Heard on the Hill

Newt, Through the Years

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich ended his GOP presidential run last week with a speech in Arlington, Va., alongside his wife, Callista, but we feel it is worth revisiting Gingrich’s words of wisdom from years ago. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich left the building last week, or at least the GOP presidential race. Much of Gingrich’s race was defined by his comments about moon colonies and child janitors. But we at HOH felt some of his quotes from more distant times were worth revisiting. Much obliged to Amy Bernstein and Peter Bernstein’s “Quotations From Speaker Newt” for the compilation.

“[My ambition] is to be an old-time political boss in 20 years.” Atlanta Journal, July 22, 1974

“I have an enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it.” Washington Post, Jan. 3, 1985

“I am not a pathologically confrontational person. And I am not in any significant way an extremist. I was a backbencher who knew that in order to be effective, you had to use certain techniques.” Atlanta Magazine, January 1990

“Since I was nine, I’ve been oriented toward facilitating the media.” Los Angeles Times, Aug. 5, 1991 “People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz. I see evil all around me every day.” Atlanta Constitution, Jan. 17, 1994

“As an elected official, I can hold a press conference and that’s a source of real power. … The ambitions that this city focuses on are trivial if you’re a historian. Who cares?” Washington Post, Jan. 3, 1985 “Don’t try to educate them [the voters]; that is not your job. You’re in the politics business.” Speech to College Republicans in Atlanta, June 24, 1978

“A mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways. Ambient light covering entire areas could reduce the current danger of criminals lurking in darkness.” “Window of Opportunity,” 1984

“If the Congress were to focus on making D.C. a decent, humane place and let the 50 governors focus on the rest of the country, I suspect that we’d be a better society.” “Meet the Press,” Dec. 4, 1994

“A health tax on the alcohol and tobacco industries would begin to recoup the costs they impose on society at large and would have two beneficial side effects: We would marginally discourage alcohol and tobacco abuse, and we would encourage people to watch what they drink and smoke.” Policy Review, summer 1984

“I don’t do by planning, I plan by doing.” Roll Call, Dec. 12, 1994

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