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 Among other things, the former House Speaker promises that in a Gingrich administration: "Obamacare" would be fully repealed, tax cuts and regulatory reforms would spur job creation, Americans would be able to choose between the current tax system or a new flat tax rate, and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. kyle

    He gave the Preisdent one year, but he needs eight.

    September 29, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Eric

    Clinton had it right when he called the former Speaker's plan 'The Contract On America'. Some people still credit Newt for the balanced budget created when in reality it was created by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Which was passed vote in by a democratic party line vote. Political suicide it was for many a congressman but it balanced the budget. Until W came along with a GOP congress in 2000. We didn't even have a balanced budget for 2 years before the Republicans ruined it.

    September 29, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. NoTags

    "Newtie", if I recall correctly your wonderful "Contract with America" turned out to be a "Contract on America". You are delusional if you believe you can be elected. Take two aspirin, get some sleep and maybe reality will return.

    If that doesn't help, maybe you and Callista can go burn up some of your $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany & Co.

    September 29, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Reggie from LA

    And if he fails to implement it, I suppose he can just fade away.
    Heck!! Give me 2 terms and somewhere in those 8 years, I'm bound to do something profound.
    You want to give yourself 8years and Obama none to accomplish things that would benefit the nation. Hmmmf!

    September 29, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    We had enough of your "Contract on America" Mr Square-head.
    You were cheating on your second wife with your third wife while she lay in a hospital bed and you were pushing a modern day political witch hunt against a President who had a brief fling – who is still married to his one wife. Mr Square-head you are the definition of a CREEP.

    BTW – the impeachment was never consummated – but your affairs sure were.

    And 23 books about what – nothing but right-wing hate and fear sold to mindless tee-burps. Get a life Mr Square-head.

    September 29, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Bingham

    Gingrich is brilliant and believe me his contract would bring about great prosperity. The problem is his ego gets in the way alot like our current President. I do not think he would carry the center. Most centrists I kow would take Romney or Cain over the current baffoon on the white house.

    September 29, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. davec.0121

    Does he mean a Contract with America, or rather, as in 1994, a Contract ON America?

    September 29, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. koalaholi

    Yet you Republicans condemn President Obama because he couldn't clean up W's mess in les than 3 years. Hypocrites!

    September 29, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. bb

    The Grich is simply rehashing the same old tired ideas out of the same old tired playbook.

    September 29, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Really? REALLY????

    Newt ... wise up! You're not even going to get the nomination. Pack up your tent and go home, please. The country is begging you!

    September 29, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. bp

    Don't worry, Newt. You won't get the chance to worry about how much you can get done in only 1 term as President. What an epic ego.

    September 29, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. Sue

    How convenient! Good luck! Does that give you time to find another wife – perhaps one with less expensive taste?

    September 29, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. us1776

    Oh, please !!

    Not another Contract ON America !!

    We can't survive another GOP hit man.


    September 29, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. Mike

    " Because for eight years we need to work together."

    Why not start now, Newt?

    What a fraud the GOP is.

    September 29, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. The other real decider

    "Our challenges are enormous, I think the biggest since 1860". Gosh, he has a really good memory.

    September 29, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    We don't need another 8 year contract ON America. Look at what 2001-2008 dd to us.

    We need 12 more years to get the republican mess cleaned up as it is.

    September 29, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. Not other real decider

    Gingrich's response: the media is also to blame. Yeah, I guess if the media kept quiet he wouldn't have to get divorced. Get over it, Noot.

    September 29, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Now he sounds like Obama. Tell us what you can do in 4 yrs, and we will decide whether another 4 yrs. is warranted.

    September 29, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. steven harnack

    Wow. That is the closest thing that I've ever seen to "How to Create Nazi America". Does he also plan on burning down Congress and putting the blame on the Democratic Party?He wants the power to immediately fire judges that he disagrees with too.I'm afraid that his idea of smaller government is to reduce the three branches of government to 1 branch. Or should I say 1 big stick?

    September 29, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. otermbachmann

    Of course he would need two terms! His Tiffany's bill is alot. Newt give it up, ur as wacky as bachmann.

    September 29, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. MVH

    All I've read of this is the lead line and I blew wine out my nose laughing.

    September 29, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. seriously???

    You'll need two terms but you'll be given none.

    September 29, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. RINO Bil

    The Tea-Republican Party didn't even give Obama two years before they branded him a failure, so there is not a snowball's chance in hell that Gingrich is gonna get two terms.

    September 29, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Mike S

    Can this guy really be serious??? The GOP field is a joke the only candidate that makes any sense is Huntsman. Contract with America for the 21st century, come on we've seen this story played out before.

    September 29, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. nevander

    Oh Newt! Your window of opportunity to be seriously considered as a presidential candidate has long since past. And bringing the "Contract w/ American" prop out of the closet is not going to revive the mojo you had fifteen years ago. It's a different time, different place. Why can't you see that?

    September 29, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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