Newt Gingrich got trounced by Mitt Romney in the Florida primary last night. And that may have a little something to do with all the crazy shit he says. Just last week, Gingrich was suggesting that he'd put a permanent colony on the moon by the end of his second term, with an eye to having it become the 51st state. Before that, he was calling for an end to child labour laws so that students could put be to work as janitors in their own schools. And over the course of his career, he has suggested attacking North Korea with lasers, other countries with lasers from space, and repeatedly warned of the potential threat posed by an electro magnetic pulse weapon, "a very specialized nuclear weapon that sends out the equivalent of a gigantic lightning bolt and knocks out all electricity". While he has being claiming that "millions would die in the first week alone," scientists have been pointing out that the technology doesn't actually exist, that it probably wouldn't be very effective even if it did, and that some of the effects would most likely be solved by rebooting computers.
Here are thirty more of the most ridiculous, offensive, or just plain weird things Newt Gingrich has been quoted as saying:
"If we'd spent as much on space as we've spent on farm programs, we could have taken all the extra farmers and put them on space stations working for a living in orbiting factories."
"I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don't encourage you to be nasty."
"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. There is no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."
“I’m really tired of being lectured about respecting every other religion on the planet. I want them to respect our religions.”
"A mere forty years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that's what freedom is all about."
"It is madness to pretend that families are anything other than heterosexual couples."
"There is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us."
About his first wife after their divorce: “She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a president.”
“If the Soviet empire still existed, I’d be terrified. The fact is, we can afford a fairly ignorant presidency now.”
“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
"And so I'm prepared if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps."
"President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history."
Gingrich once proposed that “a mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways.”
“We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.”
"I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age, they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists."
"The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."
"People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz."
"...we need to think through a strategy that makes it radically less likely that we’re going to have drugs in this country. Places like Singapore have been the most successful at doing that. They’ve been very draconian. And they have communicated with great intention that they intend to stop drugs from coming into their country." Gingrich, who admits he smoked pot in college, voted for a law that would give a life sentence to anyone found bringing even a relatively small amount of marijuana into the U.S. Repeat offenders would be executed.
"We're all human and we all goof. Do things that may be wrong, but do something."
“The problem isn’t too little money in political campaigns, but not enough.”
"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]? That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior..."
“It's going to be a bummer if Mars turns out to be like us.”
On Democrats being opposed to Regan on stuff like the invasion of Grenada and Iran-Contra: If they had their way "we would truly have tyranny everywhere, and we in America could experience the joys of Soviet-style brutality and the murder of women and children."
"Waterboarding is by every technical rule not torture."
From an early draft of 1945, the alternative history novel he co-wrote: "'I like this arrangement,' she laughed softly. 'Mistress to the chief of staff of the President of the United States. Nice title, don't you think? Such a book I could write.' ... Suddenly the pouting sex kitten gave way to Diana the Huntress. She rolled onto him and somehow was sitting athwart his chest, her knees pinning his shoulders. 'Tell me, or I will make you do terrible things,' she hissed."x
When asked what to do about homelessness shortly after a homeless man was shot by police in front of the White House: "Give the park police more ammo."
“This is one of the great tragedies of the Bush administration. The more successful they’ve been at intercepting and stopping bad guys, the less proof there is that we’re in danger…. It’s almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us.”
"The mother killing her two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we have to have change. I think people want to change, and the only way you get change is to vote Republican."
“I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it. I am now a famous person. I represent real power.”
“You can't trust anybody with power.”
Sources: The New York Times, The Atlantic here and here, The Daily Beast, The Week, PBS here and here and here, TIME, The Washington Post here and here, The Denver Post, The Huffington Post, Forbes, The Nation, CBS, The Economist, CNN, Slate, ThinkProgress, Washington Monthly, Nerve, The L.A. Times, Brainy Quote.