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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Newt Gingrich Speaks At CPAC

Aired February 10, 2012 - 16:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CALLISTA GINGRICH, WIFE OF NEWT GINGRICH: Thank you. Thanks, Dave.

What a great gathering this is. I'm so happy to be with you here at CPAC.

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Newt and I have a wonderful partnership with Dave Bossie and Citizens United.

Together, we have produced seven documentary films on conservative values, principles and personalities. Several of these documentaries are being shown here at CPAC.

Let me just take a moment to thank all of you who have been so supportive to us throughout this campaign. When we decided to run, we knew there would be tough stories from the media, as well as hurtful attacks from some of our opponents.

What we didn't know was how kind so many Americans would be to us. Throughout this great country, people have offered their heartfelt prayers and support. I want to thank everyone who has reached out. You have made our lives richer and our campaign stronger.

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Because I know Newt better than most, I'm pleased to introduce him today.

I would like to share a few things about him that you may be surprised to hear. First, Newt is an enthusiastic and committed golfer.

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It's true.

He gets in and out of more sand traps than anyone I have ever seen.

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Newt golfs the way he does everything, with enthusiasm and determination. He's willing to learn, and he never gives up. Newt loves books. We have books in every corner of our home. Newt also has an entire library on his Kindle. I may be the most grateful person in America for this invention.

(LAUGHTER)

Newt is also very supportive.

When I sing at the Basilica of the National Shrine or play my French horn with the City of Fairfax Band, he is right there listening. I am personally grateful for his wisdom in not trying to sing as a candidate. He knows his limitations.

Finally, we have had some great family moments over the last several months as Kathy, Jackie, their husbands, and our grandchildren Maggie and Robert, have joined us on the campaign trail. Newt is very committed to our grandchildren and to the future of our country. We believe with all our hearts that America is the last bastion of freedom. We believe that our current path puts the future of our great nation in jeopardy.

And we believe both solutions and fearless leadership are necessary to rebuild the America we love. Please welcome my husband, and the next president of the United States, Newt Gingrich.

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FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Callista. What she didn't tell you, by the way, is I'm a very bad golfer.

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She just wouldn't say it.

I want to thank Dave Bossie. He has been such a great friend and partner with us on so many different projects.

I also, just as a personal note, want to thank Ralph Hallow and CPAC for recognizing last Tony Blankley, who is such a great friend.

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And I want to thank the new 2012 volunteers who have been working and have made such a difference. We are a people-based campaign, and our volunteers are really important.

You know...

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... I've spoken at CPAC many times. And CPAC was founded to challenge the Republican establishment. The fact is when Ronald Reagan came here in 1974 and gave his famous speech on bold colors, no pale pastels that was a decade in from Reagan's first great national speech for Barry Goldwater, "A Time for Choosing." When Reagan campaigned in 1980, you could see the gap between the Republican establishment and the conservative movement. Reagan campaigned on supply side economics, lower taxes, less regulation, more American energy; praise for people who created jobs. The establishment called it voodoo economics.

The GOP establishment has a single word they used with contempt for conservative ideas. They say they're "unrealistic." So creating 16 million jobs under Reagan, unrealistic. Ending the Soviet Union, unrealistic.

And Faith Whittlesey, who was in the Reagan White House and then ambassador to Switzerland, wrote a brilliant piece recently for Newsmax pointing out that the fight she and I were in as conservatives against the Republican establishment over the very question of whether or not we should have an anti-Soviet campaign.

The 1994 Contract with America -- unrealistic. The House Republican majority of 1994, which by the way was elected by the largest one-party increase in an off year in American history, 9 million new voters -- unrealistic.

Reforming welfare so two out of three people would go to work or go to school -- unrealistic.

Cutting taxes with the largest capital gains tax cut, first tax cut in 16 years, unemployment drops to 4.2 percent, 11 million new jobs -- unrealistic. Four years of a balanced budget -- unrealistic.

