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 Among other things, the former House Speaker promises that in a Gingrich administration: "Obamacare" would be fully repealed, tax cuts and regulatory reforms would spur job creation, Americans would be able to choose between the current tax system or a new flat tax rate, and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

    This is EXACTLY the issue that the White House has fallen down on - the sheer complexity and resistence to fixes makes it almost impossible to turn things around in one term. Yet the GOP is screaming that Obama's a failure when it was the GOP that got us into this mess. So here's one of their own candidates admitting that things don't turn on a dime.

    More importantly, the tea partiers and the GOP radical right talk as if "winning the election" would give them the power to implement what they want. Do they REALLY BELIEVE that those of us who disagree with them will just fall over silent?!?! Gimme a break! We've had almost a decade of these clowns trying to kill the middle class and they think that returning to their direction is going to save us?!

    September 29, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. CBR

    Interesting that Newt Gingrich will require two terms to get his plans implemented. The Republicans refused to give President Obama one term. It just goes to prove just how silly some candidates are. Newt Gingrich lost his chance to make this contract a go. He now has a new one complete with a new religious ideology.

    September 29, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. CD

    Sorry – eight years is too slow. I want it fixed in 3 months. What a hypocrite....

    September 29, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. Greg

    Can someone tell me how this guy is even allowed to run for President. He was kicked out of Congress for corruption, are we suppose to forget that? He has no chance, just wants to stay in the limelight

    September 29, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Auzzie

    2 Terms as US President??

    Gingrich will be lucky if he does not drop out (or kicked out) by New Years Day

    How a man with such questionable personal ethics and morals has the temerity to run for the US Presidency is disgraceful

    September 29, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Fred

    No Thanks, Newt-Your last Contract with America seemed more like a your Congress put a Contract out ON Americans...Take your 'Moral Values' and go home to one of your wives....

    September 29, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. Tired of the nonsense

    Say what? No one in their right mind wants 2 minutes with Newt anywhere, especially the White House. Is his brain really that fuzzed up?

    September 29, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  8. Squealy

    Well, then, he's out. No one has the patience to wait 2 terms for anything anymore.

    September 29, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. Jay

    nope, Why should we give this guy two terms. they don't even want to give Obama three years. you see how the standards are different when the president is black

    September 29, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. CaliforniaBC

    Okay I'll just comment on two of the MANY things I could comment on what an idio Gingrich is.

    1) So Gingrich wants people to give him TWO TERMS to implement his changes BUT isn't willing to acknowledge that it will take Obama more than a couple of years to pull us out of the deepest economic crisis in 80 years? I remember republicans like Gingrich and Boehner demanding the return of jobs in late June 2009 WELL before we even knew the recession officially ended. I mean the free-fall of job losses had just ended a month before! They demanded that Obama and the Dems have things fixed within months but Gingrich here needs 8 years....Hypicratical IDIOT!

    2) ""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."

    LOL!! Gingrich is complaining about the media overanalyzing everything politicians say and criticizing it all. Isn't that how Faux "news" got started? They take every little thing they can find and overblow into a crisis.
    HEY GINGRICH...Try looking in the mirror to locate the problem.

    September 29, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. ED FL

    Newt Ginghrich needs 2 terms in jail. His ditching of his wives while they were sick for other female companions could be considered criminal. then marrying one who has blown away Newts money and has huge money deals with one of the world's classiest jewelry industries. It now looks like Newts latest wife is about ready to get dumped if Newt can find another one that will put up with a Neuted Newt.

    September 29, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  12. ptown


    September 29, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. Andi


    September 29, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Lots of luck Newt. LOL.

    September 29, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Antique

    Lots of luck Newt. LOL!

    September 29, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. Dan from Tx

    "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" says the guy that impeached a successful president over cheating while yet cheating on his own terminally ill wife.
    Whatever happened with that first Contract with America?? Did the expiration run out????
    Maybe if you create 3 more contracts and sign 7 more pledges, we will trust you.

    September 29, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. 4Pres

    yeah, that's what we need, TWO terms with Mr. Genius....not to worry, though, he'll never get the nomination...he'll realize that soon enough

    September 29, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. Richard

    Newt is right on! Bottom line the media is afraid of Newt Gingrich, that to me is clear as day. Lets see, when he was speaker of the house we balance the budget in 4 years and paid $400 billion $. We also have the first tax cut in 16 years, the largest capital gain in American history. We saw unemployment to go from 5.4% to 4%, people went to work while he was speaker. But let me guess the media still drinking Obamas Kool Aid!

    September 29, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. Peter

    I see. Give Obama only one term, but I need two to accomplish my goals. Oh brother.

    September 29, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. timz

    Newt is more likely to remain faithful to the current Mrs. Gingrich than he is to be elected President . . . and we all know *that* ain't happening.

    September 29, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Aaron

    Newt needs 8 years or 8 mistresses....whichever comes first.

    September 29, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. John

    Should work out as well as those contracts with his wives.

    September 29, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    newt has seen his best days, he remind me of Brett Farve, we call these people smart well, when you have had days in the sun, there comes a time when you need to just sit down

    September 29, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    Don't count on Gingrich implementing his Contract with America any time soon.

    September 29, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. Ken

    This is the worst plan I have ever heard. He didn't even give Obama a chance after 1 day in office. And Gingrich wants two years of this nonsense?

    September 29, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
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