Looking to win big in November, the GOP is seeking advice from "the grandfather of House Republicans," who swept it back into power nearly three decades ago after a 40-year drought. Never shy about sharing ideas, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is more than happy to help.
Gingrich told Insider that "the total failure of the left is driving people our way in a very encouraging way." If that shift continues, the veteran culture warrior predicted 2022 could be "the most catastrophic election for Democrats since 1920," when Republicans won their largest number of seats ever.
As Gingrich sees it, Republicans have a two-part obligation as they fight to regain control.
"One is to communicate that big government socialism doesn't work and can't," he told Insider. "And the other is to communicate what we would do."
The co-author of "Contract with America," which conservatives rallied around during the Clinton years, Gingrich has reportedly been advising House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
"McCarthy is trying to create a wave and elect 30 to 35 new Republicans," Scott Reed, a veteran GOP strategist, said of the final obstacle to fulfilling the California Republican's lifelong dream of becoming speaker.
That's where Gingrich comes in. Reed said the 10-term former lawmaker and 2012 presidential hopeful remains in constant contact with "people from CEO-level down to party activists."
McCarthy adviser and former Gingrich spokesman Mike Shields said his former boss will gladly give advice to anyone who will listen.
"There's times when he'll send a note to five members of the House and Senate leadership with an idea that he has, or something that he thinks they should focus on," Shields told Insider. "And it's received well because this is ... the grandfather of House Republicans that's offering up his wisdom."
Adopting positions Republican governors have taken on polarizing issues such as banning critical race theory, rejecting pandemic-related mask mandates, and enacting voting restrictions ahead of the next election would be a good place to start, several GOP strategists said.
Jim Moran, a former Democratic House member, said House Republicans should be careful what they wish for.
"My guess is that Newt's 21st-century contract is going to over-promise things that they can't deliver," he said. "And some things that the American people aren't going to want them to deliver. It's mostly going to be reactionary."
After winning his first congressional race in 1978 and spending some time in Washington, the former history professor helped author the career-defining "Contract with America" — a political sales pitch that helped Republicans recapture the house in 1994 after 40 years of Democratic rule.
In striking the symbolic agreement with the nation, House Republicans pledged to put 10 bills up for a vote in the 104th Congress if the public returned them to power. The priorities then included making numerous tax cuts, cracking down on crime, reducing welfare programs and imposing congressional term limits, among others.
Working on drafting a new "10 commandments" for House Republicans ahead of the midterms, freshman Republican Rep. Carlos Giménez of Florida told Insider that "it sounds very similar to the Contract with America."
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