Remarks in Manchester Following the New Hampshire Primary
I want to thank each and every one of you. I also want to thank all of the people around the state of New Hampshire who were so warm and so generous to Callista, to Kathy, and to Jackie, and me everywhere we went. It was remarkable how many people were positive and how many people were actively supportive and helpful. And I'm delighted to have this chance to spend time and learn more about the key concerns here.
And I want to thank everybody here who has been helpful to us, particularly Speaker O'Brien, who just did a great job, and Laurie Sanborn, who has been tremendous. [applause]
One of the great virtues of running is that everywhere you go, you learn something. You pick up a better understanding of America. And I have to say that the leadership that Speaker O'Brien and the House showed in developing a brand new approach that I hope will be adopted everywhere in America, where they actually has the Ways and Means Committee report first and it indicated how much money they would have. And they then actually adopted a budget to fit their income, which is the opposite of every state that I know of in the country, which writes a budget and then tries to go find more of your money to fill in what they think they need. And the result was a very courageous and a very serious effort in which they cut 11% out of spending, which is a remarkable achievement, which if accomplished in Washington would begin to move us back on the right track. So speaker, I really commend you for the leadership. [applause]
This is step two of a long process. And having been both a historian and I've been active a long time, you learn certain things. So let me put in context where we are.
We have an opportunity, I think, to unify the country around a message of jobs, economic growth, and very dramatic programs. That opportunity is to reach out to everybody of every background who would rather have paychecks than food stamps. To convince them what Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s in creating millions of new jobs, what we did when I was speaker in the 1990s in creating millions of new jobs, can be done again.
This campaign is going to go on to South Carolina. [applause]
And we're going to offer the American people something very different. We're going to offer them an opportunity to participate in a very dramatic, very fundamental change in Washington, D.C. And we're going to prove that I both understand the principles and I understand the practice. I learned a lot of those principles from Ronald Reagan and from Margaret Thatcher. I got to practice them as a junior congressman working with President Reagan. I got to practice them as speaker working with Bill Clinton.
And I want to suggest to you when Ronald Reagan was president, we had to find ways to get votes through the House despite the fact that Tip O'Neill was speaker. When I was speaker, we had to find a way to get bills signed despite the fact that Bill Clinton was president. I believe if we had a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Gingrich presidency, it would be amazing how much we could get done and how rapidly we'll get it done. [applause]
So we're going to South Carolina tonight and kick off tomorrow morning a campaign for jobs and economic growth, a campaign for a balanced budget, a campaign for returning power to the states – the 10th amendment, a campaign for a strong national security, a campaign for a stable, solid Social Security program both for people now on it and for the young people who are here who deserve a chance in their lifetime to have an even better program with an even greater return.
Because if we are smart, we can do better things for people.
The Washington alternative – how do we raise taxes and cut spending in a way that causes you pain on the spending side and causes you pain on the tax side – is exactly backwards.
I was really shocked – this is part of learning. When we had a debate the other day and we were asked a question about LIHEAP, the heating assistance program. It was phrased in a perfectly Washington way. Are you going to run a bigger deficit so you can help more people or are you going to cut people off and hurt them so you can shrink the deficit? Nobody on the panel asking the question seem to consider an alternative. What if we simply went out and developed American oil and gas, brought down the cost of heating oil, and didn't need to help people because the price came down? [applause]
That idea of doing more and doing it better does not exist in Washington lexicon. And it makes it so hard for our news media friends to cover because it's so strange. [laughter]
What if you're just innovative? What if you just have new approaches? What if you just did everything Americans have always done?
The fact is the entrepreneurial free enterprise system, which attracted people from Benjamin Franklin to the Wright brothers to Henry Ford, to Thomas Edison, to Bill Gates, to Steve Jobs. That model of maximizing the development of new approaches, new energy, new opportunities, new technology has raised the standard of living of people across this planet more than any other system in the history of the world. [applause]
With your help... [applause]
You've been wonderful to us here. And I'm asking each of you not to slow down. In the next couple of days, make a list of every person you know in South Carolina and every person you know in Florida 'cause those are the next two great contests.
And I believe as we get to South Carolina, as the choice becomes clear, as people understand that there is a bold Reagan conservative Republican approach of lower taxes, less regulations, more American energy, a sound dollar, and actually being in favor of creating jobs – the opposite of the Obama program of higher taxes, more regulations, less American energy, and attacking the people who created jobs. Look at those two models. I believe we can reach out and we can create a majority that will shock the country and a majority that will begin to put us back in the right track. It is doable. It is a daunting challenge. But consider the alternatives.
If we do not go the extra mile and we do not offer a vision powerful enough to unify Americans and we continue down the road that Obama has us on. But more than Obama – the bureaucracy that has us on, the judges have us on, the entire pattern of how Washington operates has us on. More years of decay, more years of inadequacy, more years of falling behind, more years of growing weakness. That's the alternative.
I believe that it will take someone who is capable of debating Barack Obama face-to-face, delivering the conservative message, winning the argument in order to overcome his billion-dollar machine. With your help, as your spokesperson representing your values on behalf of our children, our grandchildren, and our country, I will do everything I can to win the opportunity to represent you this fall in debating and defeating Barack Obama.
Thank you. Good luck, and God bless you.
Newt Gingrich, Remarks in Manchester Following the New Hampshire Primary Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/299476