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For the Republican establishment, managing the decay is preferable to changing the trajectory because changing the trajectory requires real fights and requires a real willingness to roll up sleeves and to actually take on the left.

And that's why the Republican establishment, whether it's in 1996 or in 2008, can't win a presidential campaign, because they don't have the toughness, they don't have the commitment, and they don't have the philosophy necessary to build a majority in this country.

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And let me say to the Republican establishment in this city, crony capitalism in Congress is fully as bad as crony capitalism on Wall Street, and they had better clean up the Congress if they expect to be reelected.

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Now, CPAC actually represents a 50-years struggle that goes back to draft Goldwater movement in 1962. And the tea party versus the Republican establishment is in many ways the same fight. This has been going on for a half century.

And -- and the core of it is very simple: The conservative movement, one that offers bold solutions to rally millions of Americans -- not just Republicans, millions of Americans, Democrats, independents, people who may never been in politics before -- then it wins decisively. 1980, 1984, 1994 are examples of that.

What I want to talk to you about today is bold solutions to get America working again. And I want to contrast it with the timidity that comes from managing the decay.

Two examples. We won the Second World War from December 7th, 1941 to August 1945. Now, I want you to lock this in your heads as an example of what America can do when you unleash the American people. In 44 months -- three years and eight months -- we defeat Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan -- 44 months.

Recently it took 23 years to add a fifth runway to the Atlanta airport.

When people say you really can't control the border by January 1, 2014, they're describing the America that can't. That's the establishment's America, tied up in bureaucracy, tied up in red tape, tied up in incompetence, tied up in interest groups.

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Let me be very clear, all of you have seen the Washington establishment and the Wall Street establishment pile on top of me. All of you have seen them say things that were just profoundly false. And there's a good reason they're doing it: This campaign is a mortal threat to their grip on the establishment, because we intent to change Washington, not accommodate it.

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So let's take the speed, the toughness, the emphasis of the Second World War and let's take something which should make all of us optimistic. There is a world that works, most of it but not all of it is in the private sector. And there's a world that fails, most of it but not all of it is in the public sector.

Give me (ph) one single example How many of you have ever gone online to check a package at UPS or FedEx?

Raise year hand if you've ever checked for a package, OK?

So virtually all of you.

Now, I want to stop for a second. I want to drive this home. This is not a theory.

(LAUGHTER)

It is a practical reality that we have the technology that enables us to track -- between UPS and FedEx we track 24 million packages a day while they're moving, and we allow you to find out where they are for free. That's the world that works. Now here's the world that fails. The federal government today cannot find 11 million illegal immigrants even if they're sitting still.

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Now, I have a simple proposal: We send a package...

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... to everyone who's here illegally.

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And when it's delivered, we pull it up on a computer, we know where they are.

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Let me say for my friends in the news media that that was hyperbole, and we don't need a fact check.

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Now, I'm gonna give you a series of solutions that are big enough to get America back on the right track. And I think this has been the greatest challenge of this campaign. We have lots of bickering, we have lots of arguments about this and that. We have virtually no discussion of what does it really take to take the most complicated society in the world, the largest economy in the world and move it back to being the most successful, most prosperous, safest and freest country in the world. So I'm gonna try this afternoon to set a stage for that.

And (inaudible) we have tons of details at newt.org. Any of you who want to, let's go to my first name dot org. You'll see an immense amount of material.

But the standard here is to have solutions big enough to get America working again. And the principle is to unleash the American people to rebuild the America we love.

Let me start with jobs. If I am the nominee, with your help, I will ask the entire Republican ticket to campaign with me on the pledge that when the Congress comes in on January 3rd it will stay in session and by January 20th when I am sworn in it will have repealed Obamacare.

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It will very well repealed Dodd-Frank.

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It will have repealed Sarbanes-Oxley.

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All three of those are job-killing bills which centralize bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., and increase the corruption of the political system. All three should be -- should be repealed and held at the desk until I am sworn in. That afternoon on the very first day, we should sign the repeal of all three. That's a reasonable start.

