|Height:||190 cm (6' 3'')|
|Birth Day:||June 17, 1943|
|Birth Place:||Harrisburg, United States|
|#3||Jackie Gingrich Cushman||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||Jackie Battley||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#7||Marianne Ginther||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#10||Roberta Brown Gingrich||Sister||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||Callista Gingrich||Spouse||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||54||Political Wife|
He earned an M.A. and PhD in education from Tulane University in New Orleans before losing a bid to represent Georgia's 6th congressional district in 1974.
Gingrich was born as Newton Leroy McPherson at the Harrisburg Hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 1943. His mother, Kathleen "Kit" (née Daugherty; 1925–2003), and biological father, Newton Searles McPherson (1923–1970), married in September 1942, when she was 16 and McPherson was 19. The marriage fell apart within days. He is of English, German, Scottish and Scots-Irish descent.
In 1946, his mother married Robert Gingrich (1925–1996), who adopted him. Robert Gingrich was a career Army officer who served tours in Korea and Vietnam. In 1956, the family moved to Europe living for a period in Orléans, France and Stuttgart, Germany.
Gingrich has three younger half-sisters from his mother, Candace and Susan Gingrich, and Roberta Brown. Gingrich was raised in Hummelstown (near Harrisburg) and on military bases where his adoptive father was stationed. The family's religion was Lutheran. He also has a half-sister and half-brother, Randy McPherson, from his biological father's side. In 1960 during his junior year in high school, the family moved to Georgia at Fort Benning.
In 1961, Gingrich graduated from Baker High School in Columbus, Georgia, where he met, and later married, his math teacher. He had been interested in politics since his teen years. While living with his family in Orléans, France, he visited the site of the Battle of Verdun and learned about the sacrifices made there and the importance of political leadership.
Gingrich has been married three times. In 1962, he wed Jacqueline May "Jackie" Battley (February 21, 1936 – August 7, 2013), his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old and she was 26. They had two daughters: Kathy, who is president of Gingrich Communications, and Jackie Sue, who is an author, conservative columnist and political commentator.
Gingrich received a B.A. degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta in 1965. He went on to graduate study at Tulane University, earning an M.A. (1968) and a Ph.D. in European history (1971). He spent six months in Brussels in 1969–70 working on his dissertation, Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945–1960.
Gingrich was the southern regional director for Nelson Rockefeller in the 1968 Republican primaries.
In 1970, Gingrich joined the history department at West Georgia College as an assistant professor. In 1974, he moved to the geography department and was instrumental in establishing an interdisciplinary environmental studies program, which put him on the university's tenure track. He left the college in 1978 when he was elected to Congress.
In 1974, Gingrich made his first bid for political office as the Republican candidate in Georgia's 6th congressional district, which stretched from the southern Atlanta suburbs to the Alabama state line. He lost to 20-year incumbent Democrat Jack Flynt by 2,770 votes. Gingrich ran up huge margins in the suburban areas of the district, but was unable to overcome Flynt's lead in the more urban areas. Gingrich's relative success surprised political analysts. Flynt had never faced a serious challenger; Gingrich was the second Republican to ever run against him. He did well against Flynt although 1974 was a disastrous year for Republican candidates nationally due to fallout from the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration.
Throughout his congressional campaign in 1974, Gingrich was having an affair with a young volunteer. An aide who worked with Gingrich throughout the 1970s stated that "it was common knowledge that Newt was involved with other women during his marriage to Jackie." In the spring of 1980, Gingrich filed for divorce from Jackie after beginning an affair with Marianne Ginther. Jackie later said in 1984 that the divorce was a "complete surprise" to her.
Gingrich sought a rematch against Flynt in 1976. While the Republicans did slightly better in the 1976 House elections than in 1974 nationally, the Democratic candidate in the 1976 presidential election was former Governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter. Carter won more than two-thirds of the vote in his native Georgia. Gingrich lost his race by 5,100 votes.
As Gingrich primed for another run in the 1978 elections, Flynt decided to retire. Gingrich defeated Democratic State Senator Virginia Shapard by 7,500 votes. Gingrich was re-elected five times from this district. He faced a close general election race once—in the House elections of 1990—when he won by 978 votes in a primary race against Republican Herman Clark. Although the district was trending Republican at the national level, conservative Democrats continued to hold most local offices, as well as most of the area's seats in the General Assembly, well into the 1980s.
