Gingrich, Newt (1943—)

Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995–1999), is known for his leadership of GOPAC (a Republican Party training organization), the development of the “Contract with America,” and the 1994 “Republican Revolution.”

In seeking to erode confidence in the Democrats while concurrently developing a set of Republican ideas and programs, Gingrich's congressional leadership began with the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS) House caucus. Notably, the COS took advantage of C-SPAN's congressional floor coverage so as to preach a blisteringly conservative message to more than 17 million American viewers. Though Democratic leaders were furious and forced cameras to pan across the empty floor, COS had made its mark, and leading conservatives encouraged Gingrich to keep pushing.

Gingrich was handed control of GOPAC in 1986, transforming it into a ...

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