The question that left Newt Gingrich speechless — briefly — in New Hampshire

January 6, 2012

A young New Hampshire voter left Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, 68, speechless on Thursday night when he essentially confronted the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — and other older voters in the room — with their mortality.

“I’m curious what hope you can give America in these dire times,” the 22-year-old man asked. “I know that many people in this room are on their way out. I say that in a respectful way — that in maybe ten years a lot of these people in this room will have passed away.”

“Don’t try to defend that [comment] because this could get worse,” Gingrich said at a campaign event in Meredith as the crowd gasped, laughed and applauded the young voter’s remarks.

But the man continued. “I noticed that in my age bracket no one cares about politics because it’s something for old people,” he said. “What can be done in eight years [in the White House] that will affect the life that I have yet to live, that you have already lived.”

“There are moments in this business where I am just left speechless,” said Gingrich, before going on to explain why most political issues, such as the threat of a nuclear Iran and crippling student loans, were not just an “old person’s concern.”

When calling on the next voter to ask a question, Gingrich then quipped: “Are you going to suggest anything about how soon we’re passing away?”

Gingrich is sitting in fourth place, some 30 points behind former Massachusetts Governor and frontrunner Mitt Romney, ahead of the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary, according to a recent poll.

Photo credit: Newt Gingrich speaks as he tours the Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. gun factory in Newport, New Hampshire January 6, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer


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I like Newt Gingrich! I think he has a proven track record of both balancing our nations budget, and creating jobs, over 11 million! We need big ideas and solutions to get out of the mess were in. While Romni has extensive business background, his only public record in our government is filled with tax and fee increases in Massachusetts. As well as creation of an expensive new healthcare entitlement for that state, causing the need for all the new taxes and fees! That’s the equivalent of Obama! Newt is a more rational candidate and will focus on getting people back to work and correcting our foreign policy mess. He will also get our financial house in order. Romni, like Obama, thought “If I was in charge, I could fix things!”. LOL! Both were wrong as they both found out there are no dictators in this country. It takes years of experience and skill to alter the path of our country in a positive way without sinking the ship. Newt Gingrich knows how to get things done. Romni like Obama talks a good game, but neither know how to get things done. Both fell prey to the legislature beneath them due to there inexperience. We have no time for either of them. Its time for Newt Gingrich, warts and all! I will proudly vote for him!

Posted by paulrever | Report as abusive

I have noticed that some young people do not take this election seriously; some follow in a cult-like way, the questionable ramblings of Ron Paul, and some follow Barak Obama because they think he is “cool.” Little do they seem to realize they are the ones who will suffer the longest because of the destructive policies of these two men.

Posted by politicalg-ma | Report as abusive

Give me the wisdom of 68 year old Gingrich any day over the shallow “business talk” of a man (Romney) who has little to brag about other than his green backs and pushing his “pro abortion”, healthcare in Mass.

Posted by gloriak22 | Report as abusive

we need someone with gingrich’s fire to get the job done. but he needs to harness some of his rhetoric that gets him into trouble. with a sharp tongue comes controversy and reaction and those qualities can impede his goals.
i like him, but i want to see him exercise the kind of control that a president must show. he is obviously a smart man and he needs to use those smarts to bring measured and directed initiatives to governance. throwing fireballs is not helping him.

Posted by lawdoc | Report as abusive