In September 1980, according to friends who knew them both, Gingrich visited Jackie in the hospital the day after she had undergone surgery to treat her uterine cancer; once there, Gingrich began talking about the terms of their divorce, at which point Jackie threw him out of the room. Gingrich disputed that account. Although Gingrich's presidential campaign staff continued to insist in 2011 that Jackie had requested the divorce, court documents from Carroll County, Georgia, indicated that Jackie had in fact asked a judge to block the process, stating that although "she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce ... she does not desire one at this time [and] does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken."
In 1981, Gingrich co-founded the Military Reform Caucus (MRC) and the Congressional Aviation and Space Caucus. During the 1983 congressional page sex scandal, Gingrich was among those calling for the expulsion of representatives Dan Crane and Gerry Studds. Gingrich supported a proposal to ban loans from the International Monetary Fund to Communist countries and he endorsed a bill to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a new federal holiday.
According to L. H. Carter, Gingrich's campaign treasurer, Gingrich said of Jackie: "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer." Gingrich has denied saying it. Following the divorce, Jackie had to raise money from friends in her congregation to help her and the children make ends meet; she later filed a petition in court stating that Gingrich had failed to properly provide for his family. Gingrich submitted a financial statement to the judge, which showed that he had been "providing only $400 a month, plus $40 in allowances for his daughters. He claimed not to be able to afford any more. But in citing his own expenses, Gingrich listed $400 just for 'Food / dry cleaning, etc.'—for one person." In 1981, a judge ordered Gingrich to provide considerably more; in 1993, Jackie stated in court that Gingrich had failed to obey the 1981 order "from the day it was issued." Jackie, a deacon and volunteer in the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Georgia, died in Atlanta at the age of 77.
In 1981, six months after his divorce from Jackie was final, Gingrich wed Marianne Ginther. Marianne helped control their finances to get them out of debt. She did not, however, want to have the public life of a politician's wife. Gingrich's daughter Kathy described the marriage as "difficult".
In 1983, Gingrich founded the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS), a group that included young conservative House Republicans. Early COS members included Robert Smith Walker, Judd Gregg, Dan Coats and Connie Mack III. The group gradually expanded to include several dozen representatives, who met each week to exchange and develop ideas.
Gingrich received deferments from the military during the years of the Vietnam War for being a student and a father. In 1985, he stated, "Given everything I believe in, a large part of me thinks I should have gone over."
In March 1988, Gingrich voted against the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (as well as to uphold President Reagan's veto). In May 1988, Gingrich (along with 77 other House members and Common Cause) brought ethics charges against Democratic Speaker Jim Wright, who was alleged to have used a book deal to circumvent campaign-finance laws and House ethics rules. During the investigation, it was reported that Gingrich had his own unusual book deal, for Window of Opportunity, in which publicity expenses were covered by a limited partnership. It raised $105,000 from Republican political supporters to promote sales of Gingrich's book. Gingrich's success in forcing Wright's resignation contributed to his rising influence in the Republican caucus.
In March 1989, Gingrich became House Minority Whip in a close election against Edward Rell Madigan. This was Gingrich's first formal position of power within the Republican party. He said his intention was to "build a much more aggressive, activist party". Early in his role as Whip, in May 1989, Gingrich was involved in talks about the appointment of a Panamanian administrator of the Panama Canal, which was scheduled to occur in 1989 subject to U.S. government approval. Gingrich was outspoken in his opposition to giving control over the canal to an administrator appointed by the dictatorship in Panama.
Gingrich and others in the House, including the newly minted Gang of Seven, railed against what they saw as ethical lapses during the nearly 40 years of Democratic control. The House banking scandal and Congressional Post Office scandal were emblems of the exposed corruption. Gingrich himself was among members of the House who had written NSF checks on the House bank. He had overdrafts on twenty-two checks, including a $9,463 check to the Internal Revenue Service in 1990.
In 1990, after consulting focus groups with the help of pollster Frank Luntz, GOPAC distributed a memo with a cover letter signed by Gingrich titled "Language, a Key Mechanism of Control", that encouraged Republicans to "speak like Newt". It contained lists of "contrasting words"—words with negative connotations such as "radical", "sick," and "traitors"—and "optimistic positive governing words" such as "opportunity", "courage", and "principled", that Gingrich recommended for use in describing Democrats and Republicans, respectively.
