Newt Gingrich on Civil Rights

Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House


Loyalty test for everyone, not just for Muslims

Q: You've said you would impose a loyalty test for Muslims to serve in your administration. You said, "We did this in dealing with the Nazis, and we did this in dealing with the communists." What specific loyalty test would you require them to take?

GINGRICH: Actually, I didn't describe it as applied to Muslims. I described it as applied to everybody. There is nothing illegitimate about seeking to make sure that people are loyal to the US if they work for the government of the US. I was responding to this insane moment [in a trial of] the guy who built the car bomb from Pakistan, was asked by the judge, who said to him, "But you swore an oath of loyalty to the US." And he said to the judge, "I am your enemy. I lied." The judge seemed mystified at the idea that somebody would have lied. And my point is, we now know there really were communist spies. And I would suggest to you we need security provisions across the board to ensure that those Americans and the American government are loyal to the US.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

I helped author DOMA; if it fails, amend Constitution

Q: Are you a George W. Bush Republican, meaning a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, or a Dick Cheney Republican, that same sex marriage should be a state's decision?

GINGRICH: I helped author the Defense of Marriage Act which the Obama administration should be protecting in court. I think if that fails, you have no choice except a constitutional amendment.

SANTORUM: Constitutional amendment.

PAWLENTY: Constitutional amendment.

CAIN: State decision.

ROMNEY: Constitutional.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Army & Marines wanted Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell

Q: Now gays are allowed to serve openly in the military; would you leave that policy in place or would you try to change it back to "don't ask/don't tell"?

CAIN: If I had my druthers, I never would have overturned "don't ask/don't tell" in the first place. Now that they have changed it, I wouldn't create a distraction trying to turn it over as president.

GINGRICH: Well, I think it's very powerful that both the Army and the Marines overwhelmingly opposed changing it, that their recommendation was against changing it. And if as president--I've met with them and they said, you know, it isn't working, it is dangerous, it's disrupting unit morale, and we should go back, I would listen to the commanders whose lives are at risk about the young men and women that they are, in fact, trying to protect.

BACHMANN: I would keep the "don't ask/don't tell" policy.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Stop forcing same-sex marriage on religious organizations

Source: A Nation Like No Other, by Newt Gingrich, p. 87-88 , Jun 13, 2011

Helped oust Iowa justices who approved same-sex marriage

Gingrich has made gains among evangelical leaders--the result of aggressively cultivating relationships with influential national figures and local pastors in key nominating states.

Last year, Gingrich helped secure seed money for a successful campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who approved same-sex marriage in the state.

Gingrich is now hoping his network of conservative Christian leaders will help him win over evangelical voters in Iowa and South Carolina.

Source: Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times , May 12, 2011

Repeal hate speech legislation including campus speech codes

The liberties of both religious expression and speech in general are guaranteed by the First Amendment. Therefore:
Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p.271-272 , May 17, 2010

ACLU lawsuits designed to drain resources of Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America [are] a venerable American institution that has had a profound impact on the values and virtues of young Americans. Demonstrating that no one is immune from their effort to make society conform to their narrow, secular agenda aimed at elevating the individual to a place worthy only of God, the American Civil Liberties Union and their sympathetic counter-culture warriors have waged a legal war of attrition against the Scouts, draining their limited resources with numerous lawsuits and appeals. Their calculated campaign against an institution that teaches young men how to be good stewards of the environment, to respond to emergencies, to be resourceful and thrifty, and to be reverent to adults and God. Scouting is more important than ever in combating the nihilistic forces of our culture and shaping young lives into service-oriented leaders.
Source: On My Honor, by Gov. Rick Perry, p. iii , Feb 12, 2008

Five justices banned school prayer against American majority

The views by the media-academic-legal elite are completely at odds with the overwhelming majority of Americans. Once five justices decided we could not pray in schools or at graduation or could not display the Ten Commandments, we lost those rights. If five justices decide we cannot say that our nation is “under God,” then we will also lose that right.

They are not only arbitrarily rewriting the law of the land but are usurping the legitimate rights of the legislative branch to make the laws.

Source: Rediscovering God in America, by Newt Gingrich, p.132-133 , Dec 31, 2006

Foreign opinion has no relevance to US same-sex marriage

There is a new & growing pattern among the Left-liberal establishment to view foreign opinion & international organizations as more legitimate than American institutions. [For example], Justice Ginsberg stated in 2003: “The Court has displayed a steadily growing attentiveness to legal developments in the rest of the world & to the Court’s role in keeping the US in step with them.”

