Gingrich Sees a Road Back to Power for GOP

Posted June 8, 2009 at 10:17pm

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) advised Republicans to stick to core principles of free markets, low taxes and strong faith to help them find their way out of the Congressional minority in a speech that lasted more than 45 minutes at Monday’s annual fundraising dinner.Republicans raised $14.45 million at their Senate-House fundraising dinner, where Gingrich called for his party to be open to views from all over the political spectrum. “I am happy that Dick Cheney is a Republican. I am also happy that Colin Powell is a Republican,— Gingrich said to a round of applause. “A majority Republican Party will have lots of debates between— its members. Gingrich cited other Republican turnarounds in the past century when his party rebounded from severe deficits in the House and Senate to come back to power in 1965, 1977 and 1993. “I am the only Speaker of the house since the 1920s to offer four consecutive balanced budgets,— Gingrich said. “And yes, I’m very comfortably telling that you that we can balance the budget again if we have the majority and we are in charge.—And despite the controversy over whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) would attend the Monday evening event, the former vice presidential candidate and her husband arrived at the dinner with minimal pomp and circumstance. Congressional Republicans originally announced Palin would headline the annual dinner, but the Alaska governor pulled out several months ago, and the party tapped Gingrich to speak in her stead. She announced Monday that she would attend the event, but it was made clear that she would not address the crowd. Gingrich noted that when he arrived with Palin, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) welcomed them.“Despite every effort of the elite media to prop up Joe Biden and make him seem like he knows what he’s doing, I couldn’t help but look at John McCain and Sarah Palin and think this country would have been better off,— Gingrich said. According to event organizers, about 150 Republican House Members and 33 GOP Senators attended the annual event for 2,000 people at the Washington Convention Center.Actor Jon Voight emceed the event, and Academy Award-winning actor delivered a strong criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, in particular what he viewed as his abandonment of Israel. Gingrich repeatedly referred back a comment Voight made “Don’t tell me that it can’t be done— in urging Republicans to believe that the party can take back both the Congress and the White House.Several other Members of GOP leadership addressed the crowd before dinner, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).