Due to population increases recorded in the 1990 United States Census, Georgia picked up an additional seat for the 1992 U.S. House elections. However, the Democratic-controlled Georgia General Assembly, under the leadership of fiercely partisan Speaker of the House Tom Murphy, specifically targeted Gingrich, eliminating the district Gingrich represented. Gerrymandering split Gingrich's territory among three neighboring districts. Much of the southern portion of Gingrich's district, including his home in Carrollton, was drawn into the Columbus-based 3rd District, represented by five-term Democrat Richard Ray. Gingrich remarked that "The Speaker, by raising money and gerrymandering, has sincerely dedicated a part of his career to wiping me out."
In 1993, while still married to Marianne, Gingrich began an affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek, more than two decades his junior. Gingrich was having this affair even as he led the impeachment of Bill Clinton for perjury related to Clinton's own extramarital affair. Gingrich filed for divorce from Marianne in 1999, a few months after she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The marriage produced no children. On January 19, 2012, Marianne alleged in an interview on ABC's Nightline that she had declined to accept Gingrich's suggestion of an open marriage. Gingrich disputed the account.
In the 1994 campaign season, in an effort to offer an alternative to Democratic policies and to unite distant wings of the Republican Party, Gingrich and several other Republicans came up with a Contract with America, which laid out 10 policies that Republicans promised to bring to a vote on the House floor during the first 100 days of the new Congress, if they won the election. The contract was signed by Gingrich and other Republican candidates for the House of Representatives. The contract ranged from issues such as welfare reform, term limits, crime, and a balanced budget/tax limitation amendment, to more specialized legislation such as restrictions on American military participation in United Nations missions.
Gingrich's view was however vindicated with the Republican Party's success in the 1994 U.S. midterm elections, sometimes referred to as the "Gingrich Revolution." Hopkins writes, "More than any speaker before or since, Gingrich had become both the strategic architect and public face of his party." One consequence of the increasing nationalization of politics was that moderate Republican incumbents in blue states were left more vulnerable to electoral defeat.
Among the first pieces of legislation passed by the new Congress under Gingrich was the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, which subjected members of Congress to the same laws that apply to businesses and their employees, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. As a provision of the Contract with America, the law was symbolic of the new Republican majority's goal to remove some of the entitlements enjoyed by Congress. The bill received near universal acceptance from the House and Senate and was signed into law on January 23, 1995.
Legislation proposed by the 104th United States Congress included term limits for Congressional Representatives, tax cuts, welfare reform, and a balanced budget amendment, as well as independent auditing of the finances of the House of Representatives and elimination of non-essential services such as the House barbershop and shoe-shine concessions. Following Gingrich's first two years as House Speaker, the Republican majority was re-elected in the 1996 election, the first time Republicans had done so in 68 years, and the first time simultaneously with a Democratic president winning re-election.
In 1996, after constructing two welfare reform bills that Clinton vetoed, Gingrich and his supporters pushed for passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which was intended to reconstruct the welfare system. The act gave state governments more autonomy over welfare delivery, while also reducing the federal government's responsibilities. It instituted the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which placed time limits on welfare assistance and replaced the longstanding Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Other changes to the welfare system included stricter conditions for food stamp eligibility, reductions in immigrant welfare assistance, and work requirements for recipients. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton on August 22, 1996.
A key aspect of the 1994 Contract with America was the promise of a balanced federal budget. After the end of the government shutdown, Gingrich and other Republican leaders acknowledged that Congress would not be able to draft a balanced budget in 1996. Instead, they opted to approve some small reductions that were already approved by the White House and to wait until the next election season.
A GOP amendment opposed by Clinton would not only have increased Medicare Part B premiums, but it would also cancel a scheduled reduction. The Republicans held out for an increase in Medicare Part B premiums in January 1996 to $53.50 a month. Clinton favored the then current law, which was to let the premium that seniors pay drop to $42.50.
By May 1997, Republican congressional leaders reached a compromise with Democrats and President Clinton on the federal budget. The agreement called for a federal spending plan designed to reduce the federal deficit and achieve a balanced budget by 2002. The plan included a total of $152 billion in bipartisan tax cuts over five years. Other major parts of the spending plan called for $115 billion to be saved through a restructuring of Medicare, $24 billion set aside to extend health insurance to children of the working poor, tax credits for college tuition, and a $2 billion welfare-to-work jobs initiative.
President Clinton signed the budget legislation in August 1997. At the signing, Gingrich gave credit to ordinary Americans stating, "It was their political will that brought the two parties together."
