Newt Gingrich photo

Remarks in Orlando Following the Florida Primary

January 31, 2012


Thank you all very, very much. And thank all of you up here. I particularly want to start by thanking Attorney General Bill McCollum, who just has been a great state-wide leader and has done so much to help us and he and Ingrid have just been tremendous.

I also want to thank Mayor Krotty and Adam Levine who co-chaired statewide and really helped us put this together in a remarkably short time. And so we're very grateful to all of you.

I also want to introduce my daughter Kathy and her husband, Paul, they live down in Key Biscayne. [cheers and applause]

And I'm very proud of Kathy because she did a whole series of Spanish language media over the last couple of weeks helping us in the Miami area, and really reaching out across all the Spanish community and also my daughter Jackie and her husband Jimmy who are here. [cheers and applause]

And Jackie has been -- Jackie has been doing speeches, doing television and radio. And as many of you know, she is the -- she and Jimmy are the mother and father of my two major debate coaches, Maggie and Robert. So it's great to have them here.

I want to thank Floridians. Callista and I talked about this. And everybody here has been so positive in every part of the state, that we just thank all of you for the hospitality and the kindness. We thank the well over a half million Floridians who voted for us.

And I think Florida did something very important, coming on top of South Carolina. It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, Newt Gingrich, and the Massachusetts moderate. [cheers and applause]

And the voters of Florida really made that clear. Now you'll notice a number of folks are holding up a sign about 46 states to go. [cheers and applause]

We did this in part for the elite media, because, you know, the same people who said I was dead in June and July, and said I was gone after Iowa, who seemed totally quiet the night of the South Carolina victory, are now going to be back saying, what's he going to do? What's he going to do? What's he going to do?

So I just want to reassure them tonight, we are going to contest every place and we are going to win and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August. [cheers and applause]

CROWD: Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt.

GINGRICH: Now, you might ask, in the face of a 5-1 onslaught, how can that be true? And I'll give you the answer. It was stated at an historic moment in 1863, in dedicating our first National Military Cemetery by the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who said we have government of the people, by the people, for the people. And we're going to have people power defeat money power in the next six months. [cheers and applause]

And you might say, how are we going to do that? Well, the same way that we came back in June and July and by December, we're ahead in the Gallup poll nationally by 12 or 13 points with no money. It turned out that if you have ideas and you have solutions and you're positive and you can communicate a better future, and you have a history of actually doing something in the past, that the combination begins to reach to the American people.

So let me talk briefly about what this is going to be about. This is the most important election of your lifetime. [cheers and applause]

If Barack Obama gets re-elected, it will be a disaster for the United States of America. Make no bones about it. If he can have a record this bad, unemployment this bad, deficits this bad, policies this bad, gasoline prices this high, and still get re- elected, you can't imagine how radical he'll be in his second term.


GINGRICH: So designing and putting together a people's campaign, not a Republican campaign, not an establishment campaign, not a Wall Street funded campaign, a people's campaign, and saying to every American of every background and every ethnic group and every community, we have a better future for you and your family. It's a future of jobs, it's a future of lower gasoline prices, it's a future of a balanced budget, it's a future of a smaller Washington, it's a future of more power back home to you and your family and your neighborhood.

This is a future we ask you to join us in imposing on the establishment in Washington and imposing it on both parties. [cheers and applause]

Let's talk briefly about the power of ideas. In 1980, I was very honored to be able to help put together the first Capitol Steps event. And at that point, Senate and House candidates came together with Governor Reagan. David Broder wrote about it in the "Washington Post" as a very courageous decision by Reagan because he didn't have to run as part of a team. And he did something nobody had done before. And we won six U.S. Senate seats by a combined margin of 75,000 votes and we picked up 33 House seats.

In 1994, building on that experience, we got 350 candidates to come and to be part of a "Contract with America," to stand on the capitol steps. We offered a positive program and we had the largest one-party increase in American history in an off-year. Nine million additional Americans voted for a positive vision and we kept our word and every item on the contract was voted on in the first 93 days. [cheers and applause]

There's a core question both in the primaries and in the general election. A simple question. If you're comfortable with the way America is decaying, then we don't have to change much. We can just manage the decay. If you think that's a terrible thing to do to your children and grandchildren, it's a terrible thing to do to your country, and if you are prepared to do what it takes to make sure that we change direction, not just the presidency, but the Congress, the bureaucracy, the judges, the policies, so that the entire system gets on the right track, so that America can give our children and grandchildren a more prosperous, a safe and better future, this is how big the gap is.