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Two hours after...

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... the inaugural address -- that was just the hors d'oeuvres. We haven't gotten around to serious work yet.

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Two hours after the inaugural address I will begin signing executive orders and presidential findings. All of them will have been published by October 1st. The country will know precisely what this campaign is about. The very first executive order will abolish all of the White House czars as of that moment.

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We will sign that day an executive order which as of that moment approves of the Canadian pipeline to Houston, period.

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My message to Prime Minister Harper and the Canadian government is simple: You do not need a partnership with the Chinese. Give the American people a few months. When we beat Obama on election night you can start buying equipment, because we will approve it on January 20th.

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There will be an executive order to move the State Department to put the embassy in Jerusalem as of that day, period.

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We will that day reinstate Ronald Reagan's Mexico City policy: No money for abortion overseas, period.

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And we will have an executive order to repeal every act of religious bigotry by the Obama administration, period.

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My goal, with your help, is that by the time President Obama lands in Chicago, we will have repudiated at least 40 percent of his government on the opening day.

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Let me talk now about how to create jobs. America works when Americans are working. The number one theme of the fall campaign will be a paycheck president versus a food stamp president. I believe we will win that fight by a huge margin.

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I worked with President Reagan. In his eight years, we created 16 million jobs. I worked with President Clinton, and in those four years we created 11 million jobs and got down to 4.2 percent unemployment. So how do you do it?

Really serious change, and I have only one measurement for what I'm about to tell you, so I want the establishment to understand up front, this is not about fairness. This is not about being revenue- neutral. This is about maximizing economic growth to put Americans back to work and to create the most dynamic economy on the planet and to rebuild our manufacturing base so we pull away from China and become once again the dominant country on the planet in economic terms.

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So how do you do that? First, you eliminate the capital gains tax so it's zero capital gains for all investments in the United States.

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Second, you go to 100 percent expensing so all new equipment at every level -- farmer, factory, doctor, business -- all of it gets written off in one year. The goal is to make the American system the most modern, most productive in the world. You also...

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... if you're going to modernize the equipment, you want to modernize the workforce. Unemployment compensation should be changed so that in order to get unemployment compensation, you sign up for a business-led training program so we are modernizing our workforce.

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Never again should we pay somebody 99 weeks for doing nothing.

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In 99 weeks, you can earn an associate degree. I mean, think about the total waste of human capability when you teach people to sit at home for 99 weeks. It's fundamentally wrong and a violation of the Declaration of Indepencence's commitment that we have the right to pursue happiness. (APPLAUSE)

Now, if we're serious about manufacturing, we have to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, which is a job-killing agency.

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We should replace it with a brand new environmental solutions agency made up of new people and the number one requirement should be common sense.

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They should also have to take into account economics. The idea that at the highest gas prices we've had, they are looking at a regulation that would raise the price of gasoline 25 cents a gallon tells you how utterly, totally irrational EPA is today and why we should replace it with a new agency -- not try to reform it, because the people in it have been self-selected to be radicals who are anti- business, anti-local control, and seek to dictate to America.

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We also need a 21st century Food and Drug Administration whose job is really simple: be in the laboratory, understand the science, and accelerate getting it to the patient so we save as many lives as possible, as rapidly as possible, and in the process we create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, dominating the world market in health care. (APPLAUSE)

We need a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate. That's the Irish tax rate. It makes us tremendously competitive in the world. It brings home $700 billion in profits that are locked up overseas. It enables our companies to compete. And I say to my liberal friends, at 12.5 percent, General Electric will actually pay taxes.

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We should abolish the death tax permanently because it's an immoral tax.

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You know, when Governor Romney released his taxes, the liberals were shocked. He was only paying 15 percent. Their answer was to raise his taxes. I'm a conservative. I believe our goal should be to get your taxes down to 15 percent.

