Rating the Candidates: Newt Gingrich


[Watch the debate live online here.]

Newt gets extra credit for giving Dr. George a shout-out at the beginning on the Manhattan Declaration: "What Dr. George began with the Manhattan statement to re-center American culture is very important ...this is very important." From his opening remarks:

"Always a citizen, never a subject. A set of truths about the nature of being human. We are human within a fabric created by God. These rights are inalienable. Which means no politician, no bureaucrat, no judge can take them away from you ...we are in grave danger of descending from being citizens into being subjects."

Dr. George: "Pres. Lincoln's First Inaugural, he spoke of the court usurping the authority of the people on slavery. Section 5 of the 14th Amendment authorizes Congress to enforce the guarantees of equal protection and due process. Would you as President propose legislation to protect life?" Speaker Gingrich answers [paraphrase]:

Yes. But there are five other issues. There are a number of issues on which the courts have usurped the people's power. Jefferson wrote that the Supreme Court unimpeded would be "an oligarchy." This is the center of American exceptionalism. We are a people of law. To be a people of law you have to have a structure. By a 5-4 vote appointed lawyers can be the equivalent of a Constitutional Convention ...we are going to have a big fight with the lawyer class. Jefferson in 1802 passes judicial reform act which eliminates judges ...I am not as bold as Thomas Jefferson. I would no more than eliminate Judge Berry in San Antonio and the 9th Circuit ...that's not a rhetorical comment. The executive branches have an obligation to defend the Constitution against judges who are tyrannical."

Gingrich on marriage:

"I support a constitutional amendment on marriage. We have every right to defend a 3,000-year clear record [on what marriage is] and I don't think we should be intimidated against [defending it]."

Grading Newt Gingrich: "B"