Newt Gingrich for Secretary of State? 12 terrifying quotes from the man tipped to run Trump's foreign affairs

He has described child labour laws as ‘stupid’, called for America to adopt a Saudi Arabian approach to religious freedom, and promised to build a moon colony by 2020

Max Benwell
Thursday 10 November 2016 06:00 EST
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich introduces Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich introduces Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio

Donald Trump's shock victory has terrified liberals and conservatives alike, and for an almost endless number of reasons.

One of the more immediate sources of anxiety is who will fill his cabinet come inauguration day. A range of climate change deniers, anti-intellectuals and CEOs are leading the way, with Ben Carson, Rudy Guiliani, and Sarah Palin all tipped to take key positions in the administration.

One name that stands out is Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House Speaker and presidential candidate. According to a preliminary list obtained by Buzzfeed, he is a serious contender to be Secretary of State.

If this happens, he'll become one of the most powerful men in the world after Trump. So you may want to familiarise yourself with some of the more unorthodox things he has said in the past:

1. On his first wife (according to a former aide): “She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.”

2. On his vision for the future: “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon. And it will be American”

3. On Hurricane Katrina: “22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn’t get out of the way of a hurricane.”

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4. On President Barack Obama: “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]? That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

5. On women fighting on the front line: “Females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections, and they don't have upper body strength.”

6. On religious freedom: “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia… [it] would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.”

7. On corporate lobbying: “The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.”

8. On freedom: “A mere 40 years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that’s what freedom is all about.”

9. On the November 2015 Paris attacks: “Imagine a theatre with 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits. We live in an age when evil men have to be killed by good people.”


10. On child labour: “It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child [labour] laws, which are truly stupid. Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor, and pay local students to take care of the school.”

11. On national security: “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear idea about America's enemies. Kill them.”

12. On himself: “I'm not a natural leader. I'm too intellectual; I'm too abstract; I think too much.”

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