Category Archives: Mentions

Citizen Newt Is Needed Today || American Thinker

Citizen Newt Is Needed Today

Citizen Newt, an authorized biography by Craig Shirley, explores how the legendary speaker of the House rose and influenced American politics and policy. It takes readers on a journey from when Gingrich decided to run for Georgia’s Sixth District to when Republicans gained control of the House in 1994.

Shirley told American Thinker, “You are hard-pressed, in the 230-year history of the American republic, to come up with the name of a political leader who wasn’t president who has had as long-lasting an impact on the national political debate as Newt Gingrich. I also was motivated to write his book because liberals can’t be trusted to record conservative history. They’re interested in pushing an agenda instead of reporting the facts. Of the books that are in my bibliography just about every one of them was written by a liberal, and every one of them was rancid, error-filled, agenda-driven, in every way, shape or form. They were not reporting on the facts of Newt Gingrich. They were reporting on their own personal ideology. But Gingrich burst on the national political scene in the late 70s, and here we are some 30 or 40 years later, and he’s still relevant.”

It is astonishing, after reading this book, to find the overlap between then and now. Many believe that there is a need for a Gingrich clone to tell it like it is and to pass legislation, while taking on the corrupt interests of the media, political consultants, lobbyists, and the establishment. Shirley believes “The problem for Donald Trump is that this Congress is a bunch of do-nothings. It is the static versus the dynamic. Newt took the Republican Party from a minority status to a majority status and accomplished his goal as stated in the ‘Contract With America.’ He got through 9 out of 10 pieces.”

Shirley quotes a 1985 statement by Gingrich, “The biggest division in the Republican Party… is between those who are serious about building a majority party and those who are locked into the mentality of a minority party.” Another quote from his 1979 campaign, where he charged that the Republican Party had not “a competent national leader in his lifetime. The GOP did not need another generation of cautious, prudent, careful, bland, irrelevant, quasi-leaders.” Sound familiar?

When asked about this, Gingrich responded to American Thinker, “It takes enormous leaders to get bills through both the House and the Senate. To accomplish something there is a need to have a leadership who knows what it is doing, communicates to the American people to get their support, and then through the American people gets the support of Congress. A perfect example is when President Trump went to North Dakota with a popular tax cut message. What I would do is build a coalition in every state of everyone who wants a tax cut and ask them to pressure members of both parties.”

In 1984, then-congressman Gingrich declared that the Democrats were obstructionists. He sees the similarities between the behavior then and now, “The fight started by Reagan and sustained by us, is the same fight of Trump today. What happens is they get into Washington surrounded by other Democrats who have this groupthink where they like to be mutually reinforced, a collectivist behavior that never wants to break rank. These people voting against the Trump agenda could be career ending; especially the states where Trump won overwhelmingly like West Virginia, Indiana, North Dakota, and Montana. It appears that they are out of touch with their constituents. The average American repudiates Democratic Party values. I predict in 2018 we will hold our own in the House and pick up 4 to 6 seats in the Senate.”

Because the Democratic Party’s program is based completely on identity politics, it is no wonder that they do not control the state legislatures, state senates, governorships, the House, the Senate, or the White House. Gingrich feels it falls back onto President Obama’s shoulders, “He spent eight years annihilating the Democratic Party where now they only control six state legislatures in the country. Look at how ridiculous the statement was of a candidate running for governor in Maine when he said there are too many white people there. If true, he just repudiated the vast majority of voters there and he blatantly narrowed his appeal and acceptability. This is what goes on in the Democratic Party all the time. They do not realize how weird they have become because the only ones they talk to are themselves.”

In 1981, Gingrich appeared to be ahead of his time when he initiated a resolution to put a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King in the U.S. Capitol. This overwhelmingly passed the House and the Senate. When asked how it relates to what is happening today, Gingrich responded, “If I were African-American I don’t think I would be very happy with a statue of somebody who fought to sustain slavery. I think we should understand the feelings over the very specific issue of the Confederacy, and not consider it offensive if they are to be taken down and put in a museum because they are not being destroyed.”

He became professorlike when he noted, “We wrote an alternate novel about Gettysburg. What many people don’t realize is that Robert E. Lee’s army actually had active slave traitors who went with them and actually captured free independent blacks in the Gettysburg area and took them South to sell into slavery.”

What about the attitude toward Thomas Jefferson and George Washington? “That is completely different. I think we have to remember that it was these men who came up with the concept of a world where people were systematically able to organize the right to govern without a king. They actually created a self-governing system in which individuals could have freedom. They also wrote into the Constitution that provided for abolishing the slave trade in DC, and provided a series of steps that began to move the system away from slavery. I think it takes remarkable ignorance or a willful rejection of the facts not to realize the worth of these historic figures.”

He also thought the discussion about the movie Gone With The Wind is “stupid. It would be a little like dissing William Shakespeare because there are parts of his writings that are anti-Semitic. Both the movie and the writings reflected the world they were part of.”

He thinks conservatives should see the glass half-full by looking at the accomplishments, including the court system moving to the right, the biggest deregulation underway in history, and a real effort toward tax reform. Regarding health care reform, “I believe people do not realize that 49/52 Republicans voted correctly in the Senate. There were sixteen Democratic nos for every Republican yes. We are only focusing on the one, not the 48 Democrats who got a free pass.”

Reading this book, people will feel deja vu. Americans should yearn for the return of Newt Gingrich, because he was someone who got things done and found solutions, someone who put America first.

The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.


Reagan biographer: Trump, like Gipper, ‘tempted to bomb Capitol’ || Washington Examiner

Reagan biographer: Trump, like Gipper, ‘tempted to bomb Capitol’

One of the most interesting relationships in the Trump era has been the president’s embrace of Newt Gingrich. In his book, Understanding Trump, Gingrich gives credit to Trump for being able to break the mold on presidential action, shift positions quickly and speak bluntly, qualities similar to the former House speaker.

And now we’re learning from Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, who just released Citizen Newt, why Trump listens to Gingrich.

“Trump respects Gingrich, I suspect, because he utterly routed the shallow Washington culture” during his years in Congress, said Shirley.

“Gingrich saw part of his mission was to redefine what was important in Washington and like Ronald Reagan, saw the American people as important and the self-absorbed, supercilious, self-aggrandizing corrupt liberal comrades of Washington as mouth breathing sub humans. Reagan once quipped to Gingrich how tempting it would be to bomb the Capitol and there is little doubt Trump agrees with that sentiment,” he added.

A White House insider agreed, and said that Newt’s value to Trump is his outsider’s view and his insider’s success.

“Newt is respected for his viewpoints by Trump and appreciates his outside perspective. Although they sometimes disagree about the right approach, Gingrich and Trump both have one thing in common that the president loves: they took over Washington when no one expected it and turned the town upside down,” said the Trump advisor.

GOP pollster David Winston, a former Gingrich aide, added that Newt always has new ideas and can focus on the big play of the day.

“What’s his value to Trump? He’s been the third-ranking official in the country who is one of the best idea people on the conservative and Republican side. Who wouldn’t want to have conversations with him?” said Winston.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at [email protected]


Citizen Newt by Craig Shirley || Gingrich Productions

Citizen Newt by Craig Shirley

Are you tired of the bickering, fighting, and failure to produce results in Washington?

Do you want to know what it takes to implement conservative principles in the Congress and the executive branch?

Then consider reading Craig Shirley’s new book, Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative as a source of historically factual insights and principles.

Candidly, it is difficult to review a book written about yourself. In fact, it is a little embarrassing.

However, Craig Shirley is a widely respected historian of American politics, and I know from personal experience how many years he has dedicated to this project. I therefore feel I owe you serious commentary about this book – the first authorized biography of my political career.

Craig is truly a remarkable historian. His four volumes on Ronald Reagan are the definitive biography of our nation’s 40th president and a vital history of the conservative movement in the final decades of the 20th century. As someone who campaigned with candidate Reagan in the 1970s and worked with President Reagan in the 1980s, I know how insightful and accurate Craig’s books are.

His book December 1941 is an astonishingly detailed, day-by-day account chronicling America’s entry into World War II. Even as a historian who has written two novels about Pearl Harbor, I found myself learning a surprising amount of new information from Craig’s detailed account of this period in American history.

The hallmarks of all of Craig’s works are extraordinarily thorough research and biting commentary about both Democrats and Republicans.

His work on Citizen Newt is no exception.

Craig spent countless hours at The University of West Georgia extensively reviewing all of the documents filed in my archives. He interviewed countless key players and sat down with me to revisit key moments and incidents in my career.

While Craig is a friend, he is honor-bound as a serious historian to be tough-minded about the mistakes and failings of his central figures. He was tough on Reagan when he deserved it, and he is equally tough on me about some painful errors in my career.

Craig is especially tough on the establishment Republicans who undermined the Reagan-Gingrich movement (as Nancy Reagan described it in the 1990s). He is also fiercely contemptuous of the liberal reporters and writers who simply lie and make up phony stories and falsehoods to undermine, limit, or distort the history of modern conservatism.

In that way, Craig’s books are always about issues much bigger than the personalities in the title. He is a historian of the conservative movement and a loyal protector of historical fact from liberal and establishment distortions and dishonesty.

When Craig was nearly finished with Citizen Newt he sent me a copy to review. He was concerned about any factual errors but made clear he was not going to allow me to soften any of his judgments — even when they were critical of me.

My greatest reaction to reading the book was how exhaustive Craig was. He spared no detail in constructing his narrative and reliving those years of my career was exhausting for me personally. I had forgotten how many things myself, Jack Kemp, Bob Walker, the Conservative Opportunity Society House members, and our activist allies had done.

We put an end to 40 years of Democratic control of the House by earning the majority in 1994 – but it took 16 years of agonizing, unending hard work. The Contract with America was not a lucky fluke – it was the culmination of a long project that endured many missteps, frustrations, and failures before reaching its historic turning point.

If you want to understand how Reaganism was turned into a second wave of conservative innovation and change through the House of Representatives, Craig Shirley’s Citizen Newt is a must-read. Everyone who is unhappy with the current Washington process will find clues to a better strategy in this extraordinary book.

Your Friend,

His authorized biography arrives Tuesday: Newt Gingrich, a historic conservative || Washington Times

His authorized biography arrives Tuesday: Newt Gingrich, a historic conservative

 – The Washington Times – Monday, August 28, 2017

As a political brand, Newt Gingrich has had authentic staying power over the decades — fearlessly navigating the news media, Capitol Hill and the crisis du jour with finesse and institutional knowledge. But who the heck is he? The answer might be found in a new authorized biography of Mr. Gingrich, published in an era when some forces seek to rewrite history — particularly Republican and conservative history. Arriving Tuesday, it’s “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative” by Craig Shirley, a historian and Ronald Reagan biographer who parsed out pivotal decades of Mr. Gingrich’s career, with input from friends and foes alike.

“Newt’s influence on American politics has not waned over the decades. He was instrumental both as an adviser to Donald Trump in 2016 and continues to define the political landscape through his books, op-eds, videos and media appearances. Very few have been as successful as this man from Georgia,” says Mr. Shirley, who notes that his biographer of one Newton Leroy Gingrich shows a real guy who has risen through the ranks.

The author penned the book with full cooperation from Mr. Gingrich, who ultimately became speaker of the house and originated the influential “Contract with America,” a document released in 1994 which employed Reagan’s words, as well as his ideas about smaller government, lower taxes and other matters. The GOP won big that year.

“Part of the reason I chose to write this political biography is because much of what has been written about Gingrich by lefties is false, exaggerated or irrelevant — and also because I’ve come to the conclusion that conservatives cannot allow liberals to write our history. Most modern liberals cannot be trusted to record conservative history accurately anymore. They are too interested in rewriting history to fit their own sequence of events.” says Mr. Shirley.

“There are two games in this country. One is played by the 5,000 insiders in Washington who write the laws and tells the lies, and the other by the rest of us, who pay the price. That’s what we can’t tolerate,” Mr. Gingrich says of the nation’s capital.

