Newt Gingrich photo

Remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference

February 10, 2012

Download Newt's CPAC Handout


GINGRICH: Thank you, Callista. What she did not tell you, by the way, is I am a very bad golfer.


GINGRICH: I want to thank Dave Bossie, who has been such a great friend and partner with us on so many different projects. I also — just as a personal note — want to thank Ralph Hallow and CPAC for recognizing last night, Tony Blankley, who was such a great friend.


GINGRICH: And I want to thank the Newt 2012 volunteers who have been here working and made such a difference. We are a people-based campaign, and our volunteers are really important.


GINGRICH: I have spoken at CPAC many times. And CPAC was founded to challenge the Republican establishment.

The fact is: When Ronald Reagan came here in 1974 and gave his famous speech on bold colors, no pale pastels, that was a decade in from Reagan's first, great national speech for Barry Goldwater, A Time For Choosing.

When Reagan campaigned in 1980, you could see the gap between the Republican establishment and theconservative movement. Reagan campaigned on supply-side economics, lower taxes, less regulation, more American energy, place for people to create jobs. The establishment called it "voodoo economics."

The GOP establishment has a single word they use with contempt for conservative ideas:

They say they are "unrealistic."

So creating 16 million jobs under Reagan — "unrealistic."

Ending the Soviet Union — "unrealistic."

And Faith Whittlesey, who was in the Reagan White House and ambassador to Switzerland, wrote a brilliant piece recently for Newsmax, pointing out that the fight she and Iwere in as conservatives against the Republican establishment, over the very question of whether or not we should have an anti-Soviet campaign.

The 1994 "Contract with America" — "unrealistic."

The House Republican majority of 1994, which by the way, was elected by the largest one-party increase in an off year in American History — 9 million new voters — "unrealistic."

Reforming welfare — where two out of three people would go to work or go to school — "unrealistic."

Cutting taxes with the largest capital gains tax cut — first tax cut in 16 years — unemployment drops to 4.2 percent, 11 million new jobs — "unrealistic."

Four years of a balanced-budget — "unrealistic."


GINGRICH: For the Republican establishment, managing the decay is preferable to changing the trajectory because changing the trajectory requires real fight and requires a real willingness to roll up sleeves and actually take on the Left.

And that is why the Republican establishment, whether it is in 1996 or in 2008, can't win a presidential campaign because they don't have the toughness; they don't have the commitment; and they don't have the philosophy necessary to build a majority in this country.


GINGRICH: And let me say to the Republican establishment in this city — crony capitalism in Congress is fully as bad as crony capitalism on Wall Street, and they had better clean up the Congress if they expect to be reelected.


GINGRICH: Now, CPAC actually represents a 50-year struggle that goes back to the Draft Goldwater Movement in 1962. And the Tea Party versus the Republican establishment is, in many ways, the same fight. This has been going on for a half century.

And the core of it is very simple:

The conservative movement when it offers bold solutions to rally millions of Americans, not just Republicans, millions of Americans, Democrats, Independents, people who maynever have been in politics; then it wins decisively. 1980, 1984, 1994 are examples of that.

What I want to talk to you about today is bold solutions to get American working again, and I'm going to contrast it with the stupidity that comes from managing the decay.

Two examples: We won the Second World War from December 7, 1941 to August 1945.

I want you to lock this in your heads as an example of what America can do when you unleash the American people.

In 44 months, three years and eight months, we defeated Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan, 44 months.

Recently, it took 23 years to add a fifth runway to the Atlanta airport.

When people say you really can't control the border by January 1, 2014, they are describing the America that can't.

That is the establishment, America, tied up in bureaucracy, tied up in red tape, tied up in incompetence, tied up in interest groups.


GINGRICH: Let me be really clear, all of you have seen the Washington establishment and the Wall Street establishment pile on top of me. All of you have seen them say things that which is profoundly false. And there is a good reason they are doing it.

This campaign is a mortal threat to their grip on the establishment, because we intend to change Washington, not accommodate it.


GINGRICH: So let's say the speed, the toughness, the emphasis of the Second World War and let's take something we should make all of us optimistic: There is a world that works.

Most of it, but not all of it is in the private sector.

And there is a world that fails.

Most of it, but not all of it is in the public sector.

I will give you one single example: How many of you have ever gone online to check a package at UPS or FedEx? Raise your hand if you have ever checked for a package?

(Audience raises hands.)

GINGRICH: So virtually all of you. I want to stop for a second.

I want to drive this home.

This is not a theory: It is a practical reality that we have the technology that enables us to track between UPS and FedEx. We track 24 million packages a day while they are moving, and we allow you to find out where they are for free.

