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Gingrich: GOP Success Depends on Positive Messaging

Gingrich: GOP Success Depends on Positive Messaging

By Michael Cipriano - July 23, 2014

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sees an opportunity for the GOP over the next three years.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, Gingrich made a forceful call for the conservative right to become the movement of the future and make the left the movement of the past.

To accomplish such a feat, the 2012 presidential candidate urged that conservative ideas be highlighted in campaign ads rather than negative messaging. He slammed consultants and political operatives who have framed the upcoming midterm elections as “a referendum on Obama.”

“I regard it as maniacally stupid and unprofessional to think you can get away with a purely negative campaign,” Gingrich said. “You turn off all the moderates, you turn off the independents and you drive down the turnout.

“If a Republican wins on a negative campaign, they have no political capital and no consensus by which to govern.”

Gingrich said it is highly important that Republican candidates in districts controlled by Democrats for the past 20 or 30 years get on talk radio during drive time and convey to the public what they stand for.

“You go down the list -- on every single item people are nodding yes,” Gingrich asserted. “After the fourth or fifth topic they start thinking, 'Gee, that is a pretty good guy. I could vote for that person.'”

Gingrich touted his strategy for the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1994, which had been under Democrat control since 1955. The 1996 election then marked the first time since 1928 that a Republican majority in Congress was re-elected.

The GOP has controlled the House for 16 of the last 20 years, which Gingrich called a “political revolution.” He also described the key to the ’94 takeover as “cheerful prestige.”

“If we had run an anti-Clinton campaign in 1994, we still wouldn't have been in the majority,” Gingrich added.

The former Georgia congressman also applauded Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential nominee in 1964. Despite the Arizona senator’s landslide loss to President Lyndon Johnson, Gingrich praised him for reigniting the conservative movement by pushing forward his ideas.

“Goldwater matters, because despite the defeat, he actually stood for something," Gingrich said.

He went on to decry the federal government’s bureaucratic systems -- which he likened to a 19th century typewriter -- citing the flaws with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He said attempts to fix the VA would be like getting a “slightly better” typewriter.

“This is not ‘How do we fix the current bureaucracy?'” Gingrich said. “This is 'How do we rethink human activities to maximize the power the individual has to profoundly replace the current structure.’

“We have an opportunity to go back to a phrase from Ronald Reagan, who said at one point, ‘The key is not right versus left, it is future versus past.’” 

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Michael Cipriano

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