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Reaction pours in to Gingrich's decision

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, November 6) -- In deciding not to run again for House speaker and in fact leave Congress, Newt Gingrich shocked official Washington and altered the political landscape.

Here's the text of Gingrich's statement, and reaction from lawmakers:

House Speaker Newt Gingrich's announcement

"Today I have reached a difficult personal decision. I will not be a candidate for Speaker of the 106th congress. The Republican conference needs to be unified, and it is time for me to move forward where I believe I still have a significant role to play for our country and our party. My party will have my full support, and I will do all I can to help us win in 2000.

"I urge my colleagues to pick leaders who can both reconcile and discipline, who can work together and communicate effectively. They have my prayers and my thoughts as they undertake this task.

"I want to thank everyone who friendship and support has made these years enjoyable. Marianne and I are grateful to the citizens of Georgia who gave us the wonderful opportunity to represent them and to my Republican colleagues who became our extended family. Thank you and God bless you."


President Bill Clinton

"Newt Gingrich has been a worthy adversary, leading the Republican party to a majority in the House, and joining me in a great national debate over how best to prepare America for the 21st Century.

"Despite our profound differences, I appreciate those times we were able to work together in the national interest, especially Speaker Gingrich's strong support for America's continuing leadership for freedom, peace and prosperity in the world."


House GOP Conference Chairman John Boehner

"As he has done so many times in the last 20 years, Newt Gingrich has shown incredible courage. He has always put his party's interest and his nation's interest ahead of his own. I know he will continue to serve his friends and his colleagues as an elder statesmen in our party."


Rep. Bill Archer (R-Texas)

"I'm saddened that my longtime close friend and colleague, Speaker Newt Gingrich, has decided to resign from Congress. Newt Gingrich is a visionary who was responsible for ending 40 years of high taxes, high spending, and a welfare state that had grown out of control. His leadership brought us welfare reform, the first budget surplus in 25 years, and a return to the opportunity society that America values. All Americans owe Newt Gingrich a debt of gratitude for his service to our country.

"I am actively considering running for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. It's vital to our nation that we put principles before politics and ideas before ambition.

"I will spend this weekend with my family considering how I can best serve our nation and the low-tax, less-government cause in which I believe."


House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt

"Newt Gingrich resignation as Speaker was the aftershock from last Tuesday's political earthquake. The American people sent a strong message that the Republican Congress was a failure -- that its leadership didn't address the issues they cared about. The Speaker's resignation is the reaction to that message.

"This is a real opportunity for a new start for the House. It's time to put aside the intense partisanship of the past in favor of a coalition for change which encompasses both parties.

"I hope that whoever succeeds Newt Gingrich as Speaker will immediately begin the process of repairing the damage that was wrought on this institution over the last four years.

"It is critically important that the Speaker has a strong sense of respect for the institution of the House and for members on the other side of the aisle. The Speaker is not only the leader of a party, he is the representative of the People's House, and has a responsibility to all members, not just to fellow Republicans."


Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson

"Newt Gingrich has been a visionary figure in our party, one who has transformed American politics and reshaped the political debate in a remarkably short time. His announcement today was a magnanimous gesture, typical of the man whose selflessness and singular commitment to our party's agenda has led us to three historic consecutive majorities in the House of Representatives. It is now time for the party he has served so well to refocus on the issues that matter so much to him, and to all Americans: lower taxes, leaner government, greater individual freedoms, and enhanced opportunities for all Americans -- with no one left behind."


Rep. Bob Barr (R-Georgia)

"I am deeply saddened as a friend and Member of Congress to learn of Newt Gingrich's decision to resign from Congress. The fact that Republicans hold a majority in Congress in the first place is directly attributable to Newt Gingrich's incredible vision and perseverence over the past decade.

"Newt Gingrich will leave Congress as a great American hero, with a list of accomplishments rivaled by few in our nation's history. He will be sorely missed and deserves the thanks of a grateful nation."


Sen. Don Nickles (R-Oklahoma)

"Newt Gingrich's ideas contributed significantly to the Republican Party's greatest victories of the post-war period, and his commonsense conservative agenda has helped change the nation's political dialogue. He will be missed, but the traditional Republican policies that he pushed will continue in Congress and across the nation."


Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland)

"Newt will go down in history for his phenomenal achievement in winning the Republican majority in the House for the first time in 40 years. His action today was bold and gracious."


Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-North Carolina)

"I was very saddened by the news that Congressman Gingrich stepped down. I was a strong supporter of Gingrich since I came to office 12 years ago. I am very sad."



RELATED STORIES

Gingrich to resign from speakership, Congress (11-6-98)

Gingrich's career: Highs, lows and knack for survival (11-6-98)

Gingrich's decision: How it happened (11-6-98)

New Gingrich: The man (11-6-98)

Speaker reaching to members to gauge dissatisfaction (11-5-98)

Democrats celebrate, Republicans search for direction after election night (11-4-98)

A small but historic shift for House Democrats (11-3-98)


SPECIAL REPORT

Gingrich's ethics


RELATED STORIES

Gingrich's statement


RELATED SITES

Republican National Committee


MORE STORIES:

Friday, November 6, 1998

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