In 1997, President Clinton signed into effect the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which included the largest capital gains tax cut in U.S. history. Under the act, the profits on the sale of a personal residence ($500,000 for married couples, $250,000 for singles) were exempted if lived in for at least 2 years over the last 5. (This had previously been limited to a $125,000 once-in-a-lifetime exemption for those over the age of 55.) There were also reductions in a number of other taxes on investment gains.
Eighty-four ethics charges were filed by Democrats against Gingrich during his term as Speaker. All were eventually dropped except for one: claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. On January 21, 1997, the House officially reprimanded Gingrich (in a vote of 395 in favor, 28 opposed) and "ordered [him] to reimburse the House for some of the costs of the investigation in the amount of $300,000". It was the first time a Speaker was disciplined for an ethics violation.
Regarding the situation, Gingrich said in January 1997, "I did not manage the effort intensely enough to thoroughly direct or review information being submitted to the committee on my behalf. In my name and over my signature, inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable statements were given to the committee, but I did not intend to mislead the committee ... I brought down on the people's house a controversy which could weaken the faith people have in their government."
In his 1998 book Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Gingrich encouraged volunteerism and spiritual renewal, placing more importance on families, creating tax incentives and reducing regulations for businesses in poor neighborhoods, and increasing property ownership by low-income families. He also praised Habitat for Humanity for sparking the movement to improve people's lives by helping them build their own homes.
In early 1998, with the economy performing better than expected, increased tax revenues helped reduce the federal budget deficit to below $25 billion. Clinton submitted a balanced budget for 1999, three years ahead of schedule originally proposed, making it the first time the federal budget had been balanced since 1969.
Gingrich was widely lampooned for implying that the government shutdown was a result of his personal grievances, including a widely shared editorial cartoon depicting him as a baby throwing a tantrum. Democratic leaders, including Chuck Schumer, took the opportunity to attack Gingrich's motives for the budget standoff. In 1998, Gingrich said that these comments were his "single most avoidable mistake" as Speaker.
In 1998, Gingrich's private polls had given his fellow Republicans the impression that pushing the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal would damage Clinton's popularity and result in the party winning a net total of six to thirty seats in the House of Representatives. At the same time Gingrich was having an affair with a woman 23 years his junior. But instead of gaining seats, Republicans lost five, the worst midterm performance in 64 years by a party not holding the presidency. Other ethics violations including an unpopular book deal, added to his unpopularity even though he himself was reelected in his own district.
Additionally, the House Ethics Committee concluded that inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented "intentional or ... reckless" disregard of House rules. The Ethics Committee's Special Counsel James M. Cole concluded that Gingrich had violated federal tax law and had lied to the ethics panel in an effort to force the committee to dismiss the complaint against him. The full committee panel did not agree whether tax law had been violated and left that issue up to the IRS. In 1999, the IRS cleared the organizations connected with the "Renewing American Civilization" courses under investigation for possible tax violations.
The day after the election, a Republican caucus ready to rebel against him prompted his resignation of the speakership. He also announced his intended and eventual full departure from the House a few weeks later. In January 1999 he resigned his seat. When relinquishing the speakership, Gingrich referred to other Republicans when he said he was "not willing to preside over people who are cannibals,".
After leaving Congress in 1999, Gingrich started a number of for-profit companies: Between 2001 and 2010, the companies he and his wife owned in full or part had revenues of almost $100 million. Currently, Gingrich serves as an advisor to the Canadian mining company Barrick Gold.
The Gingrich Group was organized in 1999 as a consulting company. Over time, its non-health clients were dropped, and it was renamed the Center for Health Transformation. The two companies had revenues of $55 million between 2001 and 2010. The revenues came from more than 300 health-insurance companies and other clients, with membership costing as much as $200,000 per year in exchange for access to Gingrich and other perks. In 2011, when Gingrich became a presidential candidate, he sold his interest in the business and said he would release the full list of his clients and the amounts he was paid, "to the extent we can".
In August 2000, Gingrich married Callista Bisek four months after his divorce from Marianne was finalized. He and Callista live in McLean, Virginia.
