The TWSA! Interview: Professor Gingrich Rejects Iowa Straw Poll Results

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I plan to be the first
president to be married
for the 4th time in the
White House.

In the wake of his eighth place finish (out of 10) in the Ames Iowa Straw Poll last Saturday, Professor Newt Gingrich is far off course as a serious candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.  Known to his supporters as an idea-a-minute seer and scholar, he seems to have failed to convince those at the Ames BBQ.  Mr. Gingrich gracefully acceded to our request here at They Will Say ANYTHING! to sit down with me, your editor, and one of my staff members, who I prefer to call my next door neighbor.  So, early this morning we three somewhat bleary-eyed political junkies visited at the famed Capitol Rotunda restaurant, the Disgruntled Toad.  As we downed cup after cup of coffee and feasted on a delightful breakfast buffet, we spoke of Iowa. . .

Me, Editor:  Speaker Gingrich, may I call you Gingo?

Gingrich:   No. 
My Next Door Neighbor (NDN):  Told ya’ he wouldn’t.
Me, Editor:  Well you’re still not getting back your lawn mower.
NDN:  Yeah, yeah, that’s all I hear . . .
Me, Editor:  Excuse us, Professor.
Gingrich:   No.

Iowa. Iowa?

Me, Editor:  Well, let’s move on, shall we?  Professor, how do you feel about your finish in the Iowa straw poll Saturday? You garnered 2% of the vote. You were 8th out of 10 candidates. Do you consider that a repudiation . . .?

Gingrich:   Well, first off, as I told FOX’s Chris Wallace at last week’s debate, I wish you would put aside the gotcha questions.  How I did in Iowa is irrelevant to my candidacy.
Quit. Quit with these  “gotcha” questions.

Me, Editor:  Yes, but how you finished in the poll does have some effect, after all. You are now viewed as a long-shot for the nomination . . .
Gingrich:  Wait, wait a minute. Who says I was entered in the Ames Iowa straw poll?
Me, Editor:  Um . . . well your straw poll entry documentation for one thing. Your appearances there. Your name on the ballot.  Your . . .
Gingrich:   Wrong. Anyone who says that I was involved in the Ames thing is lying. I was not there. I did not compete. I was not on the ballot. Ballots can be faked, photoshopped.  . .
Me, Editor:  (Quickly, I show Mr. Gingrich the many news accounts and photos of him in Ames, Iowa)  But, I have these pictures, and news stories, and your own words . . .
Gingrich:   Quit. Quit with these “gotcha” questions. I was in New Hampshire, a state whose presidential primary has importance, not Ames. I couldn’t find Ames on a map. The Ames thing is a beauty pageant. I have no doubt I’d have won, but I decided months ago to forgo such silliness. Manifest silliness. I was not there.
Me, Editor:  You maintain these hundreds of reports are fabrications.
Gingrich:   Yes. I was not there. I did not compete. These news accounts and pictures are false. Can we move on, please, to some of my ideas? Ideas that can help revive our great country?
Me, Editor:  Well, I would rather speak more of the obviously false news accounts of your appearances in Ames, Iowa.  That’s a big story in itself.
Gingrich:  No, it is not. America is. Let’s talk about my ideas for America. I have two ideas a minute. Giuliani noticed that. And, by the way, here’s the title of my new book, Let’s Talk About My Ideas. I Have 2 A Minute!

Ideas galore for AmericaBooks first

Me, Editor:  Interesting. That brings up an observation.  Your books are more often co-written. There is speculation. How much, on average, do you contribute to the actual writing?
Gingrich:   As Reagan said to Carter in a 1979 debate, “There you go again.” You do that. You just asked another “gotcha” question. Look. My name’s on the cover. It’s in the biggest type face. That’s all I’m going to say on that matter. Now, about my ideas for America . . .
Me, Editor:  Please.

An Imaginative National Debt Solution

Gingrich:  First, as President, through an Executive Order – E.O. 1 – I’ll rename the country. I’ll call us “Cash Only.” No more credit buying. No more big deficits. In fact, here’s another idea. We’ll forgive our debt to others. E.O. 2 will do that. I’ll send a powerful message to others . . .
Me, Editor:  Which is . . . ?
Gingrich:    A “gotcha”? Again . . .?
Me, Editor:  Proceed.
Gingrich:   So, as President, on day one, with E.O. 2, I’ll say to the world, “We’re going to set you straight. We’re not paying our debt at all. In fact, who says we owe anything to anybody? Show me the paperwork.”

