Gingrich: After Specter’s Departure, A New ‘Contract With America’ Sounds Like A ‘Very Good Idea’

One of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s lasting legacies was his 1994 conservative revolution where he and other Republicans made a so-called “Contract with America.” Over time, the public learned that the real “contract” conservatives were making was with K Street lobbyists who lined the pockets of the right-wing with hefty contributions, helped them maintain power, and were in turn rewarded with undue (and corrupting) influence over policy-making. Leaders of the Republican revolution — such as Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert — left office surrounded by ethics scandals.

Last night, Gingrich — who often tries to find “new, bold” ideas in decades-old proposals — went on Fox News and agreed with Sean Hannity that what America now needs is a new “Contract with America”:

HANNITY: Now look, I’ve been urging a new Contract with America. By the way, and I give you all the credit for the original Contract. … Republicans can be the Party of national security, the can now be the party of fiscal responsibility, of energy independence, free market solution, the American dream. Very simple, but they’ve got to put their name on a piece of paper and they’ve got to promise people, because they made mistakes when t hey were in power. Is that a good idea? Do you think maybe —  GINGRICH: Well, look, I think it’s a very good idea for September of 2010 and I do think the one thing that Senator Specter has done tonight is he’s clarified a lot more decisively that the Republican Party is going to be the Party of lower taxes, less spending, smaller bureaucracy, less power in Washington.

Both Gingrich and Hannity also cheered the fact that the Republican party was becoming more narrowly focused. Gingrich said that Specter “has changed the equation clearly, because it makes the Republican Party a more clearly conservative and significant Party.” Watch it:

Indeed, as Specter himself said yesterday, the GOP has pushed out moderates and “moved far to the right.” RNC Chairman Michael Steele had called for punishing Specter for straying from strict party discipline, and a chorus of hard-right conservatives have been viciously trashing the senator for months.

Last summer, Gingrich also launched his 527 organization American Solutions, which, like his Contract with America — had a flashy slogan about helping the American public while actually serving the interests of lobbyists.

Transcript:

HANNITY: All right, so then let’s analyze this from the Republican standpoint. What does that mean for them? Now look, I’ve been urging a new Contract with America. By the way, and I give you all the credit for the original Contract. But I think that with Barack Obama embracing dictators and apologizing for America and embracing Chavez and listening to Ortega and all cutting missile defense, I think he’s created an opportunity. Republicans can be the Party of national security, the can now be the party of fiscal responsibility, of energy independence, free market solution, the American dream. Very simple, but they’ve got to put their name on a piece of paper and they’ve got to promise people, because they made mistakes when t hey were in power. Is that a good idea? Do you think maybe —  GINGRICH: Well, look, I think it’s a very good idea for September of 2010 and I do think the one thing that Senator Specter has done tonight is he’s clarified a lot more decisively that the Republican Party is going to be the Party of lower taxes, less spending, smaller bureaucracy, less power in Washington and clearly by his leaving to become a liberal Democrat he has changed the equation clearly, because it makes the Republican Party a more clearly conservative and significant Party. It will not interesting to watch and see Pat Toomey, who will be your guest in a little while, put together a coalition across Pennsylvania, which is a much more conservative state than people think, and I think he has a real shot at becoming the next senator from Pennsylvania in these kind of circumstance.