The trailer for “Burlesque,” starring Cher and Christina Aguilera, makes the film seem like cheesy fun. What the preview fails to do, however, is explain what actually defines burlesque. Is it strictly a type of dance performed in seedy venues, a fancy word for striptease? Luckily for word enthusiasts, “burlesque” derives from a rich tradition as well as a compelling meaning.
Traditionally, burlesque has been a type of variety show that is both provocative and comedic. It features a female chorus and solo dances, plus bawdy, slapstick skits and songs. And yes, it may feature striptease acts, but not necessarily.
“Burlesque“ comes from the Italian and means “mockery.” Historically, it was originally used to refer to an array of entertainment that used caricature, ridicule, and distortion. The word was first used in the 16th century by the Italian Francesco Berni who called his operas burleschi.
In the United States, stage burlesque, which was usually quite vulgar, began in the mid-1800s. These early shows often ended with either an exotic dancer or a boxing match. Many stars got their start in burlesque, including Mae West and Fannie Brice. In the 1920s, the term became synonymous with “strip-tease show,” and was even banned in New York City. Burlesque entertainment couldn’t compete with the rising popularity of movies and nightclubs; eventually, it fizzled out. However, it saw resurgence in major cities across the U.S. in the 1990s.
Cher plays a seasoned performer in “Burlesque.” But the early life of the 64-year-old diva may surprise you. Cher was born to a truck driver and an aspiring actress in California who named their daughter Cherilyn Sarkisian.
When Cher first began singing with Sonny Bono, the duo was known as “Caesar and Cleo.” And, even after she began using her real name, the actress and singer added an acute accent mark because Ed Sullivan mispronounced her name as “Chur.” She dropped the accent mark in 1974.
FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DELIVERS REMARKS
Washington Transcript Service December 21, 2011
Washington Transcript Service 12-21-2011 FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DELIVERS REMARKS, MANCHESTER, N.H.
DECEMBER 21, 2011 SPEAKERS: FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ANDREW HEMINGWAY NEW HAMPSHIRE DIRECTOR NEWT GINGRICH PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN STATE REP. LAURIE SANBORN, R-N.H.
STATE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE BILL O’BRIEN, R-N.H.
[*] HEMINGWAY: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s get started here today. I want to say first thank you very much. My name is Andrew Hemingway. I’m the state director for Newt 2012 here in New Hampshire.
It is an honor to serve in the role and I just want to say thank you for being here in attendance. We’re excited to have Speaker Newt Gingrich with us. We’re excited to have Speaker Bill O’Brien, Laurie Sanborn, and of course, the always beautiful Callista Gingrich here with us today.
Tonight — today is a very exciting event for us here in New Hampshire. Without going into details or spoiling the surprise, I just want to give you a rundown very quickly about how the event is going to run. We’re going to have our state chair, Laurie Sanborn, come to the podium in just a minute. We’re going to have Speaker Bill O’Brien give a few words. And then Speaker Newt Gingrich will speak. And then after Speaker Gingrich speaks for a minute, unlike — unlike Governor Mitt Romney, we will actually take questions at a town hall.
(APPLAUSE) So, without further ado, our state chair, Laurie Sanborn, the state rep. She’s one of the hardest working reps in the House. We’re honored to have her leading our team here in New Hampshire. Laurie?
(APPLAUSE) SANBORN: Thank you, Andrew. It’s so great to see all of you here today. I know the weather isn’t perfect, and I know week of Christmas.
But this is such a special event. So, again, thank you for being here.
And as Andrew mentioned, my name is Laurie Sanborn. I’m the assistant majority — deputy majority leader in the State House. I’m a freshmen legislator, and in my time there I created and now chair a New Hampshire House Business Coalition. Many of those members are in the room here today. And we’ve accomplished a lot in New Hampshire, and I’m excited about that.
And I’m very excited to have recently been appointed state chair for the Newt campaign. And I want to thank all the employees of the campaign and all the volunteers who’ve been working very, very hard. We have a lot of work to do, but I’m eager to work with you, spearhead our efforts and roll up my sleeves. So, I’m looking forward to that.