In other words, Ginsberg is promising that as elites in other countries impose elitist values on their people, the Supreme Court has the power and the duty to translate their new Left-liberal values on the American people. No more old-fashioned defense of American traditions and American constitutional precedent.

Ginsberg quotes approvingly Justice Kennedy’s opinion making same-sex relationships a constitutional right in part out of “respect for the Opinions of Humankind.” The Court emphasized, “The right the petitioners seek in this case has been accepted as an integral part of human freedom in many other countries.”

Source: Winning the Future, by Newt Gingrich, p. 72-74 , Oct 1, 2005

Foreign opinion irrelevant to US affirmative action policy

The majority on the Supreme Court is continuing to look outside America for guidance in interpreting American law. Justice Ginsburg noted that in Michigan affirmative action cases, "I looked to two UN Conventions: the 1965 International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the US has ratified; and the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which, sadly the US has not yet ratified. The Court's decision in the Law School case, I observed, accords with the international understanding of the office of affirmative action."

Thus a mechanism has been locked into place by which five appointed lawyers can redefine the meaning of the US Constitution and the policies implemented under the Constitution either by inventing rationales out of thin air or by citing whatever foreign precedent they think helpful.

Source: Winning the Future, by Newt Gingrich, p. 76-77 , Oct 1, 2005

Discontinue affirmative action programs

Source: Congressional 1998 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1998

ACLU has become eccentric and destructive

The ACLU is an organization with a long and distinguished history of fighting to protect freedom of speech. On the other hand, in recent years, it has carried its mandate to ever more eccentric and often highly destructive lengths. While is may have been perfectly honorable for Dukakis to belong to the ACLU, it was equally legitimate for Bush to attack him for it. And with what enormous relish he did the job!
Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p.183 , Jul 2, 1998

NEA includes most bizarre & extreme misuse of tax funds

One big disappointment for conservatives was our failure immediately to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts. Certainly any listing of the most bizarre and extreme misuses of taxpayer money would have to include such examples of NEA artistic grant to a certain HIV-infected “performance artist” whose art consisted of cutting his uninfected fellow performer onstage and dangling the blood over the audience so they could experience the risk of contracting AIDS, or to two professors standing at the Mexican border and handing out $10 bills to illegal immigrants as they cross over and so on and on. Everyone has his own favorite cases. There is no question that if the majority of ordinary Americans were to see many of the examples of where NEA money goes, they would favor abolishing the system. Yet in the Senate there has always been strong support for the agency.
Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p. 9 , Jul 2, 1998

Shocked by legal segregation in 1960s Georgia

Besides being overwhelmingly Democratic and corrupt, the Georgia I entered in the 1960s was bitterly segregationist. It always amuses me when reporters and columnists assume I must be a traditional southern conservative with, they hint, racist and redneck roots. As an army brat, my first experience of legal segregation was shocking. In Columbus, schools, bathrooms, and water fountains were all segregated. In 1962 I found myself in my first political argument about race, listening to a yellow-dog Democrat from Cairo (deep in south Georgia) patiently explain how blacks were not fully human and that any effort to integrate was biologically doomed to failed.

Segregation had been erected by the southern Democratic Party to give power to white elites by splitting poor people of both races. Segregation was bitterly defended by southern white Democrats while being challenged by a coalition of northern Democrats and Republicans.

Source: Renew America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 21-22 , Jul 2, 1996

Individual rights trump group rights

One of the great debates of the near future will be individual versus group rights. It is a debate that must end decisively in favor of the individual.

If our rights are inalienable, they clearly belong to us as individuals. They cannot be taken away by the government because our Creator outranks the government. Similarly, neither can they be taken away by a group.

The very concept of group rights contradicts the nature of America. America is about the future, about "the pursuit of happiness," while group rights are about the past. America asks who you want to be. Group rights ask who your grandparents were.

Source: Renew America, by Newt Gingrich, p.153 , Jul 2, 1996

1968: Led college protest over suppressing racy newspaper

Those who seek hypocrisy in Gingrich are quick to note that he led protests when he was a graduate student at Tulane U. in 1968. But his protests were over the suppression of racy material in a student newspaper. He was arguing a constitutional point, even if his tactics were those of the counterculture he is quick to demean. Classmates of time told interviewers that Gingrich was a 1950s sort of man, wearing a jacket and tie to class when dress codes everywhere were yielding to blue jeans and T-shirts
Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 23 , Jun 1, 1995

America is multi-ethnic but not multi-cultural

Gingrich's views on race were shaped by his rearing in the culture of the military meritocracy [including military bases abroad]. "I was in an integrated society," he recalled in an interview in the spring of 1995."I knew kids who were black. We formed friendships; we were in the same classes; we were on the same teams. We routinely interacted on a level where you didn't think about it. And they were Americans. In Europe the distinction was between us and not us. And they were us."