Between 2001 and 2010, Gingrich consulted for Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored secondary home mortgage company, which was concerned about new regulations under consideration by Congress. Regarding payments of $1.6 million for the consulting, Gingrich said that "Freddie Mac paid Gingrich Group, which has a number of employees and a number of offices, a consulting fee, just like you would pay any other consulting firm." In January 2012, he said that he could not make public his contract with Freddie Mac, even though the company gave permission, until his business partners in the Center for Health Transformation also agreed to that.
In 2003, he founded the Center for Health Transformation. Gingrich supported the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, creating the Medicare Part D federal prescription drugs benefit program. Some conservatives have criticized him for favoring the plan, due to its cost. However, Gingrich has remained a supporter, stating in a 2011 interview that it was a necessary modernization of Medicare, which was created before pharmaceutical drugs became standard in medical care. He has said that the increase in cost from medication must be seen as preventive, leading to reduced need for medical procedures. In a May 15, 2011, interview on Meet the Press, Gingrich repeated his long-held belief that "all of us have a responsibility to pay—help pay for health care", and suggested this could be implemented by either a mandate to obtain health insurance or a requirement to post a bond ensuring coverage. In the same interview Gingrich said "I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate." This comment caused backlash within the Republican Party.
In 2005, with Hillary Clinton, Gingrich announced the proposed 21st Century Health Information Act, a bill which aimed to replace paperwork with confidential, electronic health information networks. Gingrich also co-chaired an independent congressional study group made up of health policy experts formed in 2007 to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of action taken within the U.S. to fight Alzheimer's disease.
Gingrich has served on several commissions, including the Hart-Rudman Commission, formally known as the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st century, which examined national security issues affecting the armed forces, law enforcement and intelligence agencies. In 2005 he became the co-chair of a task force for UN reform, which aimed to produce a plan for the U.S. to help strengthen the UN. For over two decades, Gingrich has taught at the United States Air Force's Air University, where he is the longest-serving teacher of the Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course. In addition, he is an honorary Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University and teaches officers from all of the defense services. Gingrich informally advised Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld on strategic issues, on issues including the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and encouraging the Pentagon to not "yield" foreign policy influence to the State Department and National Security Council. Gingrich is also a guiding coalition member of the Project on National Security Reform.
Between 2005 and 2007, Gingrich expressed interest in running for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. On October 13, 2005, Gingrich suggested he was considering a run for president, saying, "There are circumstances where I will run", elaborating that those circumstances would be if no other candidate champions some of the platform ideas he advocates. On September 28, 2007, Gingrich announced that if his supporters pledged $30 million to his campaign by October 21, he would seek the nomination.
Gingrich founded and served as the chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future, a 527 group established by Gingrich in 2007. The group was a "fundraising juggernaut" that raised $52 million from major donors, such as Sheldon Adelson and the coal company Peabody Energy. The group promoted deregulation and increased offshore oil drilling and other fossil-fuel extraction and opposed the Employee Free Choice Act; Politico reported, "The operation, which includes a pollster and fundraisers, promotes Gingrich's books, sends out direct mail, airs ads touting his causes and funds his travel across the country." American Solutions closed in 2011 after he left the organization.
Gingrich Productions, which is headed by Gingrich's wife Callista Gingrich, was created in 2007. According to the company's website, in May 2011, it is "a performance and production company featuring the work of Newt and Callista Gingrich. Newt and Callista host and produce historical and public policy documentaries, write books, record audio books and voiceovers, produce photographic essays, and make television and radio appearances."
In 2007, Gingrich authored a book, Rediscovering God in America, arguing that the Founding Fathers actively intended the new republic to not only allow, but encourage, religious expression in the public square. Following publication of the book, he was invited by Jerry Falwell to be the speaker for the second time at Liberty University's graduation, on May 19, 2007, due to Gingrich having "dedicated much of his time to calling [the United States of] America back to our Christian heritage".
Between 2008 and 2011, the company produced three films on religion, one on energy, one on Ronald Reagan, and one on the threat of radical Islam. All were joint projects with the conservative group Citizens United. In 2011, Newt and Callista appeared in A City Upon a Hill, on the subject of American exceptionalism.
However, insisting that he had "pretty strongly" considered running, on September 29 spokesman Rick Tyler said that Gingrich would not seek the presidency in 2008 because he could not continue to serve as chairman of American Solutions if he did so. Citing campaign finance law restrictions (the McCain-Feingold campaign law would have forced him to leave his American Solutions political organization if he declared his candidacy), Gingrich said, "I wasn't prepared to abandon American Solutions, even to explore whether a campaign was realistic."
