Gingrich's RNC Address Calls For Freedom, Morality
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 17) -- As Republican National Committee members prepared to choose a new chairman, embattled House Speaker Newt Gingrich challenged the GOP to embrace a vision of freedom and morality.
"We're a party which has now for 143 years, stood for the cause of freedom," Gingrich said, citing America's steadfastness against the global challenges of fascism and communism. But he warned, "I believe that for the first time since 1939 our challenge is here at home."
The speech came the same day as a public hearing into Gingrich's admitted ethics violations, and a supportive audience greeted him with a prolonged ovation. As his aides had indicated beforehand, the speaker made no mention of the matter in his 30-minute address.
Praising outgoing chairman Haley Barbour's tenure since 1992, Gingrich said, "Imagine a party that grew over the next four years as much as we've grown over the last four."
To do that, the speaker cited eight specific areas for Republicans to target: Combatting racism; destroying the drug trade; combatting ignorance; restoring faith in God; preparing young Americans to compete in a global economy; balancing the federal budget; achieving the benefits of modern science and technology; and promoting the environment through efficient, pro-free-enterprise policies.
"If we renew American civilization, if we restore faith, if we defeat the drug culture, if we reestablish incentives, if we decentralize so local volunteers and local leaders create local solutions, if we replace ignorance with knowledge so that every citizen is able to pursue happiness, I think we could in a generation give our grandchildren the kind of America which would let them lead the entire human race," Gingrich told his audience.
The Republican National Committee's 165 voting members will vote today on Barbour's successor. Heading into the election, the front-runners were former New Hampshire governor Steve Merrill, national committeemen Jim Nicholson of Colorado, David Norcross of New Jersey and Texas Republican chairman Tom Pauken.
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