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 Among other things, the former House Speaker promises that in a Gingrich administration: "Obamacare" would be fully repealed, tax cuts and regulatory reforms would spur job creation, Americans would be able to choose between the current tax system or a new flat tax rate, and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. no1atall

    Get lost Gingrich.

    September 30, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  2. Patriot

    Hey Newt-Here's your two terms:
    Never Ever......

    September 30, 2011 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  3. ohsnap

    So you say you'll need 2 terms, but you guys were on President Obama before he was in office for one year. That's REAL fair! The President never promised instant change (many unrealistic people are still impatient). Politicians make me laugh uncontrollably. PS, I didn't vote for him.

    September 30, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  4. JN

    On the question of why he and his campaign doesn't resonate, Newt neglected to say that voters-Republican, Democrat and independent-all find him unelectable or did his former campaign workers.

    September 30, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  5. Mitt Romney

    Yeah...good luck with that.

    September 30, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  6. StevenB

    "I'll need two terms....." because the first 'Contract With America' didn't do nearly enough damage....

    Yes, it did, Newt.

    September 30, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  7. keeth

    No way.

    September 30, 2011 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  8. george of the jungle

    Newt you would need two lifetimes to get people to take you serious again.

    September 30, 2011 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  9. Jim

    But he's only willing to give Pres Obama two years to fix 8 years of Bush II and a massive economic meltdown? Wow.

    September 30, 2011 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  10. Pete from St Paul

    This man will be better off buying a double decker bed and sleep off his dreams. One for each of his imaginary terms.

    September 30, 2011 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  11. Loraine

    In your dreams, Gingrich!

    September 30, 2011 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  12. makesmesick

    This old guys time came and went back in the 90's...he proved himself to be wrong then and he is still wrong now. Hey Newt, no one gives a hoot!

    September 30, 2011 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  13. "The GOP biggest deception is getting the Poor and Middle class to believe they are out to help them"

    LOL...Don't you just love it, he understands that to implement his so call contract he needs two years. In other words nothing will happen over night and it takes time. Yeah just like what the President is trying to tell everyone NOW!! OBAMA 2012!!! Oh and why is he still in this campaign where is the money coming from and what purpose is he serving by staying in the race? Everyone knows he doesn't stand a snow ball chance in hell of getting the nomination!!!

    September 30, 2011 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  14. Ralph

    So Newt Gingrich wants to be given 2 full presidential terms to implement his latest iteration of his so called "contract with America"?

    I certainly hope he doesn't become president! Why? Because it will take at least one more term for Obama to undo the damage the last Republican president, GW Bush, did to the American economy!!

    September 30, 2011 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  15. Light In The Black

    ****** 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.
    Nope, he would only need one term to finish off what Bush/Cheney started.
    Maybe he is running for dictator for life.

    September 30, 2011 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  16. Marie MD

    Retread, didn't you already try this back in 1994? Whey are you even wasting your time and money. You are not even a blip on the radar.
    Go buy your wife more jewelry at Tiffanys and go take another Greek cruise.

    September 30, 2011 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  17. Rabin Pradhan

    lol. Good luck with one.

    September 30, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  18. don

    Newt, try to do it in NONE. There is no way you will ever get a chance to destroy this country again Even your own party knows better.

    September 30, 2011 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  19. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    His false promises, lies, fear mongering, and outright pandering have just become painful to listen to anymore while trying to keep a straight face. His true calling should have been used car salesman, snake oil salesman, or rainmaker.

    September 30, 2011 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  20. ardale

    I really think this guy believes he has a chance at nomination and election. maybe he and his third wife need another vacation.

    September 30, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  21. TomInRochNY

    Been there, done that, didn't want the t-shirt.

    September 30, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  22. Bill in Florida

    Sorry Newt; you're not getting anywhere near the White House for even one term, much less two.

    September 30, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  23. Mike

    Newt wants 2 terms but is only willing to give Obama 1. He's like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz...."If I Only Had A Brain".

    September 30, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  24. lgny

    I encourage everyone to read his plan.

    Some ideas there are good, some are loony, and some are repackaging of existing proposals. Whatever the case, as voters we should all be aware of each candidate's proposals.

    September 30, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  25. TM

    We didn't like the contract you took out on America last time. What makes you think we'll like a warmed over retread this time?

    September 30, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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