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Now, how do you do that? We have in my plan something we got from Hong Kong care of Steve Forbes. Hong Kong has had for years a two-track system. You can keep the current code, all the red tape, all the deductions, all the forms, or you fill in one page -- here's how much I earned, here's how many dependents, here's 15 percent. And here's what I want to say to the establishment, because they're going to jump up and say, "This is not revenue-neutral. They're right. This is called a tax cut.

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And I have a simple principle, and I want you to understand this, because this is going to become a huge argument inside the Republican Party. I worked and helped balance the federal budget for four consecutive years, the only four years in your lifetime. So when people say, "Oh, Gingrich is being irresponsible," none of the people saying that have ever balanced the federal budget. We'll get a federal budget balanced, but I have a simple principle. My intention is to shrink spending down to the level of revenue, not to raise revenue up to the level of Obama spending.

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This is a fight we had in 1984 when we put in the no-tax increase platform, which I worked with Jack Kemp and Trent Lott and Bob Kass and others on -- against, by the way, the establishment. And our principle was simple: We are not the tax collectors for the welfare state. We are not assigned the job of going out to raise extra money so liberals can give it away.

We're, in fact, interested in a tax code that creates jobs, that maximizes freedom, that gives you a chance to take care of your family, your neighborhood, your charities, your church or synagogue. And that's a fundamentally different model than the establishment model, which is oriented towards government. And we will not tax the American people for Barack Obama's credit card.

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Now, how do you get to a balanced budget then? You cut spending, you cut taxes to maximize economic growth, you reform government, and you use American energy.

At 4.2 percent unemployment, which was the rate when I left office, Social Security is safe for a generation. A huge increase in revenue and a big decline in cost. You take people off of food stamps, off of Medicaid, you know them off of public housing, off of unemployment, off of welfare, you put them to work paying taxes, the government gets more revenue without a tax increase, the government spends less. It's the first big step to balance the budget.

Let's talk about...

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Let's talk about cutting spending. This is what I mean by bold proposals which will promptly be labeled unrealistic. We should replace the 130-year-old civil service system and regulations with a new model of modern management using systems like Lean Six Sigma, and we should be prepared to save $500 billion a year in the operation of the federal government and increase the economy by at least $2 trillion a year by the simple act of having the government cease to be incompetent, inefficient and a hindrance to the future of the American system.

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We should look at cutting spending by looking at every single agency, and we should start by abolishing the Department of Energy, which has been a total failure since it was founded.

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We should apply the system of American Express, Mastercard, Visa to cutting out fraud. We can save $60 billion to $110 billion a year in Medicare and Medicaid alone by going to modern systems that work. That's almost a trillion dollars a decade just in that one zone.

We should apply the Tenth Amendment. I'm delighted that Governor Perry has agreed to head up a project to develop for the platform this summer for a contract this fall and for a bill in January, a Tenth Amendment implementation to return power back home.

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We also have things that are -- on energy. I believe that we have an obligation to open up the American system to produce the maximum amount of oil and gas for three reasons. Keeping the $500 billion or $600 billion at home strengthens our economy. If we maximize production, our goal should be to get back to $2 a gallon gasoline to prove to the American people that the free market works in a practical way that affects your life.

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Now, this isn't pie in the sky. This is pure supply and demand. When you realize that North Dakota alone has 25 times as much energy as the U.S. Geological Survey thought eight years ago, 25 times as much, and we're not allowed to look at Alaska, where we own area 69 percent, an area one and a half times the size of Texas, we don't look offshore.

I mean, Obama has been an anti-American energy president and every American pays the price every time they go to a gas station.

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And I have a very simple principle: We want to ensure that no future president ever again bows to a Saudi king, period.

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We need to move towards a personal Social Security savings account for young Americans while taking Social Security off budget for senior citizens.

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And we need to make sure that no politician ever again lies to our senior citizens by threatening to keep from them checks that they earned and that they deserve because the trust fund is there, even if there's no trust in Barack Obama.

