Gingrich: 2012 Might See a Third Party Movement if the GOP Doesn’t Shape Up

Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich warned an audience at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri that the election of 2012 would see a strong third-party movement unless the GOP “shapes up,” and ceases to be the “right wing party of big government.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Remember, everything Obama’s doing, Bush started last year,” said former Republican speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. “If you’re going to talk about big spending, the mistakes of the Bush administration last year are fully as bad as the mistakes of Obama’s first two, three months.”

Gingrich was speaking to an audience at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri. He was busy warning GOP leaders of the possibility of a significant third party rise come 2012 if the Republicans don’t manage to regain their status as the small government party: “If the Republicans can’t break out of being the right wing party of big government, then I think you would see a third party movement in 2012.”

You can read the full article here. Source: Western Standard.

49 thoughts on “Gingrich: 2012 Might See a Third Party Movement if the GOP Doesn’t Shape Up

  1. Morgan Brykein Post author

    I thought this would be good to post here, because for one thing, Gingrich’s warning seems to suggest that a strong third party movement would somehow be a “bad” thing.

  2. Ross Levin

    Gingrich is a complete tool. For the past few years it seems like he’s been trying to be the Al Gore of the Republican Party and failing (meaning that he’s been trying to be a revered and improved now that he’s out of electoral politics). He’s clearly just saying this because he’s looking at a 2012 run, which makes him more of a political tool.

    Although conditions do seem ripe for some kind of “centrist” or right wing new party to emerge, even though I don’t think it would be too successful.

  3. Bill Lussenheide

    Based upon responses here in California and nationally, it appears that Gingrich is right.

    The Constitution Party is getting tremendous interest right now, ie, inquiries/constacts, at what historically is the slowest time of the election cycle.

  4. Brian Irving

    Just what we need. Another failed Republican politician forming another “third party.” What’s he going to call it? If he is honest, he will call the Contract On America Party.

  5. William Mize

    Is he saying that he thinks that the LP or CP might come knocking on his door, hat in hand, and beg him to be their party’s nominee?
    Oh my lord.
    Bob Barr was marginally acceptable, but Newt?
    Oh HELL no.

  6. paulie

    Is he saying that he thinks that the LP or CP might come knocking on his door, hat in hand, and beg him to be their party’s nominee?

    The LP might.

  7. Sean Scallon

    It’s nice Newt is rediscovering his roots but unfortunatley the blame for big government also goes right to his doorstep as well in his incoherent ideology. And of course as per usual the so-called “small government Republicans ” that a small government with giant military industrial complex just doesn’t work. You have to shrink that monster as well or end up looking like hypocrites as Republicans often do.

    Still, for a faily prominent Republican to say this or even entertain such an idea is interesting. A lot’s going to depend on what happens to the GOP after 2010 elections. The question is, is Newt willing to lead such an effort or is he just warning of the “fire next time.”

  8. Steve

    From this context, I don’t think Newt is saying that he will run as a 3rd party candidate, more likely he is warning that if the GOP doesn’t nominate a “small government Republican” him or his chosen candidate, probably Jindal, that they will lose votes to a 3rd party.

    Maybe Bob Barr made certain segments of the political elite stand up and take notice of the LP. And hopefully some of the angry Republicans holding these “tea parties” will be smart enough to realize that it is not only “liberal democrats” selling them out.

  9. Thomas M. Sipos

    Former Orange County LP Chair Bruce Cohen thinks Newt is a libertarian.

    Cohen says: “Newt’s been ringing the alarm bell for a long time. Call him a ‘Neocon’ or other insult, as you will. But to me, he’s not only a smart, pro-defense Conservative, but he’s quite the libertarian.”

    Cohen’s full post (until he deletes it) is here: http://getbruce.blogspot.com/2007/08/newt-warns-of-patriot-act-2.html

    Cohen is also a big Wayne Allyn Root supporter, and belongs to a mutual admiration society with Eric Dondero.

    If Newt does court the LP, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cohen and Dondero offer their support.

  10. William Mize

    Looking at the header image of his blog, I can’t tell if Cohen is:

    a) asleep
    b) in a somnambulistic trance, waiting for The Ghost of Ayn Rand to possess him, and transfer brilliance to the keyboard
    c) paused, mid-sentence, like Liszt, half way through an etude
    d) angry, because he can’t decide if he wants to write or get undressed

    No matter how you slice it, that is one BIG header image. Might want to learn how to resize.

