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Newt in His Own Words: 33 Years of Bomb-Throwing

Your guide to Gingrich's greatest rhetorical hits.

| Thu Apr. 7, 2011 3:01 AM EDT

1987 Gingrich takes to the House floor to decry…pretty much everything about the Democratic-run House: "After the first five months of this Congress, I must report to my fellow citizens that this 100th Congress may be the most irresponsible, destructive, corrupt, and unrepresentative Congress of the modern era... In future weeks, I will make a series of speeches outlining the threats of corruption, of communism, and of the left-wing machine which runs the House."

1988 Gingrich discusses his midlife crisis: "I spent a fair length of time trying to come to grips with who I was and the habits I had, and what they did to people that I truly loved. I really spent a period of time where, I suspect, I cried three or four times a week. I read Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them and I found frightening pieces that related own life."

1989 He explains to the Washington Post why he fights with his second wife, Marianne: "It's not even that it matters to me. It's just the habit of dominance, the habit of being the center of my staff and the center of the news media." Newt gives the marriage a "53–47" shot of surviving.

1989 After taking down Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas) by filing a string of ethics charges, Gingrich basks in his role as giant-killer. "If you're not in the Washington Post every day," he says, "you might as well not exist."

1989 Gingrich lays out his electoral roadmap: "The left-wing Democrats will represent the party of total hedonism, total exhibitionism, total bizarreness, total weirdness, and the total right to cripple innocent people in the name of letting hooligans loose."

1989 "These people are sick," he says of congressional Democrats. "They are so consumed by their own power, by a Mussolini-like ego, that their willingness to run over normal human beings and to destroy honest institutions is unending." He also warns that unless the Democrats are stopped, "we may literally see our freedom decay and decline."

1990 Gingrich's political action committee, GOPAC, sends out a memo titled "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control" to several thousand Republican candidates running for state and local offices. It includes a list of words they should use to describe Democrats:

decay, failure (fail) collapse(ing) deeper, crisis, urgent(cy), destructive, destroy, sick, pathetic, lie, liberal, they/them, unionized bureaucracy, "compassion" is not enough, betray, consequences, limit(s), shallow, traitors, sensationalists, endanger, coercion, hypocricy, radical, threaten, devour, waste, corruption, incompetent, permissive attitude, destructive, impose, self-serving, greed, ideological, insecure, anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs; pessimistic, excuses, intolerant, stagnation, welfare, corrupt, selfish, insensitive, status quo, mandate(s) taxes, spend (ing) shame, disgrace, punish (poor...) bizarre, cynicism, cheat, steal, abuse of power, machine, bosses, obsolete, criminal rights, red tape, patronage.

1990 Speaking privately to a group of supporters, Gingrich says he's changing his public role from "explainer of political tactics to explainer of cultural change."

1992 While campaigning for President George H. W. Bush in Georgia, Gingrich uses Woody Allen as a symbol for what Democrats want to do to America: "Woody Allen had non-incest with his non-daughter because they were a non-family." He adds, "It fits the Democratic Party platform perfectly." Bush distances himself from the remarks.

1994 A South Carolina woman, Susan Smith, murders her two sons. Gingrich draws the only logical conclusion: "I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. The only way you get change is to vote Republican."

1994 He sums up his political philosophy: "People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz. I see evil all around me every day."

1995 Following the House GOP's triumphant 1994 election victory, Gingrich sends all the Republican freshman House members copies of the GOPAC memo suggesting they refer to their opponents as "traitors."

1995 Gingrich releases a novel he co-authored, 1945, in which the Waffen-SS invades eastern Tennessee. But most critics fixate on the opening scene, in which a high-ranking Washington politico, unsatisfied with his marriage, engages in an affair that ultimately brings about his own political demise:

Playfully, to drive home the potential loss, she bit his shoulder, then kissed it better.

"Aw, hell, I don't want to...I wish I could just divorce Mrs. Little Goodie Two-Shoes!"

"I like this arrangement," she laughed softly. "Mistress to the chief of staff of the President of the United States. Nice title, don't you think? Such a book I could write." ...Suddenly the pouting sex kitten gave way to Diana the Huntress. She rolled onto him and somehow was sitting athwart his chest, her knees pinning his shoulders. "Tell me, or I will make you do terrible things," she hissed.

Gingrich calls the book "PG-13."

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