(Read the key items only, though you can choose to continue after that for more depth.)
Gingrich has an inflation problem.
He inflates the impression of his abilities and he takes claim for what was a group effort or simply a coincidence. But he represents himself as having the great power to have caused all of these on his own.
Gingrich tends to exaggerate, take credit for everything in the vicinity that he was even vaguely associated with, think grandiose ideas, be erratic and temperament and very vengeful and bitter. Not a good idea for a President.
The claims are misleading at best. And we don't take credit away from what he actually did, but we point out his tendency to exaggerate and to falsely blow up his resume.
WORKED WITH REAGAN TO CREATE 9 MILLION JOBS, ETC. AND ETC.
“I am in fact the legitimate heir of the Reagan movement--not some liberal from Massachusetts,”
On the floor of the house, public record:
"The president of the United States cannot discipline himself to use the correct language.” In Afghanistan, Reagan’s policy was marked by “impotence [and] incompetence.” Thus Gingrich concluded as he surveyed five years of Reagan in power that “we have been losing the struggle with the Soviet empire.” Reagan did not know what he was doing, and “it is precisely at the vision and strategy levels that the Soviet empire today is superior to the free world.”
Summary article with a number of Gingrich quotes, to judge for yourself: Insults.
Gingrich was first elected to the House in 1978 and it wasn't until 1989 that he became House minority whip, in his first position of power. .He was a newbie when Reagan entered office.
Reagan only mentioned him once in his diary: "Newt Gingrich has a proposal for freezing the budget at the 1983 level. It's a tempting idea except that it would cripple our defense programs. And if we make an exception on that every special interest group will be asking for the same.".
See the multiple quotes at the end of this piece. (Mentioned once in biography written about Reagan and not at all in Reagan's autobiography, not
DEFEATED COMMUNISM AND THE EVIL EMPIRE
“I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in the Congress.” [Not! See below.]
See the speech under Worked With Reagan
BALANCED THE BUDGET FOR FOUR YEARS
""I balanced the budget for four straight years, paid off $405 billion in debt." [He wasn't there for 2 of them. And there was an actual increase in the national debt (see below).}
Once the balanced budget came earlier than planned for, due to the dramatic increase in revenues (which he did not cause!), Gingrich helped push through the Capital Gains Tax Rate Reduction legislation (aka Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997). Bob Dole, as Senate Majority Leader, also contributed.
He was effective in helping to cause a government shutdown in a face off with Clinton.
CREATED WELFARE REFORM
A central pledge of President Clinton's campaign was to reform the welfare system, adding changes such as work requirements for recipients. However, Clinton was delaying this, while fiddling with the attempt at Health Care Reform.
This was Gingrich's major achievement, though, despite his claims, he didn't do it singlehandedly.
I CREATED THE FIRST REPUBLICAN MAJORITY IN YEARS
Actual: Gingrich and several other Republicans came up with a Contract with America, which laid out ten policies that Republicans promised to bring to a vote on the House floor during the first hundred days of the new Congress, if they won the election
In the 1998 elections: the worst midterm performance in 64 years for a party that didn't hold the presidency.
When the second attempt to oust him, Gingrich did a preemptive resignation, one day after being reelected in Georgia and he said:::"I'm willing to lead but I'm not willing to preside over people who are cannibals."
Read: Santorum says he, not Gingrich, is responsible for 1994 GOP House takeover
(The real issue was corruption in Washington and the real reason for that was because Rick Santorum and [former Iowa Rep.] Jim Nussle and several others stood up and exposed the rampant corruption going on in Congress.”
“That was more of the reason for the 1994 election win for Republicans than anything else,” Santorum added. “So the ‘Contract with America’ gets all the praise, but candidly, the ‘Contract with America’ didn’t even exist until about eight weeks before the election. That movement for ’94 was well underway before that.”
A MASTER AT WORD MANIPULATION
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" and 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.
(Note the similarity with Saul Alinsky's strategies in Rule For Radicals.)
GINGRICH IS CAPABLE, BUT NOT OF WHAT IT TAKES
Yes, even after removing the false exaggerating that he does, he is capable and deserves credit for some things. Highly intelligent, idea generating (a killer for anybody who has to be an executive), erratic, explosive, attacking, etc. Not able to manage anything well or be consistent.