You know, as a legislator and as a business owner, I value results above all. And that’s why I so enthusiastically support Newt Gingrich in his run for president, and why I’m so honored to be the one to introduce our next speaker, the Speaker of the New Hampshire House, Bill O’Brien.
He is a man who knows how to get results.
In our time in office together Bill has done a great number of things. First and foremost, we — after we inherited an $800 million deficit in our state, we quickly balanced the budget and we reduced state spending by 17 percent.
(APPLAUSE) That is truly a historic achievement, and we could not have done it without Bill.
In addition to that, we have done a number of government reforms, including reforming our state pension system. We have passed over 40 bills that roll back excessive regulations on our business community.
And we have lowered the unemployment rate in New Hampshire. So, this is all under the auspices of Bill O’Brien and we can’t thank him enough.
You know, back in the ’70s, I saw a quote from Ronald Reagan.
And he said, “Now is not the time for pastel colors. It’s time for bold, primary colors.” And we have a bold leader in Speaker O’Brien. So, please join me in welcoming him on the stage.
(APPLAUSE) O’BRIEN: Thank you very much, and good afternoon.
There are many standards to judge a president or a candidate.
One of the best is past performance. By that measure only one candidate this year has achieved the meaningful change in Washington that we need, and that candidate is Newt Gingrich.
While President Obama promised both hope and change, the results have been a disastrous failure that accomplished only one objective, a massive growth in government. Growth financed at the expense of liberty, and our children and our grandchildren’s future.
As someone who believes in limited government, believes in New Hampshire’s motto of live free or die, believes my three children and my three grandchildren deserve an America as secure and financially sound as it was when I became an adult, I know we cannot continue down Barack Obama’s disastrous past that will lead to a bankrupting of our freedom and our future generations.
That’s why it is not good enough just to defeat Barack Obama. We need to replace him with a president who has a clear sense of where the country needs to go. We need to replace him with a president who will ensure that the era of American greatness is not over. We cannot afford candidates who put electoral convenience or extreme ideology ahead of bringing transformative change that will restore America’s place in the world, while making our federal government smaller, more efficient and less of an impediment to our economy and to our liberty.
After spending a considerable amount of time reviewing the candidates for president, and coming to like and admire many of them, perhaps most of them, one person rose to the top as the person certain to bring positive, transformative change to Washington. And that person is Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Newt Gingrich is the one person who most certainly will get America back to the ideals that made our country great. He will return our country to being the beacon of freedom and opportunity to the world that it has been for decades before the current presidency. Newt Gingrich is the one person who will most certainly bring fiscal discipline back to Washington.
Newt’s past performance, his track record is exactly what we need now to solve today’s problems in Washington. And look at that track record.
While revisionist historians would like to credit the tremendous success of the 1990s to Bill Clinton, all Bill Clinton had to show before Newt Gingrich’s leadership in the House was a failed stimulus plan, a failed attempt at national health care, a major tax increase, a bill to restrict Second Amendment rights, and of course, midnight basketball.
When Newt took over, Congress pushed the tax cut of 1997 that included a capital gains cut that created millions of jobs. It was not Bill Clinton who displayed the political courage to hold the line on federal spending that led to the first balanced budget in four decades and led to four balanced budgets. It was the House of Representatives, led by Newt Gingrich.
It was not Bill Clinton who crafted the welfare reform that lifted millions out of poverty. Instead, Clinton twice vetoed welfare reform. It was only the dogged determination of Newt Gingrich House of Representatives that led to Bill Clinton finally agreeing to sign a bill for welfare reform that made welfare a bridge to work and not a dead end of dependency.
These huge accomplishments would not have taken place without Newt Gingrich’s vision and leadership. We desperately need that vision and that leadership in the Oval Office today. These changes will be hard.
I know firsthand because it is what we are trying to do in New Hampshire. And the only way to get there is with someone who has a clear goal of where our nation needs to go, an ability to articulate these complex ideas simply and understandably, and an uncompromising level of determination to see things through.
Newt Gingrich is not only that person, he has shown us that time and again he is that person. He is the right man at the right time for the presidency. I would wholeheartedly endorse his efforts, and I am committed to helping him deliver the leadership America so desperately needs today.