That is the world that works.

Now here's the world that fails: The federal government today cannot find 11 million illegal immigrants, even if they are sitting still.


GINGRICH: Now, I have a simple proposal: We send a package —


GINGRICH: To everyone who is here illegally, and when it is delivered, we pull them up on a computer. We know where they are.


GINGRICH: Let me say for my friends in the news media: That was hyperbole, and we don't need a fact check.

(Laughter and applause).

GINGRICH: Now, I am going to give you a series of solutions that are big enough to get America back on the right track. And I think this has been the greatest challenge of this campaign.

We have lots of bickering; we have lots of arguments about this and that. We have virtually no discussion of what does it really take to take the most complicated society in the world, the largest economy in the world, and move it back to being the most successful, most prosperous, safest and freest country in the world.

So I am going to try this afternoon to set the stage for that.

And we have tons of details at — any of you want, to just go to my first name dot org. You will see an immense amount of material.

But the standard here is that solutions big enough to get America working again — and the principle is to unleash the American people to rebuild the America we love.

Let me start with jobs: If I am the nominee, with your help, I will ask the entire Republican ticket to campaign with me on the pledge that when the Congress comes in on January 3, it will stay in session, and by January 20, when I am sworn in, it will have repealed Obamacare.


GINGRICH: It will have repealed Dodd-Frank.


GINGRICH: It will have repealed Sarbanes-Oxley.


GINGRICH: All three of those are job killing bills, which centralized bureaucracy in Washington DC and increased the corruption of the political system. All three should be repealed and held at the desk until I am sworn in. That afternoon, on the very first day, we should sign the repeal of all three. That's a reasonable start.


GINGRICH: Two hours after the Inaugural Address — that was just the hors d'oeurve. We haven't got around to serious work, yet.

After the Inaugural Address, I will spend it signing executive orders and presidential findings. All of them will have been published by October 1. The country will know precisely what this campaign is about.

The very first executive order will abolish all of the White House czars, as of that moment.


GINGRICH: We will sign, that day, an executive order, which as of that moment, approves of the Canadian pipeline to Houston, period.


GINGRICH: My message to Prime Minister Harper and the Canadian government is simple: You do not need a partnership with the Chinese. Give the American people a few months. When we beat Obama on election night, you can start buying equipmentbecause we will approve it on January 20th.


GINGRICH: There will be an executive order to move the State Department, to put the embassy in Jerusalem as of that day, period.


GINGRICH: We will, that day, reinstate Ronald Reagan's "Mexico City Policy" — No money for abortion overseas, period.


GINGRICH: And we will have an executive order to repeal every act of religious bigotry by the Obama administration period.

My goal, with your help, is that by the time President Obama lands in Chicago, we will have repudiated at least 40 percent of his government on the opening-day.


GINGRICH: Let me talk now about how to create jobs: America works when Americans are working. The number one theme of the fall campaign will be a "Paycheck President" versus a "Food Stamp President." I believe we will win that fight by a huge margin.


GINGRICH: I worked with President Reagan, and in his eight years, we created 60 million jobs. I worked with President Clinton, and in those four years, we created11 million jobs and got down to 4.2 percent unemployment.

So how do you do it?

Really serious change.

And I have only one measure for what I'm about to tell you. I want the establishment to understand up front:

This is not about fairness. This is not about being revenue neutral, this is about maximizing economic growth to put Americans back to work and to create the most dynamic economy on the planet and to rebuild our manufacturing base, so we can pull away from China and we become once again the dominant country on the planet.


GINGRICH: So how do you do that?

First: You eliminate the capital gains tax, so it is a zero capital gains for all investments in the United States.


GINGRICH: Second: You go to 100 percent expensing, so all new equipment at every level, farmer factory, doctor, business, all of that gets written off in one year. The goal is to make the American system the most modern, most productive in the world.


GINGRICH: You also — if you are going to modernize the equipment, you want to modernize the workforce.

Unemployment compensation should be changed so that in order to get in employment compensation, you sign up for a business-led training program, so we are modernizing our workforce.


GINGRICH: Never again shall we pay somebody 99 weeks for doing nothing.


GINGRICH: In 99 weeks, you can earn an associate degree.

(Laughter and applause.)

GINGRICH: Think about the total waste of human capability when you teach people to sit at home for 99 weeks, fundamentallywrong and a violation of the Declaration of Independence — that we have the right to pursue happiness.


GINGRICH: Now if we're serious about manufacturing, we have to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, which is a job killing agency.


GINGRICH: We should replace it with a brand-new Environmental Solutions Agency made up of new people, and the number one requirement should be common sense.


