October 5th, 2010
09:57 AM ET
12 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. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Yeah, it's all those poor peoples' fault that they're on foodstamps. They're just lazy. I mean they could always join the army or become prison guards. Lot's of work to be had locking up or killing brown people. Have a nice day!

    October 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So, Newt, if you want to hammer Food Stamps, how about hammering all of those companies who moved their factories and jobs outside of the United States? If they had kept those jobs here, we wouldn't have as many folks who need food stamps. I consider myself lucky. My wife and I both have decent jobs and can put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads. Over 40% of the children in the public school my daughter attends are on reduced or free lunches due to their families' economic situations. Much of this was a result of the slashing of regulations during the time that you (and later – Tom DeLay) were in charge of the House. You guys gave away the store and the folks who took it, took not only your incentive cash, but the jobs they were supposed to create, too, except for the undocumented (read illegal) immigrants they hired to do their housework and maintain their lawns.

    October 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. kd

    People are on food stamps, Gingrich – you idiot, because of the obscene poverty rates that are a result of Republican policies over the past 30 years!

    October 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Allen

    Yes, Newt, and did it ever occur to you that a large portion of those folks on food stamps are there because they lost their freakin' jobs thanks to your party's policies, which we are all sick of hearing about and I won't rehash? Take some accountability and quit blaming the current administration for every damn thing. I know middle class Americans who are embarrassed to be on food stamps because they lost their good paying jobs. Working for minimum wages does not pay the bills. Newt, from the looks of you, you've never needed food stamps and you are most certainly out of touch with anyone who's ever lost a job. That seems to be the case with the entire GOP; their only agenda is to line their own pockets.

    October 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Marcus

    'Gingrich (...) 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."

    Mr. Gingrich, ANYONE who falls for this... ANYONE who put the blame for the current economic crisis in the Democrat controlled Congress... ANYONE...
    1 – Never heard about 'independent data sources'.
    2 – Never heard that OFFICIAL data sources are forbid to lie by law.
    3 – Never heard of 'Google'.
    4 – Never heard of Wikipedia.

    October 5, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Nurse Lisa

    Newt is more reptilian than amphibian. The ads may work on their blinded base and appall the opposition, but the 80% in the middle can see the GOP for the lying power mongers, and money hoarders they are. They have no real plan or desire to better America and if folks check Politifact's Obameter they can see just how many campaign promises that Obama has kept – and which the GOPers are stalling. The Dems didn't ruin things in two yrs, they inherited the free trade / tax break mess the GOP was making since 1994.

    October 5, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Huh?

    So only Democrats get food stamps?

    October 5, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Lucullus

    It's also an unassailable fact that when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over in 2007 the Republicans had controlled congress for 13 of the last 17 years. The White House for 22 of the last 30 years and both branches of government for the proceeding 6 years. The jack boot right, the party of personal responsibility, never, at any time, takes responsibility for what they do or have done. Their idea of personal responsibility is holding others responsible for their corrupt and inept policies. When will American wake up to these frauds?

    October 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Patsy, Texas

    Thank you CNN Ticker for constantly repeating every little thing the Tea Party people and the Republicans say. We are all
    so stupid that we cannot seek out the information we want, so we can always rely on you to show your bias toward
    Palin & Co. and the Republicans. If you do this to boost your ratings, it is not working. If you are trying to compete with
    Faux News, it is pathetic. If you are truly an arm of the TeaParty/Republican machine, you need to come clean.
    You have matched, however, the false premise that Faux carries, "fair and balanced". Not true for them, and not true
    for you.

    October 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    When the flooding in Pakistan occurred and people were without food and medicine, Americas biggest concern was if we didn't help them they would fall prey to al Qaeda or the Taliban. Mr. Gingrich, in his wisdom, is saying stop feeding the babies and children here in America and let them fall prey to hunger and disease. Gingrich is not fit to lead or follow, an animal will feed it's own.

    October 5, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Cosmo

    Newt, you left out a couple of occurrances sinde your Contract on America, like the two unneceesary wars the GOP foisted on the American people at 10 billion dollars per month since March 2003, the GOP running up the highest deficit in our nations history and the near meltdown of our financial and banking system. You should stick to your fiction writing and alternative reality stories, the American people have seen your act and clearly rejected it.