(APPLAUSE) GINGRICH: Well, thank you, Speaker O’Brien.
You know, I was sitting up here thinking, as somebody who did help balance the budget for four consecutive years, and as someone who participated twice in the only actual domestic discretionary spending cuts that we’ve had since World War II; 1981 when Ronald Reagan wasn’t a reduction rated growth we actually went down in discretionary spending. 1995 as speaker we actually went down.
And I think about what the speaker has achieved in spending cuts here this year. Can you imagine what Washington had been like if they had had the courage to match New Hampshire in that kind of fiscal discipline?
It would have been remarkable.
And I thank you for your leadership and for proving that the Tea Party movement can bring a decisive commitment to real change, and can at a practical level, turn into something that creates jobs, attracts new business, attracts new opportunity. It’s really a remarkable thing. So, your endorsement’s particularly meaningful to me.
So, we may want him to go around the country and does a roadshow where he says Obama budget, New Hampshire budget; Obama budget, New Hampshire budget. That’s a pretty good story.
(APPLAUSE) The first time I talked to Laurie, I was really excited and really wanted her to be part of our campaign because her commitment on helping businesses get effective representation in the legislature is a key to this. You know, I’ve twice participated in creating a lot of jobs.
As a very junior congressman I worked with Jack Camp and Art Laff and a number of people. And we developed what we call supply side economics.
Larry Kudlow was a part of that. And Ronald Reagan took up the idea.
And in the Reagan administration we had a very simple plan, four parts. Cut taxes, cut regulations, focus on American energy and favor the people who actually create jobs; tell them it’s a good thing to go out and create a job. When I became — and in the process of that, by the way, Reagan created millions of new jobs. Unemployment came down from about 10.8 percent to about 5.6 percent in his presidency. In one month, August of 1983, we created 1,300,000 new jobs.
And when I became speaker, I basically picked up the Reagan playbook. Speaker O’Brien said the first wave of the Clinton administration was raising taxes, raising spending, tripling the economy. And when I came in, frankly, the Dow Jones hadn’t moved. Things hadn’t gotten any better.
And we went back to the Reagan playbook. Lower taxes, less regulation, more American energy, and be proud of people who go to work every day and create jobs. The result was in the four years I was speaker there were 11 million new jobs created.
And the reason I like what Laurie’s done is she’s bringing in the people who actually create jobs. And she’s working with people who actually create jobs.
This is the opposite of the Obama model. Obama raises taxes, increases regulations, does anti American energy and engages in class warfare against the people who create jobs. And then we wonder why the economy’s a mess. And by the way, the attack on American energy by the Obama administration showed up this year in the highest average price of gasoline in American history.
In 2011 Americans paid more for gasoline than any time in American history. Now, if you’re an editorial writer for the New York Times and you ride the subway to get to work, you probably didn’t notice this. But if you live in rural America, small town America, medium sized town America, you probably noticed it immediately.
If you drive a car, you probably noticed it. If you like to go visit your children or your grandchildren over Christmas. People who drive to visit their relatives are going to notice it. And so gasoline prices and diesel prices, as you know, and heating oil prices, they go through the economy causing pain in a tremendous way. So, I like the idea that we’re going to work with businesses, with fiscal conservatism in order to get things done. go to web site newt gingrich bio
Callista reminded me, we also wanted to come here today to say something that’s not political, which is Merry Christmas.
AUDIENCE: Merry Christmas.
(APPLAUSE) So, I’ll just say one or two things about the race here. I have to confess, the Iowa race has gotten to be a real mess. I think my good friends have bought about $7 million or $8 million of negative advertising so far. And we just keep cheerfully going forward and telling the truth.
And it’s interesting to watch how audiences react because the American people aren’t stupid.
People know when you see a negative ad somebody probably bought it and made a negative ad. Got it. And when you see the same ad nine times in an hour, you know they must’ve raised too much money. And that’s what’s going on out there.
But I want to say to you what I’ve been saying out there. I will be here on a positive campaign. We are in trouble as a country. We need to focus on how to get out of trouble. We need to talk about the solutions that’ll get us out of trouble.
