Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich issued the following statement today:
Before there was Goldwater or Reagan, there was Bill Buckley.
From writing books, to creating, leading and sustaining National Review Magazine, to his 33-year run as the host of Firing Line on television, Bill Buckley became the indispensable intellectual advocate from whose energy, intelligence, wit, and enthusiasm the best of modern conservatism drew its inspiration and encouragement.
It was not until William F. Buckley, Jr., founded National Review Magazine in 1955 that the tide began to slowly turn for conservatives. National Review was a lonely voice of conservatism in an overwhelmingly liberal establishment.
Buckley began what led to Senator Barry Goldwater and his Conscience of a Conservative that led to the seizing of power by the conservatives from the moderate establishment within the Republican Party. From that emerged Ronald Reagan.
Bill stood up to defend freedom as a positive value of greater moral worth than either the state and the elite, and over time his work had a transformational impact on the quality of American politics that continues even today.
He was a wonderful friend, a great patriot, and a lively human being. Callista and I are praying for him and those who loved him. He will be missed.
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