How Newt Gingrich Won 2012

Gingrich is seriously considering CNN's Crossfire reboot.

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Olivier Douliery / ABACAUSA

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announces the suspension of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination as his wife Callista looks on May 2, 2012 in Arlington, Va.

Newt is back. His book business has been revitalized, he’s throwing himself onto the speaking circuit, and he’s a once and possibly future regular talking head on television.

Well into his fourth decade in American politics — and almost a year to the day since dropping out of the 2012 Republican primary  — Newton Leroy Gingrich shows no signs of slowing down. Indeed, Gingrich, 69, is making losing a presidential campaign look a lot like a victory.

Speaking to TIME between sending tweets and meeting with voters on a “thank you” tour this week in South Carolina — the only competitive state he won during the 2012 Republican primaries — Gingrich said his post-presidential life has been “exhilarating.”

“The campaign was a very extraordinary and exhausting experience for both of us, but this is different,” he says, referring to his wife Callista. “Where that kept you tired and focused on trying to get to the next event, this is about opening yourself up and solving problems.”

And there’s nothing that Gingrich doesn’t love more than solving problems. “I get a big emotional kick out of it,” he adds.

That’s not to say everything went well in 2012. In addition to losing the nomination, his campaign remains $4.6 million in the red, and the once-prosperous assortment of companies known as Newt, Inc are bankrupt. But the ever-reinventing Gingrich is back with a plan centered around Gingrich Productions, the firm he founded with Callista to serve as the clearinghouse for his creative and media ventures.

Last month Gingrich founded the super PAC “Committee for America” to raise money for both his indebted presidential campaign and American Legacy Political Action Committee, the new organization he founded to support conservative local and state politicians. It hasn’t benefited his old campaign yet — which counts Newt Gingrich among its creditors to the tune of nearly $650,000 — and nearly all of the $121,000 in revenue last quarter came from renting out his email list.

One vehicle for his reinvention is Newt University — the oft-mocked online school founded at the Republican National Convention after Mitt Romney wouldn’t give him a speaking slot. Gingrich is hoping to educate the world about technological changes like self-driving cars and Mars exploration — passions he put on display during his campaign when he laid out a vision for a moon colony.

Gingrich also believes he’s identified the problem with Washington: “It’s pioneers of the future vs. prisoners of the past,” Gingrich explains. “There’s extraordinary creativity underway in science, technology and entrepreneurship, but the political process is just so out of sync with it.” Gingrich hopes to use the Newt University to help prospective Republican lawmakers be similarly visionary. And it’s the subject of his next book, due out in the fall.

He’s also on the speaking circuit — facing off with former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at Penn State University last week. True to form, he detoured to check out the school’s “Lunar Lion” — its entrant into the Google Lunar X-Prize science competition. “It’s a groundbreaking project,” he gushes, “all for one-tenth of what it would cost NASA.” Then there’s the new movie project, “God Loves You: The Life of Billy Graham,” a documentary about the iconic evangelist.

Over the weekend, Newt and Callista attended the White House Correspondents Dinner as guests of CNN. The following day he appeared on ABC’s “This Week” — his second appearance since the start of the year. He’s been on CNN nearly a dozen times since January, and even scored a cameo appearance on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”

The traditional ladder by which people rise in Washington, running for office, is essentially no longer available to Gingrich — advisers admit as much even as the man himself remains coy. So Gingrich is trying to turn one part Al Gore, one part Oprah — working to build a broad empire to regain and expand his influence.

POLITICO fingered Gingrich as the potential co-host of a revived “Crossfire” on CNN, the much-maligned current events debating show famously skewered by Jon Stewart in 2004.

Just how serious are the Crossfire talks? “Serious enough that I feel comfortable telling you about it,” Gingrich says. Will Stephanie Cutter join? “You’ve got to ask CNN,” he says. A CNN spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

He admits he’s tantalized by the prospect of a regular slot on television to discuss “serious issues.”

“People forget but for the first 10 years it was a very serious program,” he says of the Tom Braden and Pat Buchanan years. “I remember doing it as a junior member — it was a real workout. It was a destination for people to hear both sides discuss serious issues in an entertaining way.”

Musing about potential topics, Gingrich says, “the controversy over the FAA and even Syria would be great Crossfire.”

“We could have a leader in the field of regenerative medicine talk about how the FDA is blocking his or her research, then have a debate about reforming the FDA. That would be a good example of a serious show I want to do.”

25 comments
jmac
jmac

Why could he not have been born a woman so he could have gone the way of Palin a long time ago?  Why is the press pushing him?  Do they miss Bachmann that much?  Can't they just cover Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee?   We don't need a fourth Stooge.  