If you go to newt.org you’ll see a proposed 21st century contract with America. We’re going to grow it and expand it and develop it. And by September 27th, the anniversary of the contract, we’re going to post the legislative part of the contract. And by October 1st we’re going to post a series of executive orders that would’ve gave you exactly what I would do on the first day as president. And the first of those executive orders will eliminate all of the White House czars that moment.
(APPLAUSE) So, I’m very prepared to campaign. I will also tell you because I think the issues are so huge. I mean, the choice is Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich. On the one hand you have a Saul Alinsky-radical. He used to teach Alinsky’s model in Southside Chicago. And people say he’s a community organizer. That wasn’t Boys and Girls Clubs. That’s political radicalism.
On the other hand, you have somebody that believes passionately in American exceptionalism and the Declaration of Independence. And the idea that our rights come to us from our creator. That they’re unalienable.
That sovereignty resides in you. That you are a citizen, you are not a subject. That we, the people, defined the government; the government does not define we, the people. So, the gap philosophically is enormous.
On the one side you have the finest food stamp president in American history. No one has done more to put more people on food stamps than Barack Obama. I’d like to be the finest paycheck president in American history.
(APPLAUSE) And in terms — in terms of winning the general election, let me just point out to you that at this point in 1970 Ronald Reagan was 30 points behind Jimmy Carter. The lead media had done everything they could to make Reagan unacceptable. A lot of the stuff they said about Reagan they actually pulled back up and now say it about me. And they’re right.
Look, if you want a cozy, Washington, business as usual establishment, you don’t want me. And that establishment’s both Republican and Democrat. You can watch TV and tell who the establishment is, the ones who are frightened. And that’s what happened with Reagan. But as the country got to know Reagan, and the country asked itself a simple question which we’re going to be asking next year. You know were four years of Barack Obama really good enough that you want eight years? newtgingrichbio.com newt gingrich bio
GINGRICH: It’s that simple a question, isn’t it? You know eight more — you know four more years is not — he started with yes, we can.
And his new campaign slogan will be let me explain why we couldn’t.
(LAUGHTER) And so there is a gap. And the last point I want to make to you about that is if you help me, and I think we have a real chance in New Hampshire to surprise people because I think that the philosophical differences aren’t just between me and Obama. But they’re between me and some of the other candidates.
And if you’ll help me, when I become your nominee, I will challenge President Obama to seven three-hour debates in the Lincoln- Douglas tradition with a timekeeper but no moderator. And I will concede up front that he can have a teleprompter.
(APPLAUSE) Look. Let’s be fair.
(LAUGHTER) If you had to defend Obama Care, wouldn’t you want a teleprompter?
Now, people think he won’t debate. I’ll give you three reasons I believe he is going to debate. The first is precedence. He announced for president in February of 2007 in Springfield, Illinois, quoting Abraham Lincoln.
The second is ego. This is a Columbia University, Harvard Law School, editor of the Harvard Law Review, best orator in the Democratic Party. How does he look in the mirror and say he’s afraid to debate some guy who taught at West Georgia College? The third is practical.
As many of you know, I studied American history. And when I studied it, I learned that Abraham Lincoln, when he announced — had been out of office for 10 years, had only been in Congress for one term, had been a state legislator. He announced against the best known U.S. senator and the man people assumed to be the next U.S. president. And he said, “105 days left, let’s debate every day.” And Stephen Douglas said, “I don’t think so.” So, Lincoln began to follow Douglas. Wherever Douglas went, Lincoln would show up the next day. And in about three weeks’ time Douglas figured out that Lincoln was getting the press coverage for his rebuttal of Douglas’s speech.
And so after about three weeks Douglas wrote Lincoln, and he said, “Alright; I’ll agree to debate you. But I’m not going to go back to the first two districts.” There were nine congressional districts.
He said, “I’m not going back to the first two districts you’ve already chased me in. I’ll go to the other seven.” This is how they ended up with seven debates.
The debates were so central. I think they’re the most important explanation of constitutional freedom since the federalist papers. They were carried widely in the newspapers. Each of the seven debates got its own coverage. Lincoln the next year had it reprinted as a book. And it was a major factor in his rise as a presidential candidate.