In late 2008, several political commentators, including Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic and Robert Novak in The Washington Post, identified Gingrich as a top presidential contender in the 2012 election, with Ambinder reporting that Gingrich was "already planting some seeds in Iowa, New Hampshire". A July 2010 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling indicated that Gingrich was the leading GOP contender for the Republican nomination with 23% of likely Republican voters saying they would vote for him.
Gingrich Communications promoted Gingrich's public appearances, including his Fox News contract and his website, newt.org. Gingrich received as much as $60,000 for a speech, and did as many as 80 in a year. One of Gingrich's nonprofit groups, Renewing American Leadership, which was founded in March 2009, paid Gingrich Communications $220,000 over two years; the charity shared the names of its donors with Gingrich, who could use them for his for-profit companies. Gingrich Communications, which employed 15 people at its largest, closed in 2011 when Gingrich began his presidential campaign.
During the 2009 special election in New York's 23rd congressional district, Gingrich endorsed moderate Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava, rather than Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, who had been endorsed by several nationally prominent Republicans. He was heavily criticized for this endorsement, with conservatives questioning his candidacy for President in 2012 and even comparing him to Benedict Arnold.
Describing his views as a possible candidate during an appearance on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren in March 2009, Gingrich said, "I am very sad that a number of Republicans do not understand that this country is sick of earmarks. [Americans] are sick of politicians taking care of themselves. They are sick of their money being spent in a way that is absolutely indefensible ... I think you're going to see a steady increase in the number of incumbents who have opponents because the American taxpayers are increasingly fed up."
Raised as a Lutheran, Gingrich was a Southern Baptist in graduate school. He converted to Catholicism, the faith of his third wife Callista Bisek, on March 29, 2009. He said: "over the course of several years, I gradually became Catholic and then decided one day to accept the faith I had already come to embrace". He decided to officially become a Catholic when he saw Pope Benedict XVI, during the Pope's visit to the United States in 2008: "Catching a glimpse of Pope Benedict that day, I was struck by the happiness and peacefulness he exuded. The joyful and radiating presence of the Holy Father was a moment of confirmation about the many things I had been thinking and experiencing for several years." At a 2011 appearance in Columbus, Ohio, he said, "In America, religious belief is being challenged by a cultural elite trying to create a secularized America, in which God is driven out of public life."
As of May 2011, the company had about five employees. In 2010, it paid Gingrich more than $2.4 million.
Discussing the impact of the government shutdown on the Republican Party, Gingrich later commented that, "Everybody in Washington thinks that was a big mistake. They're exactly wrong. There had been no reelected Republican majority since 1928. Part of the reason we got reelected ... is our base thought we were serious. And they thought we were serious because when it came to a show-down, we didn't flinch." In a 2011 op-ed in The Washington Post, Gingrich said that the government shutdown led to the balanced-budget deal in 1997 and the first four consecutive balanced budgets since the 1920s, as well as the first re-election of a Republican majority since 1928.
According to financial disclosure forms released in July 2011, Gingrich and his wife had a net worth of at least $6.7 million in 2010, compared to a maximum net worth of $2.4 million in 2006. Most of the increase in his net worth was because of payments to him from his for-profit companies.
On March 3, 2011, Gingrich officially announced a website entitled "Newt Exploratory 2012" in lieu of a formal exploratory committee for exploration of a potential presidential run. On May 11, 2011, Gingrich officially announced his intention to seek the GOP nomination in 2012.
On June 9, 2011, a group of Gingrich's senior campaign aides left the campaign en masse, leading to doubts about the viability of his presidential run. On June 21, 2011, two more senior aides left.
In a 2011 interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gingrich addressed his past infidelities by saying, "There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." In December 2011, after the group Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government requested that he sign their so-called "Marriage Vow", Gingrich sent a lengthy written response. It included his pledge to "uphold personal fidelity to my spouse".
In April 2012, the Center for Health Transformation filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, planning to liquidate its assets to meet debts of $1–$10 million.
On January 3, 2012, Gingrich finished in fourth place in the Iowa Republican caucuses, far behind Rick Santorum, Romney, and Ron Paul. On January 10, Gingrich finished in fifth place in the New Hampshire Republican primary, far behind Romney, Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Paul.
