Gingrich warns fellow Republicans of possible disaster
WASHINGTON – Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is warning fellow Republicans in the U.S. Congress that they face a possible Election Day disaster this fall.
“Either congressional Republicans are going to chart a bold course of real change or they are going to suffer decisive losses this November,” Gingrich wrote on Tuesday in HumanEvents.com, a leading conservative voice.
Gingrich, who helped Republicans win control of the House for the first time in 40 years in 1994, is now a commentator who likes to give his party unsolicited advice.
Gingrich says the Republican loss in the special election in Louisiana’s sixth congressional district this past weekend should be “a sharp wake up call” for party members.
Gingrich noted President George W. Bush carried the district by 19 percentage points in winning reelection in 2004. In the end, Democratic State Rep. Donald Cazayoux defeated Republican Woody Jenkins. Republicans tried to cast Cazayoux a liberal by comparing him to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, but voters didn’t seem to buy it.
The former Georgia lawmaker also pointed to polls that show Americans now favor Democrats on a host of issues, including taxes and the war on terrorism.
Gingrich said House Republicans should instruct their leader, John Boehner, to come up with a plan for “real change” within a few weeks. He made a number of suggestions, including repealing the gas tax this summer and paying for it by cutting federal spending.
In response, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said his boss agrees that the party “can only succeed this year by being agents of change and reform.”
“In the coming weeks, we will be laying out Republican policies that embody the sort of changes we need,” Steel said.
- Photo credit: Reuters/Mark Avery (file photo)