So, if you help me and I become your nominee at Tampa when I give the acceptance speech, if the president has not yet agreed to have the series of seven debates, I will announce that night in my acceptance speech that the White House as of that moment is my schedule. Wherever he goes, I will show up four hours later. And I will answer his speech every single time.
And in the age of talk radio and 24-hour television news, my hunch is that it’ll take about two weeks for the White House to decide that that is a losing proposition and to decide that having us on the same stage debating America’s future, talking about who we are philosophically and who we are at a practical achievement level is less painful than having me show up in every single town shortly after the president. So, with your help, we’re going to set up one of the most exciting and important elections in American history. Maybe the most decisive since 1860 in defining America.
And with your help, I’m convinced people are going to vote for paychecks over food stamps. They’re going to vote for the American Declaration of Independence over radical socialism. They’re going to vote for strength in foreign policy over weakness. And they’re going to vote for somebody that wants to work with the American people, not somebody who wants to dictate to the American people. I think that will make this a truly historic election.
And it’s all made possible by the folks up here who have been so helpful. And by Andrew Hemingway who is doing a terrific job as our leader here in the state. And I’m looking forward very much to questions.
(APPLAUSE) HEMINGWAY: All right. We’re going to start right here. Yes, ma’am? You can just stand up and ask the question.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I wanted to ask you about (inaudible) spoken so much about how important preventative care is both in terms of (inaudible). And the Affordable Care Act actually helped make preventative care more (inaudible), especially with Medicare patients who aren’t able to have free annual care visits and put off (inaudible) come out with no (inaudible). And I just wondered if you are (inaudible).
GINGRICH: I believe in preventative care and I believe in early testing for a variety of conditions. Colonoscopy’s a perfect example.
It is the most successful single intervention to save lives that we have because colon cancer, if caught early, is very easy to deal with. And if caught late it’s fatal. So, there are things that we should do. There’s no question about that.
I’ve told people all along, if you write a 2,700-page bill, there’s a pretty good chance you get 300 pages right. So, I’ll stipulate to that. There are 300 good pages in Obama Care. I mean, it’s not — you know. But I don’t trust the Washington staffs.
So, what I would do is I would repeal the bill and then take the good pages and re-pass them. But I would not try to rewrite — repeal 80 percent or 90 percent of the bill because I frankly don’t trust the Washington staffs at 2:00 in the morning in terms of the deals they’d cut and the way they’d write it.
There are pieces — I happen to favor health information technology, which is in the bill. And I think it will save lots of lives and billions of dollars.
But I think if there are good ideas in the bill they can be passed as freestanding small bills because they’re things people really want. And so, I would try to fast track them to get them passed pretty quickly and figure out what the bridging mechanism is so that you don’t have a break up in services.
But I would first start, and this is in my 21st century contract, I would ask the new Congress, which comes in on the 3rd of January, to repeal Obama Care, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley before my inauguration.
And then hold the bills until I get inaugurated so Obama can’t veto them.
And then I would want to sign them probably on the 21st or the 22nd of January. So — and then I would ask the Congress to go to work immediately on putting back in place those pieces that are really good that most Americans agree with.
HEMINGWAY: Yes, please?
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Massachusetts I intentionally (inaudible).
GINGRICH: Thank you.
QUESTION: I also have the privilege of being in Speaker O’Brien’s (inaudible).
GINGRICH: (Inaudible) QUESTION: (Inaudible) Obama (inaudible).
GINGRICH: Well, I mean we have a chance on the 10th of January to help stick conservative.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) but some of it passed (inaudible). I know you can debate Obama, but you have to know what the Democratic machine is going to do to you in the mainstream media. (Inaudible) under that assault?
GINGRICH: Serious question. I studied under Ronald Reagan. I first met with him in 1974. Reagan faced the same problem. And he found that consistency really worked. That if you — you take key position.
Well, take food stamps versus paychecks.
The gap here is so wide it’s very hard even for the elite media to distort it. And so you want to find, you know, American energy versus buying Brazilian energy. The president goes to Brazil and says I want us to be your best customer. Which is exactly the opposite — the president’s not assigned to be a foreign purchasing agent.