GINGRICH: They should also have to take in to account, economics. The idea that the highest gas prices that we have had — they are looking at a regulation that would raise the price of gasoline $0.25 a gallon — tells you how utterly, totally irrational EPA is today and why we should replace it with a new agency, not try to reform it, because the people in it happen to be self-selected radicals who are antibusiness, anti-local control, and seek to dictate to America.


GINGRICH: We also need a 21st century Food and Drug Administration whose job is really simple: Get in the laboratory, understand the science, and accelerate getting it to the patient, so we save as many lives as possible, as rapidly as possible, and in the process, we create hundreds ofthousands of new jobs, dominating the world market in healthcare.


GINGRICH: We need a 12 and a half percent corporate tax rate. That is the Irish tax rate. It makes us tremendously competitive in the world.

It brings him $700 billion of profits that are locked up overseas.

It enables our companies to compete.

And I said to my liberal friends: At 12 and a half percent, General Electric will actually pay taxes.


GINGRICH: We should abolish the death tax permanently because it is an immoral tax.


GINGRICH: You know, when Governor Romney released his taxes, the Liberals were shocked. He was only paying 15 percent. Their answer was to raise his taxes. I'm a conservative. I believe our goal should be to get your taxes down to 15 percent.


GINGRICH: Now, how do you do that?

We have in my plan something we got from Hong Kong, care of Steve Forbes. Hong Kong has had for years a two track system: You can keep the current code, all the red tape, all the deductions, all the forms, or you fill in one page — here is how much I earned, here is how many dependents, here is 15 percent.

And here's what I want to say to the establishment:

They're going to jump up and say this is not revenue neutral. They are right. This is called a tax cut.


GINGRICH: And I have a simple principle and I want you to understand this; this is going to become a huge argument inside the Republican Party.

I worked and helped balance the federal budget for four consecutive years, the only four years in your lifetime.

So when people say Gingrich is being irresponsible, none of them have ever balanced the federal budget. We will get a federal budget balanced, but I have a simple principle:

My intention is to shrink spending down to the level of revenue, not to raise revenue up to the level of Obama spending.


GINGRICH: This is a fight we had in 1984 when we put in the no tax increase platform, which I worked with Jack Kemp and Trent Lott and Bob Kasten, against, by the way, the establishment.

And our principle was simple: We are not the tax collectors for the welfare state.

We are not assigned the job of going out to raise extra money so liberals can give it away.

We are, in fact, interested in a tax code that creates jobs, that maximizes freedom, the gives you a chance to take care of your family, your neighborhood, your charities, your church or synagogue, and that is a fundamentally different model than the establishment model, which is oriented towards government.

And we will not tax the American people for Barack Obama's credit card.


GINGRICH: Now, how do you get to a balanced-budget then?

You cut spending, you cut taxes to maximize economic growth, you reform government, and you use American energy.

At 4.2 percent unemployment, which was the rate when I left office, social security is safe for generation, a huge increase in revenue, and a big decline in cost.

You take people off of food stamps, off of Medicaid, you take them off of public housing, off of unemployment, off of welfare.

You put them to work paying taxes.

The government gets were more revenue without a tax increase.

The government spends less.

It is the first big step in balancing the budget.


GINGRICH: But let's talk about cutting spending: And this is what I mean by bold proposals, which will probably be labeled "unrealistic."

We should replace the 130-year-old civil service system and its regulations with a new model of modern management using systems like Lean Six Sigma.

And we should be prepared to save $500 billion a year in the operation of federal government and increase the economy by at least two trillion dollars a year by the simple elective of having the government cease to be incompetent, and efficient, and a hindrance to the future of the American system.


GINGRICH: We should look at cutting spending by looking at every single agency. And we should start by abolishing the Department of Energy, which has been a total failure since it was founded.


GINGRICH: We should apply the system of American Express, MasterCard, Visa to cutting out fraud. We can save 60 to $110 billion a year in Medicaid and Medicare alone by going to a modern system that works.

That is almost a trillion dollars a decade just in that one zone.

We should apply the Tenth Amendment — I'm delighted that Governor Perry has agreed to develop a project for this summer, for a contract this fall, and for a bill in January, a Tenth Amendment implementation to return power back home.


GINGRICH: We also have things on energy. I believe that we have an obligation to open up the American system to produce the maximum amount of oil and gas for three reasons: Keeping the 500 or $600 billion a year at home strengthens our economy.

If we maximize production, our goal should be to get back to $2 a gallon gasoline to prove to the American people that the free market works in a practical way that affects your life.


