As a service to our readers, every day we are delivering a classic moment from the political life of Newt Gingrich—until he either clinches the nomination or bows out.
Newt Gingrich's big ideas about killer-lasers and Moon colonies and highway-illuminating space mirrors do tend to make him sound like a super-villain. But on his first day as Speaker of the House in 1995, Gingrich solidly aligned himself with the forces of truth and justice and tights by inviting the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers to perform for the House Republican Caucus (and their families). As the Los Angeles Times reported:
After going through their high-kicking, fist-throwing and crime-fighting television show routine, the Power Rangers stood, arms akimbo, as Gingrich rushed onto the stage.
Linking the Power Rangers' popularity with youngsters to his appeal with their parents, the Speaker noted that the Rangers' emphasis on "family values" and "anti-drug" messages fit nicely with GOP political themes. And, he added, "they are multiethnic role models with male and female characters."
Because it was the 1990s, Gingrich faced mild criticism for endorsing a television show that promoted violence—violence against the evil and often inept forces of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa, but violence nonetheless. The show had been pulled from the airways in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and banned by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. But Gingrich was undeterred. "You ride the waves in America, and if something's hot, it's hot," he told his fellow Republicans. Yes, there's video:
Gingrich, has elsewhere warned that the United States is under attack from gay and secular fascism, so we suppose it's worth pointing out that the blue ranger, "Billy," is gay.