Gingrich aims for anti-establishment tone in CPAC speech
February 10th, 2012
06:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich aims for anti-establishment tone in CPAC speech

Washington (CNN) - Newt Gingrich sought to hammer home the idea that he's the anti-establishment candidate Friday, rehashing familiar themes from his stump speeches before his audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"For the Republican establishment, managing the decay is preferable to changing the trajectory because changing the trajectory requires real fights and a real willingness to roll up sleeves and actually take on the left," Gingrich said.

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Pointing to the 1996 and 2008 election years, the former House speaker forcefully argued the Republican establishment can't win a presidential election.

"They don't have the toughness, they don't have the commitment, and they don't have the philosophy necessary to grow a majority in this country," he said.

He boasted his conservative bona fides following a speech on the same stage Friday by opponent Rick Santorum, who charged ahead of Gingrich in the GOP horse race this week with three big wins in the Republican nominating process, followed by a major fundraising boost and surging poll numbers.

Mitt Romney, a candidate criticized by the far right as being the establishment's choice in the GOP presidential field, also spoke before Gingrich Friday.

But Gingrich made no attempt to attack his opponents, focusing instead on outlining his platform and striking a chord with his CPAC audience, a crowd known for its strongly conservative turnout.

Tapping into the recent fervor against a federal rule requiring religious affiliated employers to include contraception coverage–a policy the White House announced Friday it would retract–Gingrich used his moment on stage to charge the president with dividing the country.

"This administration is waging war on religion. But so are the courts. This is why we need a movement that's bigger than just beating Obama," he said.

Gingrich won big cheers when he called for the repeal of President Obama's sweeping health care reform, as well as the financial reform bill signed in 2010.

The former speaker also presented his energy plans and economic ideas, part of which call for an end to the estate tax and a 12.5% corporate tax rate.

And while he laid out nearly his entire platform in the almost half-hour speech, Gingrich refrained from touching on his space plans, policies he has frequently touted in recent weeks.

"My goal, with your help, is that by the time President Obama lands in Chicago, we will have repudiated at least 40 percent of his government on the opening day," Gingrich said.

Also see:

Santorum says opposition to contraception rule doesn't restrict women's rights


Romney meets privately with conservative leaders at CPAC

As Santorum and Romney battle, Paul slams both as liberal

Who's the biggest earmarker of them all?


Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. PTBarnumboy

    The Newtster is so full of himself I don't know how he ever found 3 women to date let alone marry. The next several months will be fun to watch.

    February 10, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. CoJo

    anyone that knows what Santorum's or Gingrish's health care plan is (other than canceling Obamacare). How are they suggesting states handle people who do not have health care insurance (for whatever reason). If they are taking the position that they will leave that up to the individual states, fine, just need to know

    February 10, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. CoJo

    This contraception issue is a prelude to what health insurances have to cover at all. So if the health insurances do not want to cover pre-existing conditions they will not have to. Geeze I certainly feel sorry for those people with cancer or even simple back problems. I can just think of a ton of stuff insurances won't have to cover if they don't want to. The federal government stays out of all business issues. So only the rich can afford health care insurance, never mind the actual health care.

    February 10, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Thomas

    former Senator Fred Thompson should get Newt Gingrich a reverse mortgage.

    Dose anybody know of any GOP's that are Cool , have Moxie , style and class ?

    I didn't think so.

    February 10, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. Jake

    is that old washed up coot still in the race!?

    February 10, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. xwcharlieqm

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    February 10, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. dagoberto

    Gingrich loves jokes so much that he has become a joke himself.

    February 10, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. cali girl

    He he he, isn't he the estabishment?

    February 10, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  9. The Unsub

    Is that a heil hitler salute by Noot?

    February 10, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Larry L

    This is a continuation of the same test... People gullible enough to believe Gingrich found Jesus and now he's an honest man now have another opportunity to be tested. Is anybody stupid enough to consider the Newt anything but a Washington insider? Whould Freddie Mac pay an "outsider" 1.6 million dollars for NOT being well-connected in the Beltway? Oh I forget... he was paid as a "historian"... always a profession worth millions...

    February 10, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. geggyg

    How can Gingrich be considered anti establisment, he started his serious working life as as a uni professor, in non commercial subjects , history and european history , professions and subjects the GOP now consider liberal elites , was in congress for around 20 years , shut down the Fed Govt because Pres Clinton wouldnt let him sit at the the front of Air Force One, must have wanted to sit on the lap of the female pilot, after being kicked out of congress he then worked as a consultant(not lobbyist????) and in between wrote history books m more elitism hmmmm.

    February 10, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. Clint, Wa.

    A little off subject but, Newt’s wife, what ever her name is (the one he is married to now).
    Is that really her hair, or is that a hat she wearing?

    February 10, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. CoJo

    so other than the contraception issue, what other anti-Catholic laws (or issues) have Obama brought up or tried to pass? These are words from Gingrich in his speach... please explain.

    February 10, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. Redleg56

    And we can all see the courage and determination Gingrich had in avoiding confronting Communism in the 60's and 70's.

    February 10, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  15. poopmeister

    So if he is so anti-establishment, then why didn't he part ways from the GOP years ago? If he wants to shake things up and "roll up his sleeves" then he should have developed his own conservative party because the GOP seems to be completely disfunctional. Also, why has he bothered trying to not run a negative campaign? Every speech he gives is full of negativity and hatred, he inspires only the hate mongors.

    February 10, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  16. Conrack

    I'm sure that it will mix nicely with his usaul anti-reality tone.

    February 10, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  17. harveyredman

    "Gingrich aims for anti-establishment tone in CPAC speech" – hehehe.... Poilshing a turd....

    Can the right wing, i.e. "True Americans" (who all claim to be rich and educated) really be this stupid?

    Only on the "right" can this turd be considered anything other than a turd.

    February 11, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  18. mark

    So a man that was THE establishment for decades is now playing the "anti" card, seriously????

    February 11, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  19. Oscar

    Let me try to wrap this around my helmet...

    Newt Gingrich. Anti-establishment.

    Sorry, that just doesn't compute.

    President Paul 2012

    February 11, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  20. jpmichigan

    Rick Santorum is far right close to the edge, former Pennsylvania Senator will devide the Independents who lean to the right with his social conservative supports. He supports a Constitutional BAN on same sex-marriage, but then promotes the right of all American to pursue the right of happiness given by our foundlng fathers, he promotes banning abortion even in the case of rape and not allowing homosexual couples to adopt a child. Romney ia a known flip/flopper who states he was a consvervative govenor, his record shows something altogether different (read: Prolife Profiles, Mitt Romney). Gingrich has faults but who hasn't, at least he acknowleges them, but many pluses. He has in the past taken on the establishment and won, thats why they are fighting hard for him not to win, he is a great debator , he can take on Obama and win, he has shown he is able to take on the leftist media, who have shown bias toward the Republican Party. Obama has shown that he will and has done and tried to take away our given freedoms, and place then with the government mandates.

    February 11, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  21. Anonymous

    What a rebel! C'mon, Newt, we need someone to be a Freedom Fighter and lead the resistance to Mr. Frothy's Christo-Fascist Theocracy.

    February 11, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  22. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    CPAC is a magnet for neocons, racists, chauvinists, birthers and bigots of all kinds. That makes it THE place to be for any GOBP presidential candidate.

    February 11, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |