Gingrich urges GOP to see the light
March 16th, 2013
10:48 AM ET
9 years ago

Gingrich urges GOP to see the light

(CNN) - As Newt Gingrich laid out his ideas for the future of the Republican Party on Saturday, a light bulb appeared next to his head - quite literally.

The former House speaker and 2012 presidential candidate brought the light bulb and a wax candle as props to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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"Now the whole of Washington in both parties are prisoners of the past. They are trapped in the ideas and technology and mindset," Gingrich said. "They're all trapped in the age of candles."

He called on the conservatives gathered just outside Washington at the annual conference to consider big ideas - akin to moving from the age of candles to embrace the light bulb. He showed off his props in a short video posted online Friday.

The big ideas he pitched were for both for the GOP and the country.

"We stand today on the edge of a great future, but Washington is blind to it in both parties," he said.

Gingrich said the Republican National Committee's post-mortem on the 2012 election to be released next week is a first step forward for the party.

"The changes we need are vastly bigger and vastly deeper," he said.

And he suggested his role in the party's future would involve what he described as university-style courses, perhaps similar to those he offered at the Republican National Convention this summer. He also suggested earlier that he would have taught online from the White House had he been elected president.

Gingrich, a convert to Catholicism, also invoked the new Roman Catholic pope, who he said can inspire U.S. political leaders to more deeply consider the poor and issue of abortion.

"I think if we're a party that believes both in the right to life and in the right to a good life, we will be inevitably the majority party in the United States," he said.

Filed under: CPAC • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Yanni

    The fact that Gingrich is still relevant in the GOP shows that the party has stacked in the past. Never intend to solve problem but a lot of grandstanding and hysteria, gimmicks and tactics to win the politics of the day. This is a dead party looking forward it is magnificent burial service.

    March 16, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. nothing new here

    I agree that the Republican Party needs to be more focused on helping the common man, and not just the rich and corporations.
    But preserving life is more than screaming "abortion". The GOP needs to also value life by encouraging the development and use of birth control, stopping the endless wars, and revamping the criminal justice system. Long-term prison sentences should be for the violent career criminals, NOT people that possess small amounts of pot or a couple of non-prescribed prescription pills.

    March 16, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. nintex

    Only the Republican party is still living in the age of candles – haven't they noticed that President Obama is trying to lead the country to more green and sustainable energy sources – that he is pushing for more wind and solar sources of energy? He was also way ahead in using modern communication technology to reach Americans during his first campaign. As usual, the Republicans have a lot of catching up to do.

    March 16, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. GonzoinHouston

    My God, when Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove are considered moderates you know the GOP has gone off the deep end. You can make a legitimate argument that the far right is clinically out of touch with reality. They are embracing a reality that just plain does not exist, and pushing plans and programs that would destroy this country. I would have thought that the last two elections would have shocked them out of their delusional state but it has only made it worse. I'm not real comfortable with one party having all three seats in DC, but until the GOP gets its head unscrambled it will be the best option.

    March 16, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Thomas

    And he suggested his role in the party's future would involve what he described as university-style courses, perhaps similar to those he offered at the Republican National Convention this summer. He also suggested earlier that he would have taught online from the White House had he been elected president.

    If Newt was our Fearless leader , he would have taught us online ?
    This man looks in the mirror and see's Einstein or Churchill . Somebody please tell the unfortunate Newt , he is a used to be , has been . I'm serious people , has anybody read any of his as Newt see's it history books ? He turns facts into fantasies , distorting time and cause and effect . Welcome to Newts World , No Thank You !

    March 16, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |

    Poor = slave labor for corporate profits for GOP CEOs.

    March 16, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. rs

    Like Jindal and J. Bush, Gingrich's assessment is right. But really how bad is your situation when one Mr. Newt Gingrich is your voice of reason? The GOP is so far out in the weeds they may never make it back from TEA Partyland.

    March 16, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Just a minute

    For the GOP to move forward, they'd first have to accept that they aren't the party of the Bible. When the Catholic Church says they need to help the poor, and the right says the poor are mooches who won't take responsibility for their lives, there would seem to be a lot of Catholics in this country who have great disdain for what their religion truly stands for. You simply cannot wave a Bible and rewrite what it means without losing credibility as a good Christian.

