Gingrich commits to America in 21st Century Contract
September 29th, 2011
09:48 AM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich commits to America in 21st Century Contract

(CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's thumbs have been busy.

On Thursday, he will unveil the new version of 1994's "Contract with America" in Des Moines. The revamped "commitment," named the "21st Century Contract with America," is said to have been composed on the 2012 candidate's Blackberry in the memo section, using his thumbs.

The Des Moines Register received a preview of the document, which will be formally unveiled Thursday during a town hall meeting in the capital city of Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state, where a poll out this week indicated that Gingrich was fifth in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

Gingrich's spokesperson, RC Hammond, told the paper that the policy wonk typed the contract as ideas came to him, and that it represents the "beginning of a conversation" that won't be finished for another year-a slow roll-out that coincides with ongoing presidential campaigning.

"It's more of an open letter," Hammond said.

According to the Des Moines Register, Gingrich's letter to America outlines methods to "change the trajectory of America" with reforms of Medicare, taxes, and Social Security that amount to a series of choices.

In a two-pronged tax structure, Americans could continue to pay income tax in its current form, or choose a flat tax rate. Similarly, senior citizens can keep Medicare as-is or they could choose their own health insurance provider and get help from the federal government to pay for premiums. When it comes to Social Security, Gingrich proposes that younger citizens currently paying into the system should have the option to put some of their contributions into personal savings accounts.

And he jumped from walking back on his criticism of House Budget Chair Paul Ryan's Medicare plan in May to endorsing it four months later.

Though he once criticized the plan to overhaul the system into a voucher program that would allow seniors and disabled to purchase private health insurance as "social engineering" that amounted to a "radical change," in the contract Gingrich says he now approves of turning Medicaid over to the states. The candidate offered a mea culpa to the Wisconsin congressman in the spring after receiving stinging criticism from his party.

Gingrich also includes a plan to balance the budget (raise revenue through the development of federally owned land in states including Alaska and Nevada) and stem illegal immigration (control the border by moving half the staff of the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. to the borders in Texas, Mexico, and Arizona).

But don't make the mistake of calling this contract a pledge. Hammond insisted, "A pledge is something you're going to try to do. With a contract, you're obligated. This is what you commit to."

Also see:

Romney on Christie: 'It'd be fun if he got in'

Bachmann urges Christians not to 'settle'

Giuliani still flirting with 2012 bid

Perry dials back 'heartless' comment


Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Newt Gingrich • Social Security • Taxes
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Gingrich, this idea of yours blew the Republicans out of Congress the first time. What makes you think it will not happen again?

    September 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Stop the Charade

    Doesn't this poor man have any family or friends to tell him that he has less than a snowballs chance in hell of winning the nomination and is embarrassing himself? Please, someone step up.

    September 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. sgurdog

    Newt is so tired...enough with the gimmicks Tiffany.

    September 29, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Kevin in Atlanta

    Ugh...stop with the gimmicks. If you were a serious politian who had the country's best interest in mind you wouldn't need a "contract" to keep you honest.

    Enough of this, just do your damn job (if you get to the white house...which you won't).

    September 29, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. EdSantaFe

    THUMBS DOWN on anything this lying hypocrite has to say.....

    September 29, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Sandy

    Another "Contract ON America"!

    September 29, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Brian

    "When it comes to Social Security, Gingrich proposes that younger citizens currently paying into the system should have the option to put some of their contributions into personal savings accounts."

    Makes sense to me. Now, he just has to become more than a long shot.

    September 29, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. thomas

    Did Newt rewrite Gone with the Wind ?

    How was his stay at the Governors mansion ?
    Nikki Haley , go girl !

    September 29, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. SaintM

    He endorsed Ryan's plan 4 months after he criticized it–and then ended up having to deflect a lot of fire from his own party for having done so. What a flip flopper–again, like a true republican–changing his mind when it suits his (their) purposes.

    September 29, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Ed DFWTX

    Newt's 21st Century Contract is only a publicity stunt to sell more books. This career politician/book pedler't time has came and went. He no longer has the audience he once had. Same old tired rethoric.

    September 29, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. Nick

    Newt... save your money and go home...

    September 29, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Bill in Florida

    So Newt has drafted another "Con-Act" with America, has he? Probably contains the same old, failed policies as the fiest Con-Act (e.g., tax cuts for the rich, increase military spending, decrease regulation, declare war against the middle class, poor, and the environment, eliminate the separation between [the Catholic] church and state, etc.).

    September 29, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Martha in CF

    Oh another "commitment". Give it up.........................

    September 29, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. V in Chicago

    It worked so well before, Newt thought he would try it again. I guess Newt just isn't getting the message that this time around: 1) he is irrelevant; and, 2) he and his ilk, are the reason Washington is so screwed up in the first place. We do not need rehasing of old ideas. We need new, fresh ideas and leadership.

    I will give Newt his credit in that he is probably the most intelligent candidate the Republicans have offered up so far, but he is far from electable and his time has come and gone. His personal and professional baggage will prevent him from being nominated, much less elected.

    Sorry Newt. Perhaps you can find a consulting job somewhere because the White House is not hiring your kind.

    September 29, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Tired of the nonsense

    Why is this washed-up hasbeen in the news?

    September 29, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. DA

    Again I ask how is this man still in the race? Who is really funding him and why are they REALLY doing it? I mean it is a given he doesn't stand a snowball chance in hell on winning the nomination!! So again who is funding him and is this some new tactic for the GOP to keep dead weight around so that, they can continue to be a mouth piece to spew lies about the President? OBAMA 2012!!!

    September 29, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Mike from Boise

    Hmm, don't call this contract a pledge. You're obligated with a contract. Kind of like when you get married Newt? Oh, that's right, that doesn't count just like your contract.

    September 29, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Ernie

    Hey Newt here some good advice that you campaign advisors are not teling you forget the pharse "Contract with America" this time it's not going to work. It worked in 1994 but it's not going to work in 2012. One more thing that your advisors are not telling you is that former President Ronald Reagan is not running for President you are. Reagan already has been there done that and is dead. Newt it's time to try something else.

    September 29, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. W l jones

    What we need in our country a contract in every class room in the country. We have all these globe trotter with PHDs going to waste while kid begging for there input to inlight them in knowledge through there mind eyes or experience. Bless.

    September 29, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. maggie

    Good idea, Newt, especially since the last one went over so well. The only contracts he should be focusing on is the book deal waiting in the wings.

    September 29, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. beevee

    may be he should be committed.

    September 29, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. RINO Bil

    Newt's various and sundry contracts are passe, tiresome and boring. As Rick Perry would say, "This little doggie done gone to the well one too many times."

    September 29, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. liberal texanist

    He's still running? Let's add Christie and Giuliani to the mix ... you can't put a pricetag on entertainment this good

    September 29, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh yes...there he goes, you just can't change an old dog...

    ...watch out Mrs Gingrich, there is a newer model coming in to replace you....

    September 29, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Cfrench

    He's all thumbs alright. Ol' Newt's new and improved Contract On America. He tried to ruin the country before, why not try to do it again.

    September 29, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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