On January 31, 2012, Gingrich placed second in the Republican Florida primary, losing by a fifteen percentage point margin, 47% to 32%. Some factors that contributed to this outcome include two strong debate performances by Romney (which were typically Gingrich's strong suit), the wide margin by which the Gingrich campaign was outspent in television ads, and a widely criticized proposal by Gingrich to have a permanent colony on the moon by 2020 to reinvigorate the American Space Program.
Gingrich did, however, significantly outvote Santorum and Paul. On February 4, 2012, Gingrich placed a distant second in the Nevada Republican caucuses with 21%, losing to Romney who received over 50% of the total votes cast.
On February 7, 2012, Gingrich came in last place in the Minnesota Republican caucuses with about 10.7% of the vote. Santorum won the caucus, followed by Paul and Romney.
After a disappointing second place showing in the Delaware primary on April 24, and with a campaign debt in excess of $4 million, Gingrich suspended his campaign and endorsed front-runner Mitt Romney on May 2, 2012, on whose behalf he subsequently campaigned (i.e. stump speeches and television appearances).
Gingrich's later books take a large-scale policy focus, including Winning the Future, and the most recent, To Save America. Gingrich has identified education as "the number one factor in our future prosperity", and has partnered with Al Sharpton and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on education issues. Although he previously opposed gay marriage, in December 2012, Gingrich suggested that Republicans should reconsider their opposition to it.
During the 2012 election campaign, Artinfo noted that Gingrich has expressed appreciation for the work of two American painters. He has described James H. Cromartie's painting of the U.S. Capitol as "an exceptional and truly beautiful work of art"; in Norman Rockwell's work, he saw the embodiment of an America circa 1965, at odds with the prevailing sentiment of the modern day "cultural elites".
CNN announced on June 26, 2013, that Gingrich would join a new version of Crossfire re-launching in fall 2013, with panelists S. E. Cupp, Stephanie Cutter, and Van Jones. Gingrich represented the right on the revamped debate program. The show was cancelled the following year.
In 2014, Gingrich sent a letter to Dr. John Koza of National Popular Vote, Inc. endorsing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, under which presidents would be elected by the national popular vote of the United States and not by the Electoral College.
Gingrich has taken a dim view of internationalism and the United Nations. He said in 2015, "after several years of looking at the UN, I can report to you that it is sufficiently corrupt and sufficiently inefficient. That no reasonable person would put faith in it."
In 2016, Newt Gingrich filed a debt settlement plan document with the Federal Election Commission indicating his 2012 presidential campaign would pay zero dollars toward the more than $4.6 million in unpaid debts owed to 114 businesses and consultants.
On July 14, 2016, Gingrich stated that he believes that Americans of Muslim backgrounds who believe in Sharia law should be deported, and that visiting websites that promote the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or Al-Qaeda should be a felony. Some observers have questioned whether these views violate the free speech and free exercise of religion clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
On July 21, 2016, Gingrich argued that members of NATO "ought to worry" about a U.S. commitment to their defense. He expanded, saying, "They ought to worry about commitment under any circumstances. Every president has been saying that the NATO countries do not pay their fair share". He also stated that, in the context of whether the United States would provide aid to Estonia (a NATO member) in the event of a Russian invasion, he "would think about it a great deal".
On December 7, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gingrich was condemned by many after he tweeted that "75 years ago the Japanese displayed professional brilliance and technological power launching surprises from Hawaii to the Philippines".
University of Maryland political scientist Lilliana Mason uses Gingrich's instructions to Republicans to use words such as “betray, bizarre, decay, destroy, devour, greed, lie, pathetic, radical, selfish, shame, sick, steal, and traitors” about Democrats as an example of a breach in social norms and exacerbation of partisan prejudice. Gingrich is a key figure in the 2017 book The Polarizers by Colgate University political scientist Sam Rosenfeld about the American political system's shift to polarization and gridlock. Rosenfeld describes Gingrich as follows, "For Gingrich, responsible party principles were paramount... From the outset, he viewed the congressional minority party's role in terms akin to those found in parliamentary systems, prioritizing drawing stark programmatic contrasts over engaging the majority party as junior participants in governance."
In May 2017, he promoted a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party had Seth Rich, an employee for the Democratic National Committee, killed during the 2016 presidential race.
Gingrich attended his wife's swearing-in as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See at the White House in October 2017.
Currently, Newt Gingrich is 78 years, 0 months and 5 days old. Newt Gingrich will celebrate 79th birthday on a Friday 17th of June 2022.
Find out about Newt Gingrich birthday activities in timeline view here.