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Q:  "How Newt Gingrich won 2012"?

1) In addition to losing the nomination,... 

2) his campaign remains $4.6 million in the red,... 

3) and the once-prosperous assortment of companies known as Newt, Inc are bankrupt.

4) [his] super PAC “Committee for America” ... and American Legacy Political Action Committee,... [haven't] benefited his old campaign yet 

5) One vehicle for his reinvention is Newt University — the oft-mocked online school...

6) The traditional ladder by which people rise in Washington, running for office, is essentially no longer available to Gingrich...

A: By having TIME declare him the winner, despite a string of monumental failures.
I am looking forward to TIME's upcoming exposé: How the Detroit Lions won the 2013 Super Bowl... 

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

So the creepy GOTP gasbag and 90's relic's campaign remains $4.6 million in the red.  I wonder how he feels about bringing back debtor's prison now.

He should've run on the family values and ethics platform.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

“There’s extraordinary creativity underway in science, technology and entrepreneurship, but the political process is just so out of sync with it.” 

No Newt, the political process is not out of sync with science, technology or entrepreneurship.  It's just the GOP that is out of sync with science, technology and entrepreneurship. 

grape_crush
grape_crush

> And there’s nothing that Gingrich doesn’t love more than solving problems.

Oh, I think Newt Gingrich loves Newt Gingrich more than anything else in the whole wide world.

> “People forget but for the first 10 years it was a very serious program...”

Gingrich forgets that it was owned by the Turner Broadcasting System until 1996, when Time-Warner bought it out. Between corporate ownership and the rise of competitors like FNC and MSNBC in the 24-hour cable news area, it hasn't - and won't - ever be the same.

mandycat
mandycat

My favorite quote about this tacky grifter:  "Anyone who thinks that the fastest land animal is the cheetah has never seen Newt Gingrich when he spots a microphone."

sacredh
sacredh

"He admits he’s tantalized by the prospect of a regular slot on television to discuss “serious issues.”

Where is that birth certificate?

Is Obama really the anti-Christ?

How Muslim is Obama?

Is Obama still running around with terrorists?

Why won't democrats compromise?

Which cruise lines are the best?

Why weren't people smart enough to vote for me?

Who is the next Mrs. Newt?



 

sacredh
sacredh

On CNN? Chances aren't good that the story is true.

sacredh
sacredh

"Newton Leroy Gingrich shows no signs of slowing down. Indeed, Gingrich, 69, is making losing a presidential campaign look a lot like a victory."

Please God, let that be his age.

gysgt213
gysgt213

Somebody has to pay that Tiffany's bill.  Might as well be the clueless CNN.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Newt complaining about "prisoners of the past". Irony overload. 

sacredh
sacredh

"He should've run on the family values and ethics platform."

For a party that claims to represent America and it's values, why have they lost 5 out of the last 6 popular votes for president? Could it be because they're the only ones that still buy into that fiction?

PhadrasJohns
PhadrasJohns

@Sparrow55 No, it's that we don't believe in the greatest hoax perpetrated on mankind since Piltdown Man in global warming, er, cooling, er, climate change, errr ahh  what is today's lib catchphrase for  fearmongering? We don't buy the marxist flavored theories that prove only to hamstring humanity. I'm conservative and love science and use it and technology just like everyone else. But don't try to ram an unproven theory of bioshpere change, which just so happens to coincide with your statist marxism, down my throat. Prove it. Show it. Demonstrate it to all as any scientific theory must. Until then it is just conjecture based on a  marxist, statist, viewpoint that merely wants to limit freedom and liberty. 

ZacPetit
ZacPetit

@Sparrow55 You're both right. The political process is WAY out of sync with technology (why don't we cast our votes online?! for all issues?!) AND the GOP is out of sync on many things.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

@Sparrow55  : Climate change isn't real. Evolution doesn't happen. The moon landing was a hoax. The sun revolves around the earth. The earth is flat. The internet is a bunch of pipes.

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.” — Congressman Paul Broun, R, GA, September 27, 2012.


bobell
bobell

@grape What you quote says the opposite of what it's supposed to mean.  It's called "misnegation."

sacredh
sacredh

"Oh, I think Newt Gingrich loves Newt Gingrich more than anything else in the whole wide world."

Onan the Barbarian. If thy right hand offends thee, use your left.

sacredh
sacredh

Or a younger, prettier woman.

Heian
Heian

He only sees it that way because he's trying to escape his own.

So that he can make newer, more current msitakes.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@ZacPetit @Sparrow55 

I liked and then un-liked your idea. I want a paper trail that can be verified. Mailed in ballots  seems to work well.