- Former Title: Speaker of the House (1995-1999)
- Party Affiliation:
- Birthplace: Harrisburg, PA
- Religion: Catholic
- Alma Mater: Emory University (BA), Tulane University (MA/PhD)
- Website: http://www.newt.org
A native of Pennsylvania, Gingrich shot to fame as the main architect of the 1994 Republican congressional election victory and author of the "Contract With America" political manifesto. The win catapulted him to the post of House Speaker in 1995 but he was later seen as having lost fights with President Bill Clinton over government shutdowns.
Gingrich ended his 20-year congressional career after Republican losses in the 1998 elections. He has been a political analyst and consultant, written over two dozen books and appeared as a Fox News commentator.
Gingrich has tried to answer tough questions on his personal life from the religious right. He is married to his third wife, with whom he had an affair while married to his second wife.
Gingrich would eliminate the capital gains tax, cut corporate income tax rates, and offer Americans the choice of opting into a 15 percent flat tax. He would also repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Community Reinvestment Act, and the Dodd-Frank legislation.
Gingrich says he would “control the border” by the start of 2014, make English the official state language, and streamline the visa system for legal visitors.
Regarding the Occupy movement, Gingrich has said he is “very sympathetic at their anger” and shares “their frustration at a system in which the government has colluded with the big boys to take care of each other,” although the solutions he’s Occupy demonstrators propose “are mostly absurd.” He has also embraced the Tea Party movement.
Gingrich would break down barriers to domestic energy exploration, lift the ban on shale oil development, invest in renewables, and replace the EPA with an “Environmental Solutions Agency.”
Gingrich would end any subsidies for abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, and – by executive order on his first day – reinstate Reagan’s “Mexico City Policy” to deny aid to organizations linked to abortion overseas.
Gingrich proposes the creation of opt-in alternatives to Medicare and Social Security. He envisions giving younger Americans the option of investing their Social Security taxes in personal accounts, and Medicare alternatives would, he says, give Americans access to “a more personalized system in the private sector with greater options for better care.”
Gingrich says that the key to tackling the debt is economic growth, which he would encourage by “freeing job-creators,” reforming Medicare and Social Security, and applying management systems such as Lean Six Sigma to government.
Gingrich believes the U.S. is “engaged in a long war against radical Islamism” and ”lacks a unified grand strategy for defeating” it. He would reform foreign aid – “You ought to start off at zero and say, ‘explain to me why I should give you a penny,’" he recently said. Gingrich also believes that it is acceptable for the U.S. government to assassinate Americans linked to terror groups.
Gingrich proposes tax credits and deductions for premiums and says Americans should be permitted to buy insurance plans on sale in other states. A “High Risk Pool” would exist in every state to offer coverage to people who are too sick to otherwise qualify for insurance.
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