His views also are grounded in his historical view: e pluribus unum, or out of many, one. To use his phrase, "American civilization is diverse and multiethnic, but it is one civilization." Newt finds common ground with those who argue that in diversity there is strength--but only to a point. We are multiethnic, but we are not multicultural.

Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 28 , Jun 1, 1995

Affirmative action OK individually, but not by group

In 1995, a California referendum [was proposed to] eliminate affirmative action programs in state and local government. When Gingrich was asked about the issue at his regular daily press conference, he was consistent.

"It is my belief," he said, "that affirmative action programs, if done for individuals, are good, and if done by some group distinction, are bad. Because it is antithetical to the American dream to measure people by the genetic pattern of their great-grandmothers. So, I'm very interested in rewriting the affirmative action programs so that they allow individuals to get help whether they are Appalachian white or blacks from Atlanta. But I think it ought to be based on the fact that you individually have worked hard and are trying to rise and that you come out of a background of poverty and a background of cultural need."

A reporter noted that some beneficiaries of government preferences have been subjected to discrimination for centuries. "That's been true of virtually every American."

Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 31 , Jun 1, 1995

Half-sister, a lesbian lobbyist: "Newt promotes tolerance"

When [Newt's sister] Candace made the rounds of Capitol Hill in early 1995 as a lesbian lobbying on behalf of the homosexual rights organizations, the Human Rights Campaign Fund, her meeting with Newt became a major news story. Brother and sister hugged and kissed, and Candace praised Newt for working hard to achieve a goal.

The Speaker never has made much of an issue of homosexuality except to oppose its promotion in schools. In an interview with a homosexual newspaper in 1994, Gingrich said, "I think our position should be toleration. It should not be promotion and it should not be condemnation."

His half-sister disagreed, saying "A leaky faucet, a barking dog--those are the things you tolerate. While Newt is promoting tolerance, his colleagues are preparing anti-gay legislation."

Gingrich was unpersuaded, saying, "I am not prepared to establish a federal law that allows you to sue your employer if you end up not having a job because of a disagreement that involves your personal behavior."

Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 68 , Jun 1, 1995

GOP can no longer be the party of the country club

Even though he first ran for Congress in a district by one-time segregationist George Wallace in an unsuccessful presidential quest, Gingrich has generally refrained from using racial issues to his advantage. While some of his comments about welfare state victims are tinged with racial undertones, most of the time he sincerely emphasizes the need to recognize that America is a multiethnic and multicultural society. He argues that the GOP can no longer afford to be "the party of the country clubs" and instead has to evolve into a party "that cares enough about the poor to actually help them, rather than a party that cares just enough about them to exploit them.
Source: Quotations from Speaker Newt, by A.&P. Bernstein, p. 36-7 , Jan 1, 1995

Affirmative opportunity instead of affirmative action

A decade of affirmative action has produced office after office in which people have their jobs because of quotas rather than competence.
--Newt's book, "Window of Opportunity"

Conservative Republicans are. explicitly for integration and civil rights for everyone--but civil rights based on individual characteristics, not genetic code.
--Policy Review. Window 1991

We believe in affirmative opportunities for those from a culture of poverty or in genuine economic need. However, helping a millionaire's son or daughter because they fit the right quota, while denying the child of a low-income worker because they are in the wrong quota, is simply wrong. We also believe that any efforts to set up group politics based on quotas and set-asides is inherently destructive of that ideal.
--Congressional Record. January 30, 1992

Source: Quotations from Speaker Newt, by A.&P. Bernstein, p.127-8 , Jan 1, 1995

Equality of opportunity, not equality of result

Americans have historically preferred to focus on equality of opportunity, not equality of result. Americans have no interest in saying, "Every quarterback should be treated as if they're Joe Montana." Americans have every interest in saying, "Everybody should be allowed to try out for the team." Americans declare themselves prepared to countenance very substantial economic inequalities, while insisting on the importance of the ideal of equal opportunities.
--Renewing American Civilization, Class 6
Source: Quotations from Speaker Newt, by A.&P. Bernstein, p.117 , Jan 1, 1995

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Newt Gingrich on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
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Political Thinkers:
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Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021