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 Among other things, the former House Speaker promises that in a Gingrich administration: "Obamacare" would be fully repealed, tax cuts and regulatory reforms would spur job creation, Americans would be able to choose between the current tax system or a new flat tax rate, and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. eg48

    thats two more than your are going to get

    September 29, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Whoosh

    GOP Fire up for 2012 they say. One even predicts a champagne party. I'll say this today and I will say "I told you so" on Nov 7,2012. Presidaent Obama will be re-elected. Your polls, your enthusiasm was wrong 2.5 years ago and your data and enthusiam is wrong today. Remember, You are not the majority any more. Sorry...OBAMA 2012

    September 29, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  3. JimmyNelson

    as an Independent that voted, and will vote again, for Obama. Gingrich is a smart man in some areas and I definitely agree with him on some things. but I would not be able to support him for President. the GOP just really scare me right now with the way they are acting and talking. Jon Huntsman is the only one that I believe has the smarts and civil discorse to actually be President, from that field of candidates.

    September 29, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. Tony in Maine

    President-for-life Newtie should just about do in the United States. we wouldn't even be the leader of the Third World. But, the Koch boys would be richer and that's what really counts, isn't it.

    September 29, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. Stoneoak

    So if he doesn't accomplish anything in 4 years it's not his fault cause we didn't vote him in twice? Dream on Newt!

    September 29, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Sandy

    LMAO! But Repubs wanted Obama to fix THEIR mess in just two years–really they have been hollering since day one Obama has been in office.

    September 29, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Radical Independent

    This is the intellectual guy in the Republican Party. Really.

    After he repeals Obamacare, what does he propose to do about the sky-rocketing cost of health care?

    "We need a citizen-centered model that uses social media." Good idea.

    Fast talking bonehead. When he has something worthwhile to say, come on. This, though, is huffing and puffing. It's depressing to realize that some people think that he is smart.

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

    Sure Newt, the GOP gave Obama less than two years to clean up 8 years of the Bush/Chenney mess but Newt says he will need 8 years to undo Obama's one term. Do the math Newt if you get elected potus in 2012, you get one year to "fix" the economy while dems fillabuster, block, obstruct your plans at every turn.

    September 29, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Weasley

    Two terms? Hilarious. When President Obama entered the Oval Office, the American economy was in the worst shape since the Great Depression. Anyone with half a brain knew it would take at least two terms to fix. Then along came the Tea Party, who seemed to think 24 months was long enough.

    I'd rather see a swarm of zombies take over the government, than the Tea Party. Even though zombies are dead, I'm convinced they are smarter than Teabaggers.

    September 29, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  10. Liz the First

    Eight years of bush didn't finish off the country and now this bozo wants eight years to finish the job. he wants to undo all the good Obama has done to keep us from sliding into another Great Depression. yes, things are not as good as he promised. but he actually thought the repugs would work with him to rebuild the country. that was Obama's main mistake, thinking repugs had the country's best interest at heart. looks like he's finally figured out that they are an enemy to be vanquished, not his partners in government. there's talk the rethug base is more fired up than we are. We need to channel the anger and frustration with the party of NO putting greed ahead of country and trying to make the president AND the country fail. we need to flush the rethugs from government and into the sewers of history where they belong. our country will really start to recover when people stop putting people who hate government IN government. government is broken now, and the rethugs broke it.

    September 29, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. Mike Buck

    No thanks Newt. I don't even want two minutes of you.

    September 29, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  12. zb

    It will probably take about 8 terms to undue what the Republican's did to the country during their 8 years under GWBush: Iraq war a lie; tax cuts to weathy caused deficits; economic meltdown due to free for all deregulation; millions of jobs to china thanks to shop till you drop mentality.

    What a joke; Obama saved us from a republican caused depression, got health insurance for 30 million uninsured; took a giant step forward for equal rights with the end of dont ask dont tell; and, oh yeah got Bin Laden. He had 2 years to do all that before the party of no made everything impossible. Talk about ignorance, lies, stupidity, hate and hypocricy, the republican/tparty takes the cake!

    September 29, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  13. Me

    Keep voting conservative, real Americans. I laugh every time one of you loses your home or you get some terrible disease that your health insurance doesn't cover or you lose your job to someone in Mexico. This Gen X rust-belt expatriat remembers what you right-to-work scabs did to our industrial jobs and families and communities in the 70's. Rot in hell, you ignorant hicks.

    September 29, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  14. Sorensen

    He is now totally delusional. This crap does not even help to sell another crazy book.

    September 29, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  15. Clint, Wa.

    2 terms (8 years), and the republican party (including this moron) were cirtical after only a few months that Obama was doing nothing. Obama was suppose to to it overnight, but he needs 2 terms (8 years), We have already had 8 years of Repubs, and look where it got us.

    September 29, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. beevee

    This is not going to happen in this lifetime. May be the next one.

    September 29, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. mt

    The next presidential inaugural address will not be in 2012. It will be in 2013.

    September 29, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  18. Christopher

    Will he also need two more wives to cheat on while he preaches the superiority of Conservative morality?

    September 29, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. Hangar 13

    Speaker Gingrich proposes some changes we can truly believe in. We've had three years of the Far Left's version of Hope and Change, and we'll be forced to endure a fourth year of it before it ends. Newt Gingrich is the one candidate who has the intellect, the practical experience, and the belief in the principles that define the American Experiment to take this country in the right direction. Unfortunately, I don't think Jersey Shore Nation has the attention span nor the cognitive ability to listen to what he says and understand his vision for America. If you doubt that, read the comments above and below this one.

    September 29, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  20. drlee

    Two terms. That is all it took for the last Republican to destroy our nation.

    September 29, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  21. Jilli

    I'm not buyin' what you're sellin' Newt. You're nothing but a grifter looking to fleece the rubes who still believe you're relevant.

    September 29, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  22. michael

    dream on it will never happen. he is in his own world. just let him be.

    September 29, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  23. thomas

    Wait your turn you power hungry Twiddle !

    Bush had his 8 years and you did nothing but lobby for a meltdown !

    If anybody has shown any integrity it is our President , not any of you or your GOP yes men who put us in this mess!

    Nut , your understanding that it's going to take more then four years is realistic , however your the architect that built a flowed foundation.
    Go put on your dress and promenade around the house wearing your Tiffany's jewelry ! Get a real job !

    September 30, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  24. krehator

    You must be kidding. Where have we heard this before? How did it work out?

    My God, does he really think people are stupid enough to buy into again?

    September 30, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Enigma

    He'll need two terms to implement his new 'Contract with America', but I'd need only one minute to tell him he's already out of the running.

    September 30, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
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