But there are folks over here in both parties who are quite comfortable managing the decay. I am running, Callista and I made the decision to run, our children, our son-in-laws joined us in that decision because we believe it is cheating our grandchildren to not insist on fundamental basic change in Washington, even if the establishment doesn't like it. [cheers and applause]

CROWD: Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt.

GINGRICH: In the next few days, we're going to develop the equivalent of the contract from 1994, except this is going to be a personal one between me and you, because I'm asking you to make me president and therefore, I have a personal responsibility. It's going to come in two parts. Part one is conditional and requires your help. Part two, I can do if I win the election, without having to condition it.

Part one only works if you help me and we run a team campaign, which means, by the way, we have to replace Bill Nelson with a conservative. [cheers and applause]

But if you help us, and in addition to winning the presidency, we elect a Republican Senate and a Republican House, I will ask them on January 3rd to stay in office, and I will ask them to immediate pass the repeal of Obama-care. [cheers and applause]

I will ask them to immediately pass the repeal of the Dodd-Frank bill, which is killing housing, killing small business and killing independent banks. [cheers and applause]

And I will ask them to pass the repeal of Sarbanes- Oxley, which is crippling American businesses with no net profit. [cheers and applause]

And my goal is to have all three bills sitting there, waiting, so the minute I am sworn in, I can sign all three and we're off to a pretty good opening morning. [cheers and applause]

Now those three promises are conditional. We have to win the Senate by a big enough margin to manage it and we have to increase our strength in the House. Help me do that, I'll do those three.

Now let me tell you some things and we're going to put this together in a way that you'll be able to see in writing with my signature and you'll be able to hold me accountable. There are a series of executive orders I can issue that the Congress can't stop as long as they're within the law. The very first executive order will abolish all of the White House czars as of that moment. [cheers and applause]

We will issue immediately an executive order on the same day. All of this is going to happen about two hours after the inaugural address.


GINGRICH: OK? No point in hanging out and having fun. Before we get to go to the various balls that night, we're going to have a work period. This is going to be a working presidency.


GINGRICH: I may not get in as much golf as Obama, but I'll get in a lot more job creation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right. [cheers and applause]

GINGRICH: And I tell you up front, I'm not going to compete with Obama in singing because I'm not running for entertainer-in-chief, I'm running for president. [cheers]

And I would say to him now, Mr. President, you cannot sing your way past the disaster of your presidency. [cheers and applause]

Now, we will immediately -- you know, I forgot my teleprompter, I said to my staff earlier. [laughter]

I mean, I'm having to wing this because of the staff failure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't need it.

GINGRICH: So we're going to sign on that day the authorization for the immediate deployment of the Keystone Pipeline as of that day. [cheers and applause]

My message to the people of Canada is, don't cut a deal with the Chinese. Help is on the way, by January, you're going to build the right pipeline to the right place. [cheers and applause]

I'll just give you a couple more. We're going to put together a package. You're going to see, this is what a serious conservative president is like, who is bold and is prepared to change Washington despite the screams of the establishment on both parties. So a couple more steps. We will on that day sign an executive order that will instruct the State Department that day to open the embassy in Jerusalem and recognize Israel. [cheers and applause]

CROWD: Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt, Newt.

GINGRICH: Just two more examples. I will sign on that day an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan's Mexico City policy, no U.S. money will go anywhere in the world to pay for abortion, period. [cheers and applause]

And finally, many of you may have noticed that the Obama administration has declared war on the Catholic Church and other religious institutions. I want you to know that on the very first day, I will sign an executive order repealing every anti-religious act of the Obama administration as of that moment. [cheers and applause]

The reason I am comfortable telling you all this is I have been studying what America needs to do since the fall of 1958, when my dad was stationed in Europe in the army. I have been working at what we need to do, as congressman, speaker of the House, in the private sector.

I believe it is possible to get this country back on track. My commitment is to unleash the spirit of the American people, to find new and innovative and positive things, to do them seven days a week, to do them relentlessly, to do them without stop, to make sure that we have fundamentally gotten America back on the right track.

And I pledge to each and every one of you personally, if you will reach out across the country, if you will use Facebook and YouTube and Twitter, and phone calls and even visits, if you will tell all of your friends in the other 46 states that there is a chance to nominate a conservative who knows what he is doing, who has done it before, and who has the courage and determination to get it done, I promise you that if I become your president, I pledge to you my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. This is about America.

Thank you. Good luck and God bless you.

Newt Gingrich, Remarks in Orlando Following the Florida Primary Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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