So that’s the first hour of my first day as President. Already, we’re completely debt free.
Me, Editor:  Sir, we all know there is more than ample paperwork. Countries from China to Saudi Arabia hold hundreds of billions of Treasury obligations . . .
Gingrich:  They can be forged. They can be manipulated. Computers can be hacked. People can be bribed.
Me, Editor:  So, do you plan to just blow off the entire amount we owe? Trillions? The world would collapse economically. The United States would be humiliated . . .
Gingrich:  Remember my first idea. We’re not the “United States” anymore, we’re “Cash Only.”
NDN:  I like that idea, Mike
Me, Editor:  That’s a good speech, NDN.
Gingrich:   So, that’s the first hour of my first day as President. Already, we’re completely debt free. Next, I’d make Social Security and Medicare secure for future generations, and not like Eric Cantor or Paul Ryan would, not by a nasty form of privatization.
Outsourcing Social Security and Medicare

Me, Editor:  That’s intriguing. As you know, much has been suggested for many years by all political parties, economists, policy analysts . . . How would you propose to secure these programs?
Gingrich:  I wouldn’t “propose.” President Gingrich would do. It’s simple. It demonstrates my knowledge of history. I’d employ my mastery of policy. I’m futuristic.
Me, Editor:  This could be a magnificent demonstration of that. But I can only imagine fixing Medicare and Social Security and maintaining it’s stability, affordability, and viability would be complicated . . .
Gingrich:   Complicated? Not at all. It’s just that no politician has the ability to think my ideas. For both programs, I’ll invoke the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Me, Editor:  Excuse me . . . um . . .

Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and any others in that group. They like socialist parasites.

Gingrich:   You don’t know the history. To keep Medicare and Social Security on the books, I’ll invoke one of the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Alien Act. It allows the president to deport any resident alien considered dangerous to our safety. 
Me, Editor:  Have you read these 18th century laws? Under no possible interpretation do they apply to your purposes. But, even assuming they did, how are Medicare and Social Security recipients dangerous to our safety? How are they “aliens,” for Heaven’s sake? And did not Supreme Court Justice Douglas say that the Alien and Sedition Acts “constituted one of our sorriest chapters.” . . .?
Gingrich:  I remember a summary of it all in graduate school where I earned a PhD. in history. Regardless, the Alien and Sedition Acts were never held unconstitutional. In any event, applicable or not, on day one of my presidency, in the early afternoon, I’ll issue E.O. 3, and use the Alien Act to deport all persons receiving Medicare and Social security benefits to the Scandinavian countries: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and any others in that group. They like socialist parasites. And such people are, by definition, dangerous to our security, are they not?” And what could be more “alien” to our values? Scandinavians love socialists, they would welcome these people.
Me, Editor:  But, but . . . but . . . but . . . they don’t mean “alien” like that, they mean it as in “immigrant” . . .
Gingrich:  Not in my dictionary. Also, look up “parasite.”
  Right on. I’m on Medicare and Socialist Security, and I agree with you. I’m a parasite.
Me, Editor:
  Yes, you certainly are. . . And, Professor Gingrich, to be candid, your ideas in this area are stunning Literally. I’m stunned. Numbed, actually. I cannot feel my arms.
Gingrich:   Thank you. I’m unapologetically proud of my audacity. And since I’ll use E.O. 3. to accomplish it, I’ll bypass Congress, and, then, with E.O. 4, I’ll abolish the federal judiciary, permanently neutralizing their influence. And I’ve only revealed a few of my ideas. But most of all, as President, I will reduce the size of the federal government and the power of “imperial presidency” that President Obama has radically expanded.

Bidding farewell and good luck 

NDN:  Excuse me, Professor. I have a question. Maybe you have an idea. . . Suppose your neighbor borrowed your lawn mower, your car, your savings. He’s had these items for more than three years. You’ve asked for them back, a lot. But you get no reply. He gets you confused into working off an imagined debt to him by working full-time in his online publishing venture . . . Any ideas how to get out of this?
Gingrich:  Well, sure I do. First, you simply . . .
Me, Editor:  Well, I see our time is up. Thank you for your time, Professor. We’ve all gained by your insights and your crackerjack ideas. Two a minute. Well, I say, keep on noodling about America’s problems. Until next time, good luck on the campaign trail!



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Michael Matheron

From Presidents Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, I was a senior legislative research and policy staff of the nonpartisan Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS). I'm partisan here, an "aggressive progressive." I'm a contributor to The Fold and Nation of Change. Welcome to They Will Say ANYTHING! Come back often! . . . . . Michael Matheron, contact me at

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