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SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE GINGRICH DELIVERS REMARKS AT THE MIDWEST
REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
SPEAKERS: U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA), SPEAKER
OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
GINGRICH: Well -- what a great turnout.
Let me just say, first of all, thank you to all of you for giving up your time this August to be here to be part of the process of self- government. What a wonderful tribute to the American system that all of you would come here voluntarily and be part of this, and I just really want to thank you from all across the Midwest.
I know that Chairman Nicholson joins me in saying when you stand up here and you look out, this is a very exciting moment. Now, I... (APPLAUSE)
I also must say that this is the kind of moment that makes me wonder how I get some of the questions I get about what kind of trouble are the Republicans in. (LAUGHTER)
You may have noticed that in Arkansas, a leading Democrat just switched and joined the Republican Party. Sometime in... (APPLAUSE)
Sometime in September, I think, we'll pass the 300th Democratic elected official to switch and join the Republican Party. You saw Ken Blackwell on the way in. He knows that a Democratic state judge... (APPLAUSE) ... right over here and he knows that back in Cincinnati, his home town, a former Democrat judge is now a Republican and that that was part of that process of change. And we see this all across the country.
And yet I'll get questioned about what difficulties do Republicans have. I try to point out to the news media that it was Dick Gephardt who voted against the tax cuts that the president signed. And it was Dick Gephardt who voted against the balanced budget bill that saved Medicare that the president signed.
And normally, you might think the question is what kind of trouble are the Democrats in when their leader is openly in rebellion against their president. But that doesn't seem to quite fit.
So let me start by saying thank you for being here because you are living proof that the Republican Party is alive and doing well, and I believe we're going to gain seats in 1998. (APPLAUSE)
We're going to gain it by working hard, and by doing the right things. We have very key leaders who are active Republicans from the Midwest. Let me mention -- we would not have gotten to a balanced budget without John Kasich of Ohio, who did such an extraordinary job. (APPLAUSE)
We would not have gotten the health reforms, the Medicare reforms, without Denny Hastert of Illinois, who has been just remarkable as our chief deputy whip. (APPLAUSE)
And let me say that I am very proud, coming to Indianapolis, to say to you that Chairman Dan Burton of Indiana is doing a tremendous job, the right way... (APPLAUSE)
You know, we set out to give Chairman Burton a two-year authorization, the time to slowly and calmly, methodically, deal with all the obstruction by the White House, all the obstruction by the other government agencies, all the obstruction by the Democratic National Committee, with one assignment -- get to the base of the truth.
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