The publisher is Thomas Nelson; find the book at


How Reagan Handled Attempts to Tie Him to Hate || Lifezette

How Reagan Handled Attempts to Tie Him to Hate

Trump can learn something about how to heal racial division from the last populist GOP president

by Jim Stinson 

Long before President Donald Trump was accused of catering to racists, showing racial insensitivity, and other moral crimes, Ronald Reagan faced similar accusations as a governor, as a candidate, and as a president.

Former President Reagan was often the subject of invective accusing him of the worst sort of motives, including racism and hatred — incendiary accusations much like those Trump has endured since he declared his candidacy in 2015.

Trump has struggled to shrug off the attacks and reinvigorated a media firestorm Tuesday afternoon over his willingness to condemn white nationalists with a meandering and poorly advised press conference.

Perhaps the president can learn a lesson in how to deal with the explosive issue of race from his most recent, populist predecessor.

For Reagan, when his hand was forced, he would forcefully rebut the charges, according to Craig Shirley, a top Reagan biographer and author of the recent biography, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative.”

Reagan also did not hesitate to denounce racism and its practitioners, Shirley told LifeZette on Tuesday.

The 1980 Campaign Kickoff
On Aug. 3, 1980, Reagan attended the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi. Some at the time — and still, to this day — call this the campaign kickoff.

It wasn’t, says Shirley. Reagan had already kicked off his campaign in Liberty State Park in New Jersey, with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

The proximity of the fair to Philadelphia, Mississippi — where three civil rights workers were killed in 1964 — was used by The New York Times and others to bash Reagan. Reagan attended the fair and spoke of states’ rights as a sort of dog whistle to racists in the South, the hostile media narrative went.

The slur still lingers in liberal echo chambers, such as the op-ed pages of The Times. But Shirley notes the fair is one of the biggest political events in Mississippi. Reagan’s opponent, Democratic President Jimmy Carter, had won Mississippi in 1976, and it made sense for Reagan to go there.

To this day, there is almost no explanation in screeds against Reagan that the fair is a big political draw. Indeed, the fair’s website notes that the fair got a reputation as a must-attend political event when the governor spoke there in 1896. Over the years, the fair drew “Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and Sen. John Glenn [the Ohio Democrat].” Shirley notes that liberal Democrat Mike Dukakis, of Massachusetts, also went there in 1988.

Reagan handled the whole controversy by focusing campaign attention on winning over black voters and speaking at the Urban League, Shirley said. Reagan easily defeated President Jimmy Carter on Nov. 4, 1980.

The Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan endorsed Reagan for re-election in 1984. As usual, the endorsement was used against Reagan in much the same way a Klan endorsement was used against Trump in 2016.

Reagan responded by “ripping them apart,”said Shirley. Reagan wrote to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and denounced the Klan.

”Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse,” Reagan wrote. “The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood.”

Reagan went on to resoundingly defeat former Vice President Walter Mondale, a Democrat.

By the time he left office in 1989, Reagan had an approval rating of above 40 percent among black voters, according to Shirley, “which is astonishing for a post-Eisenhower Republican.”

Reagan was also the subject of many cheap shots throughout his political career, some of which he wisely ignored.

In 1966, Reagan first ran for California governor. Incumbent Gov. Edmund “Pat” Brown, a Democrat and the father of current California Gov. Jerry Brown, compared Reagan, then a retired actor, to John Wilkes Booth, the actor who killed President Abraham Lincoln. The Brown campaign never recovered. Reagan unseated Brown by a 15-point margin.

Trump Can Look to Reagan
Trump can and should look to Reagan’s numerous examples on racial healing — there are many — as he tries to handle the fallout from violence at the Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalist rally on Saturday that led to the death of three Americans.

“He’s got to embrace the police investigation, and he ought to meet with African-American leaders,” said Shirley. “He ought to give a national speech on race relations. He’s got to reach out.”

Trump made several promises to black voters, such as rebuilding inner cities and bringing job opportunities to poor areas. He needs to begin making that happen, Shirley advised.

On Tuesday, after Shirley spoke to LifeZette, Trump gave a press conference in Trump Tower in which he appeared to, again, blame “both sides” for the Charlottesville, Virginia, tragedy. It did not go over well with pundits.

“He’s taking on water,” said Shirley. “That all needs to change.”