GINGRICH: Now, this isn't pie in the sky. This is pure supply and demand.

When you realize that North Dakota alone has 25 times as much energy as the US geological survey thought eight years ago, 25 times as much.

And we are not allowed to look at Alaska, where we own 69 percent — an area one and a half times the size of Texas.

We don't look offshore.

I mean Obama has been an anti-American energy president, and every American pays the price every time they go to a gas station.


GINGRICH: And I have a very simple principle: We want to ensure that no future president ever again bows to a Saudi King, period.


GINGRICH: We need to move towards a personal Social Security savings account for young Americans and taking Social Security offbudget for senior citizens. And we need to make sure that no politician ever again lies to our senior citizens by threatening to keep from them checks that they earned and that they deservebecause the trust fund is there, even if there is no trust in Barack Obama.


GINGRICH: We need to have a complete audit of the Federal Reserve to find out every single decision.

We deserve to know who got our money and why. If Bernanke has not resigned by the day I am sworn in, I will ask the Congress to pass a law ending his term.


GINGRICH: And we need a commission on gold and solid currency much like the one Ronald Reagan had in 1981. And I'm delighted that Lou Lehrman and Jim Grant has agreed that they are willing to serve as the chairmen.

Let me close on two big topics that are very, very important about the economy:

First: This administration is waging war on religion, but so are the courts. This is why we need a movement that is bigger than just beating Obama.

We need a movement that understands we're going to change the Congress, the White House, the bureaucracies, and where necessary, the courts. And we all need to understand how real this is.

This country was founded by people who came here in order to avoid religious persecution. The very basis of this country was religious liberty. Our core document says we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

And Barack Obama seeks to cut across those, and I frankly don't care what deal he tries to cut, this is a man who is deeply committed. If he wins reelection, he will wage war on the Catholic Church the morning after he is reelected.

We cannot trust him, we know who he really is and we should ensure the country knows who he really is.


GINGRICH: For those of you who don't understand what a real bold solution approach is — if you go to there is a 54 page paper that Vince Haley and I put together over a nine-year period that outlines how to rebalance the judiciary and how to reestablish the right of the people to protect themselves against dictatorial judges who are rewriting the Constitution rather than enforcing the Constitution.

It is a very serious topic.

Finally, this is an administration which lies about who our enemies are, refuses to tell the truth about what threatens us, is blind to the dangers we are running, seeks to weaken radically our defense system, has crippled our intelligence system, and is making a series of decisions around the world that are stunning in theirmisunderstanding of the nature of reality.

Today, we have Americans held hostage in Egypt, precisely like Jimmy Carter with hostages in Iran in 1979, 1980.

Today, we have the person who helped us find bin Laden — has been arrested by the Pakistani government.

Now what more do you need to know? They did not say, "Oh this is terrific. You helped find the most wanted terrorist in the world." They said, "This is terrible. How could you help the Americans?"

We need a profound national debate about our entire policy, and it needs to start by telling the truth about radical Islamists who seek to kill us.


GINGRICH: This is going to be — this is going to be a big choice, big decision election. I think — while I'm seeking the Republican nomination, it has to be an American campaign.

We want to say to every American — if you favor paychecks over food stamps, come join us, no matter what your background, no matter where you live.

We want to be with you in creating a work oriented jobs economy.

We want to say to every American: If you believe that honesty about our enemies, strengthening our defense, and competence in ourbeliefs is vital to our survival, come join us.

We don't care who you once were.

We don't care what you once did.

We need every American who wants to defend America to come together for this campaign.

And finally, we need to say to every American: If you believe in the Declaration of Independence, you believe in the Constitution, and you believe in the Federalist papers, then we want you to be with us.

We understand others will be with Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama, and radicalism.

But everybody who believes that we are endowed by our Creator, that our rights are unalienable, that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we want you to come from every background in every community of the country.

I need your help.

I hope you will go to

I hope you'll sign up.

We are running a people campaign.

We don't have the scale of money that some of our competitors do, but we do have a plan.

We are gathering together a team. We have a conservative dream team of people like Governor Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Fred and Jeri Thompson, Todd Palin, Chuck Norris, JC Watts, Kellyanne Conway, Linda Upmeyer, Oliver North, a tremendous team.

But in the end, we need you.

If we can be together, the many people — we love more names — go to and add more names —

I mean this — all the years I have worked in this party — this is the year to reset this country in a decisive, bold way.

We need to teach the Republican establishment a lesson.

We are determined to rebuild America, not to manage its decay.

And with your help, that is what we will do.

Thank you, good luck, and God bless you.


Newt Gingrich, Remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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