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We need to have a complete audit of the Federal Reserve to find out every single decision.

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We deserve to know who got our money and why. If Bernanke has not resigned by the day I'm sworn in, I will ask the Congress to pass a law ending his term.

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And we need -- we need a commission on gold and solid currency, much like the one Ronald Reagan had in 1981.

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And I'm delighted that Lew Lehrman and Jim Grant have agreed that they'd be willing to serve as the chairmen.

Let me close on two big topics that -- that -- that are very, very important (inaudible) about the economy.

First, this administration is waging war on religion, but so are the courts. This is why we need a movement that's bigger than just beating Obama. We need a movement that understands we're going to change the Congress, the White House, the bureaucracies and, where necessary, the courts.

And we all need to understand how real this is. This country was founded by people who came here in order to avoid religious persecution. A very basis of this country was religious liberty. Our core document says we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. And Barack Obama seeks to cut across those.

And I, frankly, don't care what deal he tries to cut, this is a man who is deeply committed -- if he wins reelection, he will wage war on the Catholic Church the morning after he's reelected. We cannot trust him, we should -- we know who he really is, and we should make sure the country knows who he really is.

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For those of you who want to understand what a real bold solution approach is, if you go to newt.org, there is a 30 -- a 54-page paper that Vince Haley and I put together over a nine-year period that outlines how to rebalance the judiciary and how to reestablish the right of the people to protect themselves against dictatorial judges who are rewriting the Constitution rather than enforcing the Constitution. It's a very serious topic.

Finally, this is an administration which lies about who our enemies are, refuses to tell the truth about what threatens us, is blind to the dangers we are running, seeks to weaken radically our defense system, has crippled our intelligence system, and is making a series of decisions around the world that are stunning in their misunderstanding of the nature of reality.

Today we have Americans held hostage in Egypt, precisely like Jimmy Carter with hostages in Iran in 1979-1980. Today we have the person who helped us find bin Laden has been arrested by the Pakistani government. Now, what more do you need to know? They didn't say, "Oh, this is terrific, you helped find the most wanted terrorist in the world." They said, "This is terrible. How could you help the Americans?"

We need a profound national debate about our entire policy and it needs to start by telling the truth about radical Islamists who seek to kill us.

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This is going to be -- this is going to be a big choice, big decision election. I think while I'm seeking the Republican nomination it has to be an American campaign.

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We want to say to every American, if you favor paychecks over food stamps, come join us no matter what your background, no matter where you live, we want to be with you in creating a work-oriented jobs economy.

We want to say to every American, if you believe that honesty about our enemies strengthen our defense and competence in our capabilities is vital to our survive, come join us. We don't care who you once were. We don't care what you once did. We need every American who wants to defend America to come together for this campaign.

And finally, we need to say to every American: If you believe in the Declaration of Independence, you believe in the Constitution, and you believe in the Federalist Papers, then we want you to be with us.

We understand others will be Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama and radicalism. But everybody who believes that we endowed by our creator, that our rights are unalienable, that we have the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we want you to come from every background in every community in the country.

I need your help. I hope you will go to newt.org. I hope you will sign up. We are running a people campaign. We don't have the scale of money that some of our competitors do, but we do have a plan. We are gathering together a team. We have a conservative dream team of people like Governor Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Fred and Jeri Thompson, Todd Palin, Chuck Norris, J.C. Watts, Kellyanne Conway, Linda Upmeyer, Oliver North -- a tremendous team.

But in the end, we need you. If we can be together -- there are many people you can keep mentioning -- we'll have more names, feel free to go to newt.org and add more names...

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If we -- and I mean this with -- all the years I've worked in this party and in this movement -- this is the year to re-set this country in a decisive, bold way. We need to teach the Republican establishment a lesson. We are determined to rebuild America, not to manage its decay. And with your help, that is what we will do.

Thank you, good luck, and God bless you.

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