Gingrich: I'll need two terms to implement new 'Contract with America'
September 29th, 2011
06:11 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich: I'll need two terms to implement new 'Contract with America'

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - On Thursday, just over 17-years after he unveiled the first "Contract with America," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich officially proposed another campaign contract.

Flanked by two huge banners emblazoned with the title "21st Century Contract with America," Gingrich stood alone on stage and spoke to insurance company employees in Des Moines, Iowa. If he is elected president, Gingrich said, he'd immediately begin to act on the new campaign contract. But said he would need two full presidential terms to fully implement it.

The unveiling stood in stark contrast to the one in 1994.

Then, Georgia Rep. Newt Gingrich - primed to become House Speaker - stood with 300 House Republicans on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. If Americans turned over the House to the GOP for the first time in a generation, Gingrich said, his party would act on the 10-point plan within 100 days.

Though the optics and campaign promissory are somewhat different between now and 1994, in both instances Gingrich laid out conservative proposals aimed at smaller government, lower taxes and allowing Americans greater control over their own lives.

"It's an effort to lay out for people what we need to do in a way that we can all understand it as citizens and we can put it together," Gingrich said Thursday.

The first part of Gingrich's evolving new contract, as reported before its official unveiling, is also a 10-point plan. Among other things, the former House Speaker promises that in a Gingrich administration: "Obamacare" would be fully repealed, tax cuts and regulatory reforms would spur job creation, Americans would be able to choose between the current tax system or a new flat tax rate, and Americans would have options in terms of enrolling in Medicare and Social Security.

"Our challenges are enormous, I think the biggest since 1860," Gingrich said. "The difficulty of changing direction, for an enormous national government, an enormous national elite – whether it's the courts, the news media, the academic world, the bureaucracies, the laws – are going to be tremendous."

To that end, Gingrich proposed four chapters to his new contract.

The 10-point plan unveiled Thursday comprises the first part. "The legislative parts, what should we pass as law," Gingrich said.

The remaining three chapters are set to be unveiled at a later date, Gingrich said. But he did preview them.

Gingrich called the second chapter, "On the First Day."

"Imagine that shortly after delivering the [2013 presidential] inaugural address, we take an hour. And for one hour, I sign between 50 and 200 executive orders – fundamentally shifting the direction of the United States government before five o'clock on the first day. All of them within the law," Gingrich said.

The third chapter would involve a training program to teach the presidential transition team and all presidential appointees how to embrace and implement the radically different changes.

And the fourth chapter, Gingrich said, would include building a citizens' movement.

"We need a citizen-centered model that uses social media," the former House Speaker said. "Because I don't ask anyone to be for me. I ask people to be with me. Because for eight years we need to work together."

What remains to be seen is whether or not Gingrich will see the success with his new contract as the GOP saw in 1994. That plan helped switch the House over to Republican hands for the first time in 40 years.

But current political winds are not blowing as well for Gingrich. His presidential candidacy is mired in low poll numbers, in many surveys.

One listener in the audience asked Gingrich: why isn't his message, and hence his candidacy, resonating?

"Like your contract, you seem to outline a lot of specific ideas," the questioner began. "Can you explain your thoughts on why you're not being better received across the country in some of the polls?"

Part of Gingrich's response: he wasted four months working with consultants who were not ready for his new ways of thinking.

"Smart people, doing the old thing," Gingrich called them, an apparent reference to many in his campaign staff who quit the campaign earlier this year.

The other part of Gingrich's response: the media is also to blame.

"This is a country in which the media is more comfortable spending two or three weeks on a congressman's truly bizarre tweets than it is on a serious analysis," Gingrich said.

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. not2bad

    I would never trust a hypocrite like Gingriich with exceptionally poor personal morals. He may be an old dog with some good ideas but don't forget his last contract with America and how he even admitted the power surge went to their heads and they forgot about their contract. No thanks Newt. Don't go away mad, please just go away.

    September 30, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  2. Donkey Party

    What's the difference between Hitler and Gingrich? Not a single damn thing.

    September 30, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. Steve

    That's two terms if the Senate and Congress weren't there. I agree that the US needs a drastic change but the change needed would be akin to a CEO taking over a company and hiring upper-level managers that would be held responsible for results. With our governmental system, it ain't happening.

    Newt is speaking the truth when he says it will take a long time even with a viable plan. Anyone who tells us otherwise is just blowing smoke. Blips on the radar indicating to some that we are seeing a "recovery" are just blips. There won't be a recovery until manufacturing and the US come to an understanding where manufacturing gets a better deal than abroad and the terms are solid and predictable.

    Again – that ain't happening. Those who are unemployed are going to stay unemployed. The 30-year downward trend in major employers will continue. Those with money and income that the US government has access to will have their assets siphoned off at increasing percentages to keep the rest alive.

    As long as people who have never worked in the private sector are making decisions (practically all elected) we as an industrialized nation will continue to become less of an industrialized nation. We can't keep doing the same things we've been doing. This country (company) needs to be reorganized before a turnaround can occur.

    September 30, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  4. catwill

    Mr Gingrich is embarking on a capitalist execise to sell his brand not for president but for profit. He cannot win the Presidency due to too much personal baggage.

    September 30, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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