Newt Gingrich has said a lot of outrageous things in his time, and he is proud of it. Early in his congressional career, he said he would define his political opponents out of existence, and as speaker of the House in 1996, he distributed a memo titled Language: A Key Mechanism of Control, in which he urged Republicans to tag their opponents with words like traitor, corrupt and pathetic.
But some of his statements rise above the normal level of political vitriol, into a realm all their own. Just the other day, for instance, he called the Palestinians an invented people.
Here are 10 of Gingrich's most memorable -- and often offensive -- quotes.
10. 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. (2011)
Apparently, the United States is simultaneously becoming an atheist state and an Islamic theocracy.... wait, what?
9. There is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us. (2008)
It's funny -- with all the laws against equal rights for gay people, and comments like Michele Bachmann's that gays should just get with the program and marry someone of the opposite gender even if they don't love them, it seems more like Gingrich & Co. are doing the imposing.
8. What if he [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]? (2010)
Minus 20 points for the gratuitous birther reference, and minus another 10 for the simplistic use of anti-colonial.
7. 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. (2010)
A more accurate analogy would be putting a German flag next to the Holocaust Museum, because Islamic terrorists are as small a segment of all Muslims as neo-Nazis are of all Germans.
6. The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did. (2010)
The difference being that the secular-socialist machine, whatever Gingrich thinks it is, is not massacring its citizens.
5. The meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev was the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with [Neville] Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich. (1985)
Why didn't Reagan understand that rapprochement was just like appeasement?! It's too bad we had him instead of President Gingrich; we could have kept the Cold War going for another 20 years!
4. 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. (1994)
Absolutely, it is a sick society in which a mother will kill her children. It's funny, though, how that sickness seems to hang on regardless of which party is in office.
3. People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz. (1994)
Wait, where were you during the Rwandan genocide that was happening as you spoke in 1994? Clinton was ignoring it -- shouldn't people like you have stepped up to the plate?
2. Democrats will bring to the United States the joys of Soviet-style brutality and the murder of women and children. (1980s)
The murder of women and children, really? There are limits to what you can pin on the Democrats, Newt.
1. These people are sick. ... They are so consumed by their own power, by a Mussolini-like ego, that their willingness to run over normal human beings and to destroy honest institutions is unending. (1989)
Gingrich was talking about the Democrats, but based on the gems that have come out of his mouth, it seems like a better fit for him.