    March 16, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Republicans will wake up one day and find themselves a minority party without relevance. California Republicans make up less than 30% of the voters. California Republicans foolishly argued for years that they only needed to stay true to their principles and convince the public. Sounds familiar? Karl Rove and establishment Republicans have a fight on their hands to recapture the heart and soul of the party from Tea Partiers and extreme social conservatives.

    March 16, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. GonzoinHouston

    To help the GOP understand the enormity of their latest loss, please consider that at the time of the election:
    The recession had dragged on for 4 years
    Unemployment was still painfully high
    The net worth of the middle class had shrunk
    HIllary was still SecState
    Gitmo was still open
    Troops were still in Afghanistan
    and Obama was still black.

    All that and Citizen's United allowing unlimite money to boot, and you STILL managed to lose? This should tell you that something is seriously wrong with your party. You haven't learned it yet; will you learn it when you hear the words "Speaker Pelosi"? No? How about when you hear "President HIllary Clinton".

    March 16, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Justjean

    A house divided. Seems it may be some time before the GOP realizes it cannot stand when they are continually negating their foundational history while trying to extend into theology and protect the rich at the same time. Most people cannot stand the dissonance and vote accordingly.

    Let's keep government out of the church and the church out of government. It is enough that people of principal allow those principals to guide their own lives. America is not about overseeing everyone's day to day morality.

    March 16, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Dave Harris

    Did Newt actually say anything at all? What are these big changes he's talking about? Most Republicans don't want to change anything about themselves, since they're perfect already. They want the rest of us to become as crazy and delusional as they are. It's not going to happen.

    March 16, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    He may be smoking in his back-yard or barn..

    March 16, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Pete

    @just a minute,and guess who's the new spokeman of the catholic church,none other than that multi adultress affairs Newt Gingrich,exspeaker of the house..Now let's talk about the hypocracy of republicans and how they handle others,the ones they obviously rail against ..Like you said against minorities but now have Rubio as speaker,what a laugh,an exCuban from Miami talking political trash to Californias Mexicans really entertaining..They rail against the poor,less fortunate and put up Santorum to cry alligator tears about a recently departed relative, right.And then they bring in Romney,Palin to show republicans who political losers really are with these fine examples of delushional fools that were thinking they'll change America to make it more likeable,palatable for themselves but quess what posters it sure didn't work did it!!

    March 16, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Really?

    Are you kidding me Newt? A lightbulb instead of candles? Lightbulbs were invented about 100 years ago! Which means the Republican party is moving forward but they are still a century behind! This analogy comes from a guy who converts to Catholisism for his 3rd marriage then extolls it's virtues when preaching about the future direction of the party! Don't know about the rest of the country but I'm seeing alot of red flags popping up here! I just hope he uses his new fangled 'lectrict lights' to read up on such things like...adultery, Jesus casting the money makers out of the temple, baring false witness on thy neighbor, freewill, hatred, treat thy neighbor as thyself etc. etc. I swear, Republican's are getting crazier by the minute!

    March 16, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Ray E. (Georgia)

    A word to the wise. You need to look after yourself. If you hand your life to someone else thay will never put you first. The Liberal's think they are helping you. So far they have put you in a nearly 17 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt with no end in sight. The Republician Party isn't your enemy, you are. But, it appears the peasants are still running the Asylum. Happy Landings !

    March 16, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. WhereIsPalin

    Newt Gingrich is telling us how to straighten out the GOP and the country. Precious!

    March 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Facts don't Lie

    When you look at the list of people that CPAC invited to speak...Allen West, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, and the head of the NRA does this show you that the GOP is ready to see the light? To me it shows they rather stay in the dark.

    March 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. lottie

    a party that invites the Donald and palin and excludes Christie is a doomed party. They have no new ideas and when you listen to paul then Rubio you see how far apart they are from each other. They are still clinging to the looser's and refuse to move forward. This is great news for democrats but bad for the country as a whole.

    March 16, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Larry L

    Gingrich is a smart, selfish man with deeply flawed character. He will do or say whatever is required to promote his personal agenda and those who trust him are truly naive.

    March 16, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. t

    ........There is NO LIGHT, where the GOP has it's head...................None at all.

    March 16, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hey Newt, keep talking... Republicans, listen and follow! We want to watch you continue to fall over the cliff!

    March 16, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |