Whether you are a Newt Gingrich aficionado or not, you have to admire his skill at framing the issues of the day. The former speaker of the House is the intellectual spine of the Republican Party.
That talent was on display at a recent breakfast talk sponsored by the American Spectator magazine and Americans for Tax Reform. Here are some highlights:
On the GOP approach: "We have to be the party with solutions. I use the term 'party of yes' because we have to break this effort to describe us as the 'party of no.'
"Now, the solutions we have are balance the federal budget, control spending, cut taxes to create jobs. The solutions are all things that virtually every conservative believes in, but we are so maniacally in the habit of allowing our opponents and the news media to set the terms of the debate that we get sucked into being the antithesis party, rather than being the thesis party."
On strategy for November: "Now, if we allow the left to claim that going from 10.3 percent to 9 percent [unemployment] in two years is a sign of success, we deserve to lose the fall campaign."
On President Obama’s nuclear charade: "As I watch these guys, I was particularly struck with this whole nuclear disarmament charade. What you have is the fantasy foreign policy of the 1920s, when you had the Kellogg-Briand Pact. You actually had a general disarmament conference underway in Geneva the week Hitler was sworn in.
"I mean it’s just really hard to believe how disengaged the diplomatic world was from reality in the period leading up to World War II. You are seeing a similar pattern. I mean this entire charade . . . is an absurdity in terms of the real world."
On Obama’s approach to allies: "Obama has this compulsion, much like Jimmy Carter, to be nasty to his allies."
On taxes: "The VAT is not about reform. The VAT is introduced by the machine. It’s about money.
"These guys are not going to replace anything. What they are going to try to do is get another couple of trillion dollars, and I am opposed to any tax increase while government is this size.
"The answer to balancing the federal budget is less government, not higher taxes, and in this economy competing with China and India, raising taxes is economically suicidal. So I think the position for conservatives ought to be real simple: no, we’re against it."
On attracting minorities: "Frankly, with Hispanics and African-Americans and Asian-Americans, the key is to be there.
"I mean, you know, for example, I would urge any Republican who is invited to speak to the NAACP to go speak and to say, We really need your help in taking government out of Detroit where it has destroyed the city. We need your helping in ensuring that the children get a real education."
On re-centering American politics: "I think our goal should be to re-center American politics around core American values and to fundamentally repudiate secular socialism as a model. Now if you do that, then you create a totally new dynamic.
"You cannot fix it. You can’t repair it. You have to replace it, because the core models that you are trying to repair are fundamentally wrong."
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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