1. “Food stamp president…” – Gingrich famously coined the term as his one-line descriptor of President Barack Obama. The idea was to ding the first black president on the record number of food assistance enrollees during his term (due to the Great Recession). But to many African-Americans, the term was loaded with racial stereotypes.
2. “I will go to the NAACP convention and tell African-Americans why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps.” – Gingrich made the vow to a New Hampshire primary crowd (of non-black voters…) Needless to say, the civil rights organization was not amused by Gingrich’s offer to lecture black people, based on false stereotypes.
3. Barack Obama may hold a “Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview “ – Forgetting the fact that Barack Obama isn’t leading a British colony struggling for independence, and that he himself isn’t Kenyan (his father was), Gingrich mused in an interview with the National Review that the president just might be a secret Mau-Mau.
5. Callista at Tiffany’s – What do you get the presidential candidate’s wife who has everything? If you’re Newt Gingrich, you get the (third) wife a $500,000 revolving account at Tiffany’s. When asked whether that’s an appropriate image for a guy pushing fiscal responsibility, Gingrich insisted, it’s a normal way of doing business.””
6. Give the poor a ‘trampoline’ – During the Florida primary, Newt took a shot at Mitt Romney for saying he was focused on helping the middle class, “because the poor have a safety net.” Newt’s response: “What the poor need is a trampoline so they can spring up. So I want to replace a safety net with a trampoline.” Boing!
7. To the moon! – No one can fault Gingrich for not having ideas. One of his most ambitious: colonies on the moon by 2020, a promise he touted on the stump, and in the GOP debates.
8. “I was a historian” – When he was challenged by Mitt Romney during the debates on the $1.6 million in fees he was paid as an adviser to the federal/private hybrid mortgage giant Freddie Mac (an entity hated by conservatives) – Newt had a clever explanation: he was not a lobbyist, he was a historian. Apparently, quite an expensive one…
9. Obama comments on Trayvon “disgraceful” – Most Americans and pundits graded President Obama’s March remark that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon as a moment of sincerity and humanity. Not Newt. He called the president’s remarks “disgraceful,” telling a conservative radio host Obama was “trying to turn” the Martin shooting “into a racial issue.”
11. Bring back the poll test? Newt sounded off about those he claims shouldn’t have access to our electoral process, saying, “maybe we should also have a voting standard that says to vote, as a native born American, you should have to learn American history.” America used to have such things before the civil rights movement. They were called literacy tests.”
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Newt Gingrich has announced that he will suspend his presidential campaign this week. It’s a win for Mitt Romney (though Newt wasn’t exactly threatening his bid for the magic number of delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.) But the end of Newton Leroy Gingrich’s presidential bid is a loss for those who enjoy a good dose of political theater.
So, in commemoration of the end of Newt’s 2012 campaign, here are his 12 most memorable lines.