Newt Gingrich is a former Speaker of the House (1995-1999) and represented the state of Georgia for two decades. During this time, he served in the Clinton impeachment trials, co-authored the “Contract with America”, enacted welfare reform, and in 1998, passed the first federal budget since 1969. After his leadership was questioned, and he was accused 84 times of being unethical, to which he was reprimanded once, he stepped down as speaker, and in January, 1999, he left the House of Representatives.
Since then, he has worked as an author and as a political consultant. On May 11, 2011, Gingrich announced his intentions to run for President of the United States. His campaign has been a roller coaster ride, with ups and downs along the way. He currently is tentatively holding second place, as one opponent, Rick Santorum, has dropped out of the race. Gingrich may have trouble pushing Romney for first place, as it is being reported that his money situation is in trouble.
So, where does Gingrich stand on the issues?
Gingrich is pro-life, and has supported the idea of a federal ban on abortion through his career. He is against Planned Parenthood and the use of embryonic stem cell research.
On Gay Marriage
Gingrich strongly opposes gay marriage and civil unions, and considers homosexuality to be a sin. He doesn’t think same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt, and is in favor of an amendment protecting “traditional families”, but has been criticized on his views, as he has been married three times.
On Gun Control
Gingrich is a firm supporter of the Second Amendment, and has said that bearing arms is a political right of the deepest importance to the survival of the country.
On Health Care
Gingrich has repeatedly spoken against the health care reform passed by Congress in 2009, calling it “socialism”. He supports a private based approach in which costs would be lowered by decreasing regulation and tax credits for the unemployed. This contrasts his views in 2006, when he favored Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts.
On Taxes/Deficit Spending
Gingrich thinks the United States must quit spending beyond its means and balance the budget. Gingrich believes that Congress must stop spending and that we could cut costs in half and reduce the deficit by downsizing the government.
Gingrich claims that he could balance the national budget within five years of taking office, and envisions a new Contract with America, in which the key is to create favorable economic conditions that would generate jobs and bring down unemployment figures to 5%. Gingrich proposes to do this using a five-point plan.
- Eliminating the National Labor Relations Board, replacing the Environmental Protection Agency and repealing ObamaCare.
- Cut regulations on financial institutions
- Employing a fiscal policy that is based on Reaganomics
- A one-year tax moratorium, coupled with the elimination of capital gains tax and bringing down the corporate tax rate to 12.5%
- Limiting unemployment benefits to a maximum of four weeks
On the War on Terror
Gingrich was a strong supporter of the war on terror and has continued to support American involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has questioned the decision to pull our troops out.
Gingrich has generally expressed support for increased border security and in the past has suggested implementing some sort of guest worker program which could potentially lead to citizenship for some immigrants.
Gingrich supports reforming education, calling for more teacher accountability and increased funding and standards for science and mathematics education.
On Capital Punishment
Gingrich supports capital punishment, and in 1995, he proposed that people caught smuggling over 100 doses of drugs across the border receive the death penalty.
One of the things voters hold against Gingrich is the scandals he has been involved in. He has been married three times, in multiple affairs, and was cheating on his wife during the Clinton impeachment trials. Click here to read the Huffington Post’s article on Newt’s love life.
He also has the skeleton in his closet from his days as Speaker of the House, in which he was reprimanded by the House for unethical behavior, violating House rules and misleading investigators. He was fined 300,000 dollars. (Romney was kind enough to remind him 15 years later on the anniversary of the event.)
Newt has the experience and background in politics. The question that voters seem to be asking, though, is this: Can we trust him?
(Note: This article does not reflect the views, opinions, or political affiliations of the author. Sorry, guys, that’s for me to know. I do, however, strongly urge that you do the research for yourself. Look up the candidates’ positions on the issues, know where they stand, so that you, as a voter, can make your choice as a well-informed citizen of the United States. For more information on Newt Gingrich, visit his website: http://www.newt.org/
For part one of my Meet the GOP piece, I wrote about Rick Santorum, which you can read here: https://bpete393.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/gop-santorum/
For part two of my Meet the GOP piece, I chose to write about Mitt Romney. You can view that here: https://bpete393.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/meet-the-gop-romney/
For the third part of my Meet the GOP, I wrote about Ron Paul, which you may read here: https://bpete393.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/meet-the-gop-ron-paul/