he has to say, even if he is talking about his historical perspective on things.

    November 13, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. jdmintexas

    Great. President Newt. Having failed to learn the lessons of history, President Newt repeats the mistakes of the past 3 Republican Presidents and cuts taxes on the wealthy thinking that if the government takes care of the rich, the rich will take care of the rest of us; and, he will continue to drive the country into bankruptcy because he won't cut spending, especially defense spending because he will forget all about the "founders" he claims to admire and their abhorance of a large standing army. Then as America lies on its deathbed, President Newt will come in and announce that he has been sleeping with a younger country and wants a divorce.

    November 13, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    Here is some history for Newt.... cheated on your wife and left her while she had cancer, while at the same time railing on Bill Clinton for Monica... is that for a history lesson you PIG of a man, I take that back, you're not a man, you're a filthy piece of parasitic scum.

    November 13, 2010 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  18. Todd Ward

    Who wants to listen to a fellow that gives his wife, with cancer, divorce papers while she is in the hospital. Not me.

    November 13, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. shannon

    Does he try to rewrite history like most Republicans do. They can't ever tell the truth, so they make it up as they go along.

    November 13, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Yeah, right, President Obama should "slow down" – so the Republicans can accuse him of "dithering."

    If there's one thing President Obama should do, it is to take everything Gingrich says with a HUGE grain of salt! Gingrich and the Republicans want President Obama and our country to fail so badly that folks, out of fear and ignorance, run to the Republicans – even though the Republicans and their tried-and-failed policies are what brought our economy to its knees!

    Good try, Gingrich – but even though your party is full of fools, the rest of the country is waking up to your evil plans.

    November 13, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  21. Irving Washington

    History buff? More like historical revisionist!

    November 13, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. john talbot

    i wonder how he (newt) remembers the surplus.

    November 13, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  23. Clwyd

    One who can remember his affairs better than he can the truth about history or the republican version?

    November 13, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  24. john talbot

    how did we pay for the wars in iraq/afghanistan?

    November 13, 2010 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  25. john talbot

    we need to be honest about politics. Honest discussions. Honest disagreements. Honest solutions mean honest debates. We do not have an honest debate on either side.

    November 13, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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