The president should go around the world selling American products. Well, that’s a gap that’s so big between purchasing agent of Brazilian oil, seller of American manufactured goods. It’s pretty hard even for the New York Times to — well, they’ll succeed to some extent.
But it’s pretty hard for them to distort it.
Plus, my experience is the American people have gotten a lot smarter. We have — we have hundreds of sources of information. And we have lots of ways of having conversations. And people also get used to reading things.
You know, I found — I’ll give you one example. When I first became speaker, it was an enormous shock to the establishment. No Republican had won in 40 years. They knew it couldn’t be good. They knew I was a conservative. It was really — you could see the shock on election night in their eyes.
Before I’m even sworn in Time Magazine has me on the cover as scrooge. This is Christmas season, right? I’m Scrooge holding Tiny Tim’s broken crutch. It wasn’t that I stole his crutch, I broke it. And the title of the cover was How Mean Will Gingrich’s America Be to the Poor?
OK. The following week, Newsweek wanted to catch up. And I had a Dr. Zeus figure on the cover of Newsweek entitled The Grinch that Stole Christmas. OK. This was the elite New York media’s idea of fairness.
But here’s what happened with average middle class Americans because they’re used to how liberal these guys are. They said, oh, news for welfare reform. This is a 92 percent issue. It didn’t hurt us at all. We were the first reelected majority since 1928, despite every effort of the elites to stop us.
So, I think what I’ve got to do is I’ve got to have a compelling message. I’ve got to use YouTube and Facebook and Twitter and all the devices that allow us to communicate around the elite media. We have to have talk radio. And frankly up here it’s much easier because when you have something that is as solidly conservative as the Manchester Union Leader that communicates in a way that fits, and sort of undone about half the New York Times damage.
I thought it was a grand irony last week that the Des Moines Register, which is a liberal newspaper, endorsed the correct person for the liberal newspaper. And that the Union Leader, which is a conservative newspaper, endorsed the right person for conservatives. And I thought that kind of clarified the race for anybody who was confused.
(APPLAUSE) Yes, sir?
GINGRICH: Hold on. How many people here are refugees from Massachusetts? Raise your hand. OK. We’re going to have to have a conversation later. We’re thinking about maybe doing a Massachusetts rally at some point in New Hampshire. And I’m now convinced we could now have you know sort of a please don’t turn America into Massachusetts, which might be a great way…
(APPLAUSE) Maybe — I don’t have Andrew’s permission yet. But maybe on the 4th when I fly in from Iowa we could actually have a Massachusetts reminder rally so everybody can be reminded what the real choice is in the primary between two very different approaches to governing. And I now realize we can get a lot of folks without having to get anybody to drive up from Massachusetts.
(LAUGHTER) But go ahead.
QUESTION: Can you say a few words (inaudible) put aside any economics of the payroll (inaudible)?
GINGRICH: Yes. Look, in an ideal world this is not how you would solve things. But I agree with John Boehner. If you’re going to extend the cut, extend it for a year. I mean, any of you who are in business and have to deal with payrolls know this idea you’re going to get a two-month extension and then you don’t know what’s going to happen next.
So, they can have another crisis in late February so they can pass it for two months to have another crisis. I mean, this is about as stupid a way to run a country and it’s embarrassing. This is worthy of the Italian parliament.
(LAUGHTER) You know, and to have the Senate leave. I’m very sympathetic to Speaker Boehner. I didn’t realize that at the time I was very fortunate to work with Bill Clinton. I would not have said this to you at the time.
But Clinton had been governor for 12 years. He had been governor of a conservative state. He was used to negotiating the legislature.
Obama never actually served in the Illinois Senate because he was busy running for the U.S. Senate. Then he didn’t actually serve in the U.S. Senate because he was busy running for president. And now he hasn’t actually served as president because he’s been busy running for reelection.
So, he’s had no government experience.
(LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) And so the result’s a total mess.
And in Harry Reid, I was fortunate I had a Republican Senate.
So, I worked first with Bob Dole and then with Trent Lott. Harry Reid is a totally partisan Democrat who arrogantly — you know they pass a bill and then leave the city.