    October 5, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    In 1994, we weren't coming out of a recession that was almost as severe as the Great Depression. Newt's thinking is stuck in the past. Not to mention, he just wants to hurt the middle class and the poor of this country. Where is his heart? They want to cut off food stamps, unemployment and every other measure in place to protect the middle class and poor.

    October 5, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. RN

    It is also true that the 2 unfunded wars added to the deficit. It is also true that George Bush vetoed any legislation that democrats put forth that he did not like and they did not have enough votes to override a single veto.
    The republicans still had control of congress and Newt knows that – he just does not want to admit that because then he cannot continue to blame the democrats.
    What is important for the survival of a democracy is an Informed electorate.
    The republicans cater to the Uninformed.

    October 5, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Gee, Newt, do you think it could have something to do with 30 years of wage stagnation resulting from union busting, outsourcing, deregulation and trickledown nonsense? Congrats, capitalists, the US now has income disparity on par with Zimbabwe. Have a nice day!

    October 5, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Chris

    The whole problem is that a handful of executives and investors treated Wall Street with all the greed and excess of a drunken weekend in Las Vegas. And by doing so created massive financial collapse and ruined the livelihoods of millions of innocent people.

    So what is Republican's answer to all that – we should give the rich and corporations every advantage possible and save our focus and outrage for the people eeking out an existence on welfare.

    90% of the toxic subprime mortgages were issued in the 2000 – 2006 period when Republicans completely ran congress.

    October 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Independent In Albany

    Are we supposed to pretend the Bush presidency never happened? Kool-Aid drinking revisionist history at it's worst

    October 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. DC2003

    I guess he forgot the Bush years! 6 years of Republican control of both houses and the Executive Branch

    And lets not forget all those false financial reports that stated so many companies were making huge profits and had vast amounts of assests ... which turned out to be "None of the above"
    And ever so quietly all our manufacturing jobs were sneaking off to other countries and then the support positions began to follow! But that never became NEWS because we were hunting BinLaden and fighting terrorism globally.....

    October 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Mike from MN

    This idiot is such a revisionist is not even funny.

    Congress under Dems in 2006-2008 was basically a lame duck congress. Newt should know how the game is played.

    None the less, it was the Bush/GOP economic policies that began near the end of Clinton's term that increased the food stamps and unemployment. Basic economic knowledge says, if economic growth is ZERO, the incomes of middle class americans shrink, and inflation goes up, the Bush/GOP tax/interest rate and deregulation policies will be like adding gasoline to a burning a fire. It that's what happened, the inflation bubble burst and the economy imploded!

    The rich got richer and the middle class got poorer. The middle class also bailed out the upper class. Isn't that funny? Socialism for the rich.

    October 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Eddie

    Lol. So i guess GWB didnt use his veto pin and signed everything the dems wanted?

    October 5, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Adalbert

    This ego maniac is a disgrace. He is one of the leaders of the do nothing party. As everyone should know by now, the do nothing money driven party haven't offered any solutions to any of our problems.

    October 5, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. a health economist

    That is wonder linear thinking Mr. Gingrich. Too bad things are much to complicated to fit things that nicely. "Correlation does not prove causation". I could use similar linear thinking to say that we were not at war when the Democrats had the presidency, therefore it must be the Republicans' fault we had two wars. Now I know it's not their fault. But the logic is identical.

    October 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. mb2010a

    Newt for President in 2012...! That's great. Obama would win by a landslide for sure. Run, Newt, Run.
    Also the "Contract with America" in 1994 gave us the mess from 2000 to 2008 which he fails to mention.

    October 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. GI Joe

    Yep – the republicans shipped jobs overseas and now want the jobless and the underpaid to just starve to death. More money for the wealthy few that live like kings.

    October 5, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. tjaman

    Yes, by all means, never miss an opportunity to beat up on poor people and their children. Stay classy, Newt. :\

    October 5, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Lynne WA state

    I would like to see him try to live on food stamps for one month with no other resources and then give us his opinion of them

    October 5, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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