He does not meet the qualifications to be The Chief Executive Officer Of The United States Of America (see the qualifications in Comparing The Candidates.
DID GINGRICH WORK CLOSELY WITH REAGAN (Google is not Gingrich's friend.)
"Reagan turned that torch over to Newt" as he was leaving office. Or so Newt says, forgetting to include the rest of the quote from Nancy Reagan, which would make this relatively meaningless: "“And in turn, Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive. I know that Ronnie believes it will succeed, and that the American people support their efforts.” ”
Elliot Abrams, assistant Secretary of State from 1981 to 1989:
Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.
Richard Williamson, former U.N. ambassador:
“He was a backbencher. [...] Yes, he voted, as the Republicans in the House overwhelmingly did, but it would be inaccurate to claim that he was a major player and frankly, inaccurate to claim that he was a consistent supporter. And that was my experience and I think it was my colleagues now.”
Dole on Thursday said Gingrich “was just a hard guy to work with because he was a one-man band. He’s a very smart guy and a great debater and probably a wonderful college professor, but it was always his way or the highway.”
"I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late," Dole wrote in the conservative magazine National Review. "If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices."
John Feehery, a former top house aide:
"He is in one sense attacking the establishment he says he helped lead," said John Feehery, a former top House GOP aide who contends the tea party's influence is often overstated. The chief complaints about Gingrich focus more on his personality than his politics, which are hard to nail down, Feehery said.
The most damaging criticisms have come from former friends and colleagues who worked closely with him in Congress. It's Gingrich's egotistic behavior, more than ideology, that is driving the attacks, Feehery said.
Was Reagan aware of Gingrich?
According to Lou Cannon, a former Washington Post reporter who covered the Reagan presidency and is the Gipper’s biographer, Newt was not particularly close to Reagan.
“Gingrich had absolutely nothing to do with the Reagan Revolution,” Cannon told Bloomberg News. “There were congressmen who influenced Reagan, especially Jack Kemp ... I’m not sure Reagan even knew who Gingrich was.”
Reagan did, at one point, know who Gingrich was; he was mentioned in his diaries, but only once (and in a negative light).
“Reagan was aware of him,” according to Annelise Anderson, the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under Reagan. “Newt Gingrich was a creative and thoughtful young backbencher.”
Given how frequently Gingrich has cited his work with Reagan, that might be damning with faint praise.
To listen to the candidate, the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s was about the Gipper and Newt.
“I worked with President Reagan in the entire recovery of the 1980s,” Newt Gingrich declared in a recent debate of Republican presidential hopefuls. He frequently talks about the way he and President Ronald Reagan “changed” Washington.
Summing it up: Repeated adultery with younger women, while each successive wife was seriously ill. Attacking mortgage lender Freddie Mac, while secretly getting paid $1.6 million as a lobbyist for them. A half-million charge account at Tiffany's Jewelers for his latest, youngest woman (that we know of). Attacking Congress for gridlock, when he personally led the destruction of Congress' civility and traditions in the 1980s as a "bomb-thrower" and evil genius tactician. Kited (bad checks) 22 times. Newt in his poltical career was the king of using tax-payer subsidized donations for his personal and political purposes. He stooped so low as to hijack not one but two charities for poor inner city kids and use their donations for his personal goals.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a company hired Marianne Gingrich (Newt's then-wife) as an international trade consultant for $2,500 a month plus commissions in September 1994 -- despite her complete lack of experience -- after Newt announced support for a free trade zone in Israel that they are trying to build. And because he's so important (in his own mind), he is a real risk for authoritarian rule if elected. Heck, he has promised authoritarian rule. In between all his scandals, he has vowed to fire all liberal government workers and arrest judges who rule against him
as he went around and tried to convince Republicans to vote for Freddie Mac's favorite bills (and against regulations on them). Newt denies he was lobbying -- because his work didn't meet some technical definitions of lobbying -- and claimed, ridiculously that they paid him to be a "historian." No historian in history has earned $1.6 million.
In an amazing act of hypocrisy, Gingrich was apparently dating Bisek all during Clinton-Lewinsky adultery scandal, even as he proclaimed family values and bitterly criticized the President for his adultery.