I mean, by what right does the Senate decide they are the definers of America’s future and they leave? And I think every senator ought to be told go back to Washington and get the job done. Pass a yearlong bill. Get stability and let’s move onto something new. But we look embarrassingly incompetent as a country.
And I can just tell you. Of the three key players, Boehner, Reid and Obama, I think Boehner has had the most courage and has been the most willing to try to do the right thing. And the other two have been not only zero help, they have been destructive while candidly manipulating the press to make Boehner look bad. This is all manipulation.
And I think if Barack Obama thinks he can have another 360 days of manipulation to get reelected, he completely underestimates the ability of the American people to see through fraud and to understand that the Corzine (ph) model of free enterprise doesn’t work and the Obama model of governing doesn’t work either.
HEMINGWAY (?): One of you. Be brave.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Obama. How would you govern differently, if at all, from George W. Bush?
GINGRICH: Oh. I’d be very different from — from President Bush. I don’t say that as a negative on President Bush, but I came out of the Reagan wing of the party. And there are two components of the Reagan wing of the party. One is conservatism.
The other is an absolute identity with the American people. If you go back — (inaudible) and I were very fortunate. We did a movie about Reagan called Rendezvous with Destiny. And if you go back and you get his best speeches, they’re about us. They’re never about I. They’re about we. They’re about America.
And so a lot of what I do — this is why I tell people I never ask you to be for me. Because if you’re for me, you’re going to vote and go home and say I sure hope I Newt fixes it when I can’t. I ask you to be with me, to stand next to me for a year. If you read Reagan’s, or you watch, even better, Reagan’s farewell address, it is all about us; what we did.
I think that that’s very important. Because if you mobilize — I’ll give you one example. I’ll give you a specific example.
QUESTION: Do you think Bush didn’t do that?
GINGRICH: I’ll give you a specific example. There was a Bush plan for Social Security. You can’t have a Bush plan for Social Security immediately after winning a negative campaign in which all you proved is that there were more anti Kerry voters than there were anti-Bush voters because every anti-Bush voter was against a Bush plan from day one. Even if it was the right plan. The minute you title it the Bush plan.
Had they had younger members of the Congress go out and create — well, we’ve done — we have on 85 campuses we have young people now leading the effort for a younger American right to choose a personal Social Security savings account. But it isn’t Newt Gingrich. It’s younger Americans.
And we’re basing it on Chile and Galveston, Texas where you have 30 years’ experience.
And we’re saying to grandparents who will not be affected at all, do you mind if your grandchildren are allowed to have control of their savings so no politician can rip them off? Do you mind if your grandchildren are allowed to have two or three times as much retirement income as they’ll get from the government?
Do you mind if your grandchildren control the year they decide to retire based on what they’re doing instead of politicians telling them?
Do you mind if your grandchildren increase the size of the American economy by saving all of this money that becomes capital?
Chile today after 30 years, the size of their Social Security savings system is 72 percent of the economy. It’s so big that they’re beginning to allow Chileans to invest outside the country because they don’t have enough investment sites in the country.
The estimate — two last thoughts about this. The estimate by Marty Feldstein of Harvard when this was first developed is that over a generation you reduce income and equality in America by 50 percent. I’m waiting for the New York Times to confront this.
That a personal Social Security savings account — because every single worker ends up owning stocks and bonds. Every single worker’s a capitalist. Every single person has a real estate, which you don’t have under Social Security. The result is you literally reduce the inequality by 50 percent the right way, which is you raise people up. You don’t spend your time trying to lower people down like Obama.
Last example: with that scale of savings, Feldstein estimates you increase the size of the national economy dramatically. So, you got a bigger economy with bigger paychecks, which allows you to have more savings.
So, you have a better return with more jobs. Now — no.
What the difference is, this will only pass if in hundreds of college campuses the students decide they want it. The people have to be for it. Reagan was a genius at convincing the people. He used to say, my job is to show the light to the American people so they will turn up the heat on Congress.
So, you’ve got — a strong, effective American leader has to be one with the people and then you can change Washington. And I spend a lot of my time worrying about how do we, the people, defeat they the establishment?
I don’t want to try to figure out how to manage the establishment. I want to figure out how to change it. And that’s a fundamental difference.
Thank you all very, very much.
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