  11. Gene Berkman

    The interesting part of Newt’s statement is his attack on the Republicans as a “rightwing party of big government.”

    We don’t have to support Newt for office to quote him on how Bush pushed government expansion. And we don’t need to wait for him to start a third party to tell conservatives they need an alternative committed to limited government.

  12. paulie

    And we don’t need to wait for him to start a third party to tell conservatives they need an alternative committed to limited government.

    All good, as long as we make a similar effort to tell progressives they need an alternative committed to peace and civil liberties. Otherwise, a Gingrich/Armey/Beck/Malkin etc. can easily become the next LP presidential candidate.

  13. libertariangirl

    paulie // Apr 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Is he saying that he thinks that the LP or CP might come knocking on his door, hat in hand, and beg him to be their party’s nominee?

    The LP might.

    GOD I HOPE NOT , having said that I wouldnt be surprised…

  14. Donald Raymond Lake

    2008 should have been a banner year for non Dems and non GOP! Talk, talk, talk, hype, hype, hype!

    Remember, this was mentioned in TWO PARTY orthodoxy ‘Misery’ where Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin, and Ron Paul were singled by the state for ‘near terrorist’ status……

  15. Michael Seebeck

    OK, if the LP recruits Kermit Gingrich, I’ll run in 2012 for the LP Presidential nomination on a four-word sole-issue platform: “Not Newt. Not Ever!”

  16. Michael Seebeck

    Of course, we may see pigs in formation over LaGuardia before that happens, assuming the LP learns the lessons from the Barr Mistake.

  17. paulie

    Michael,

    I see no reason to make such an assumption.

    Nor would I have believed it if someone suggested in April 2005 that Barr would be the 2008 LP nominee….would you have?

  18. Brett Turcotte

    Unfortunately, I think Gingrich is looking at some kind of top-down personalist third party along the lines of TR/La Follette/Wallace/Anderson/Perot/Nader lines, rather than a sustainable third party that can attract people all up and down the ballot and pull more than single digits in the vote counts. And as long as such a third party doesn’t exist, the game will be strictly Democrats vs. Republicans, with anyone else on the outside looking in.

  19. Gene Berkman

    As a historical note, Newt was affected by the big vote for Ross Perot in 1992.

    The Contract for America was written using focus groups, with the target audience being the 19,000,000 voters who backed Perot.

    Of course, the main issue for Perot voters was balancing the federal budget – and that is one of the issues Newt brings up against Bush.

  20. Christina Tobin

    Ross Levin

    Newt Gingrich is talking about a new “alternative Republican” third party.

    Campaign for Liberty + Dick Armey’s Freedomwork.org.

  21. Eric Dondero

    Yes, Bruce Cohen and I had a “falling out” a few years ago, but it was strictly personal/business, not political. (Bruce is a shitty petitioner, and he didn’t want to assist in the property rights drive while I was there.)

    But politically, him and I see eye to eye, on just about everything.

    He’s a “Republican” Libertarian, and I’m a “Libertarian” Republican.

  22. Kimberly Wilder

    I have been thinking about what happens in 2012, too.

    I am just sickened by the many people around me – peace activists and environmental activists – who are still gushing over Obama. And, stuff like “We have to give him a chance and support him…”

    And, I got to thinking: If people who want peace and to protect the environment are laying off Obama, where is that feeding power too? That is feeding power to Obama having a smooth re-election. That means Obama does not have to fix any of his bad issues or political flaws.

    Also, if these people get what they want – that Obama stays in, maybe changes a tiny bit to the left – then there is absolutely no hope (hehehe, “hope”) that in 2012 we will actually have a GREAT president who is INDEPENDENT OF CORPORATIONS and who BELIEVES IN NON-VIOLENCE.

    By people propping up Obama now, and giving him slack, they are feeding into a choice next time of Obama the moderate Democrat vs. someone in the Republican Party trying to posture even more to the RIGHT of him.

    What would be much better would be: If somehow some leftists could feed into Republican efforts to run a peace candidate (ie, maybe a Libertarian. There have been peace candidates in the Republican primaries in the past.) OR if the Republican party continues to dwindle, get realistic about a third party that is to the LEFT of Obama (and by that, I mean in a good way, such as wanting peace, hating nuclear, not forking money over to the bankers), and realizing that with a weakened Republican Party, and a sell-out Democrat, a third party for peace might have a chance.

    I wish people thought about political formulas, and thought ahead. Political formulas that support Obama now, would make us head into 2012 with only one place to go – the RIGHT.

    (No offense to my fellow bloggers. And, I know some of you are very nobly and sincerely on the right, such as civil liberties, etc.)

  23. Ross Levin

    Kimberly, I don’t think the presidency is any place for a radical (unless they’re someone who isn’t a radical but makes radical changes). If you’re feeling that desperate, I would say that you should turn your attention to local elections, for what it’s worth.

  24. Thomas M. Sipos

    If the LP would nominate Root, it may as well nominate Gingrich. I don’t care for either, but see no substantive difference.

    As Dondero and Cohen both accurately observe, Gingrich and Root (and Barr) are Republican Libertarians (or Libertarian Republicans.) All five of the above men are politically alike.

  25. Robert Capozzi

    I doubt Gingrich gives much thought to the LP, although Barr’s bolt and run probably briefly got his attention. A “major” third party in his mind is likely a splinter of the GOP, not an existing “minor” party.

    I seriously doubt Gingrich is “socially liberal,” which for the most part I suspect Dondero, Cohen, Root and Barr ARE, so I disagree with Sipos’s take.

    Personally, I still think the LP could be a challenging, more than minor, party. There’s a HUGE vacuum in the smaller-government centrist circles, counted at least in the tens of millions. Yet we can’t seem to get over theoretical discussions of personal secession, private nukes, no borders, and such.

    Oh well.

  26. Thomas M. Sipos

    Barr and Root weren’t “socially liberal” two years ago. Both opposed gay marriage. Yet both conveniently “evolved” upon pursuing the LP nomination.

    I agree that Gingrich is unlikely to seek the LP nomination. But if he were to do so, it’s likely that he too would conveniently “evolve” in the Barr/Root fashion.

    Politicians are masters at saying whatever they think their audiences want to here.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    TS, Root seems to’ve been pretty socially liberal for some time. Barr, no, he was part of the “culture wars.”

    So, let me get this straight: You don’t like when people evolve their thinking?

    Can’t say I agree, if so. I personally have evolved from a Randian/Rothbardian, and am now in recovery, and, I’d like to think, have recovered from that rigid mindset, which is a profound set-up for failure. Evolution seems like an awfully positive thing to me, something we start to do in the cradle, and with any luck, until we’re in our grave.

    Effective pols are good communicators, using rhetoric to reach out to suggest another way of looking at things. Persuasion involves challenging premises and helping bridge divides in appropriate ways.

    We need more Barrs and Roots, IMO. You seem to suggest they have not been sincere in the evolution of their thoughts. Again, can’t say I agree.

  28. Donald Raymond Lake

    My my my most rational, reasonable readers would think this was ‘Libertarian Bulletin Board’ instead of INDEPENDENT Political Report.

    I’m just saying [like Third Party Watch]….

  29. paulie

    Don,


    #
    RSS Independent Political Report

    * Sat. April 4th: Local and national parties join UFPJ to march for peace in NYC 2009.04.04
    * Greens Blast Move to Repeal IL Nuclear Moratorium 2009.04.04
    * Green Party electing campaign committees 2009.04.04
    * Radio: Constitution Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Chuck Baldwin 2009.04.03
    * Party for Socialism and Liberation members participate in gay rights march 2009.04.03
    * Libertarian National Committee Chair statement on FY10 budget passage 2009.04.03
    * Green running for Congress in Chicago participates in Wednesday night debate 2009.04.03
    * Cindy Varela Henderson, Peace and Freedom Party candidate, running in California special election 2009.04.03
    * LPNC PR: Restaurant owners choked by own second-hand smoke 2009.04.03
    * Libertarian Party blog: Bill would give Obama administration absolute power to dictate private sector pay 2009.04.03
    * Indianapolis Libertarians blast GOP-sponsored tax hikes, bailouts 2009.04.03
    * Green Party considers online elections 2009.04.03
    * Green National Committee considers death penalty 2009.04.03
    * Gingrich: 2012 Might See a Third Party Movement if the GOP Doesn’t Shape Up 2009.04.03
    * California Green on Fox News 2009.04.03

    You were saying…?

  30. paulie

    Barr and Root weren’t “socially liberal” two years ago. Both opposed gay marriage. Yet both conveniently “evolved” upon pursuing the LP nomination.

    Root was socially liberal when I first heard him speak, in early 2007. Most of his evolution has been on foreign policy. On domestic issues, he was at least vaguely libertarian even before joining the LP.

    Barr was likewise evolving for years before joining the LP.

    I’d have to say Gingrich would be a good deal worse.

    I’d say he doesn’t have a libertarian bone in his body, except the word “libertarian” might be superfluous in that sentence.

  31. paulie

    Personally, I still think the LP could be a challenging, more than minor, party. There’s a HUGE vacuum in the smaller-government centrist circles, counted at least in the tens of millions. Yet we can’t seem to get over theoretical discussions of personal secession, private nukes, no borders, and such.

    You seem to bring those discussions up a lot.

    Yeah, there’s a huge vacuum. But it takes a lot more than platform positions to become a challenging party in a winner-takes-all system. In the last 80 years or so, the Libertarian Party has been more successful nationally than any other alternative party that is not a flash in the pan, major party splinter or personality cult.

    Before that, it was the Socialists and Progressives, but the ballot access laws were a lot different then, and there weren’t millions of dollars spent on political races.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    pc, well, yes, I do bring it up frequently, because it’s my motive for being in the LP. To be a challenger party to me means things like: taken seriously; sometimes wins; affects the outcome of elections; influences the debate.

    In my judgment, the LP isn’t doing these things consistently. Occasionally we do. We spend more time internally debating, which I guess is necessary…I do it, too! I’ve been offering the “lessarchists of the world, unite!” and the Rodney King approach when I can , where I can.

  33. Ross Levin

    Don – I’ve been trying to post more stuff about Greens and others lately, but it seems like you can never be pleased. We’ve also added some more diverse contributors lately. So if we’re still getting more libertarian commenters than anything else, that’s just the way it is.

  34. paulie

    To be a challenger party to me means things like: taken seriously; sometimes wins; affects the outcome of elections; influences the debate.

    In my judgment, the LP isn’t doing these things consistently. Occasionally we do.

    I’ve made some suggestions on how we can do so more consistently. So far, I haven’t seen a lot of practical interest in my suggestions.

  35. paulie

    Not sure why I think this is relevant to this discussion. Found at Delaware Libertarian. The sort of thing kids are learning these days….

  36. Gene Berkman

    After re-reading the article on Gingrich’s talk, it appears he is not advocating a third party, or saying he will be part of one. He is warning Republicans that they face a third party threat if they don’t adopt policies in line with fiscal conservatism and limited government.

    Remember, he was a leader in Congress when he saw Ross Perot come out of nowhere and create a major challenge to the two party system.

    Don’t see any billionaires looking to run an independent campaign in the next couple of years though.

  37. citizen1

    I cannot figure out Gingrich. He often says the right thing. He is also a CFR member and many times though he seems to be at odds with their philosophy. He is one of a few that I cannot reconcile most of his word and actions with CFR doctrine.

  38. Donald Raymond Lake

    Ross, you and the site are doing MUCH BETTER, but do not you notice that respondent after respondent responds in an off handed informal, ‘this is really a subterranean Lib site? Plz tell me that I am not the only one ‘reading’ that! Authoritatively, officially ‘smack ’em down every now and then’ ! Take a stand, an official stand…..

    Yes, the fairness factor is not only increased ‘prima facia’ but fakey dakey non green [stealth influence of Frank MacKay and the so called] Independence Green Parties have been tossed? exposed? deflected?

    Yes, ‘things’ are better, but the underlying agenda and attitude is still ‘old school’!

    Ethics, ethics, ethics………….

  39. paulie

    Translation: Lake is off his meds again.

    We have an open comment policy.

    That means anyone posts whatever they want, as often or rarely as they want, in the comments, with very few exceptions (commercial spam, credible threats, posting as someone else who posts here).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *