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Gingrich: Republicans can win in 2010 and 'defund' the Democratic agenda

NEW ORLEANS -- When I asked if I could see a copy of Newt Gingrich's speech to the SRLC, I was rebuffed for a good reason -- there was no prepared text. Gingrich let us know it.

After walking through the crowd to the strains of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," Gingrich informed the crowd that "when you speak from the heart, you don't need a teleprompter." He rubbed that in, saying that Barack Obama "only reads parts of things, and he pretends to understand them." Later: "I want to remind you, as a historian, that elections have consequences." And later: "The former teacher in me wants to give you three assignments."

In this crowd, the voice of authority worked. Gingrich -- who said that Republicans need to oppose a "secular socialist machine," the subtitle of his upcoming book -- confidently predicted that the party would win control of Congress in 2010 and block the Obama agenda.

"Stage one of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund it," said Gingrich -- that last word was drowned out in a standing ovation.

Gingrich ribbed the media for suggesting that this wasn't possible. "I think they forget that once upon a time I used to be Speaker of the House," he said. "Under our Constitution, Congress doesn't have to pass the funding."

The next step, said Gingrich, would be to "repeal every radical bill passed by this regime" in "February or March of 2013."

This gets at what I wrote earlier -- if Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is supposed to be some national joke, and Gingrich is the man of ideas, why is Gingrich proposing the same endgame as Bachmann? It's because she's ahead of the curve. (Gingrich defined the Obama philosophy as "the machine of Chicago, the corruption of Springfield, and the radicalism of Alinsky.")

Gingrich made a pitch for Republicans to recruit candidates at every level, but didn't address the problems facing the RNC. Earlier today, however, he lit into CNN's Peter Hamby for asking about that story. From the CNN account:

In an interview with CNN, Gingrich was asked if Republican donors were right to have questioned Steele's financial stewardship.

In nine of the 14 months Steele has led the RNC, the committee has spent more than it has raised. That's on top of the recent scandal involving an expenditure at a sex-themed Hollywood nightclub.

"That's just so factually false. I'm amazed that a serious reporter could ask it," Gingrich responded.

Gingrich said questions about Steele's fiscal record were "false," because the RNC had its best fundraising month in recent memory in March, banking $11.4 million.

"They have raised over $100 million. They have $11 million in the bank with zero debt," he said. "Here's a guy who helped win New Jersey, helped win Massachusetts, helped win Virginia. They have had the biggest fundraising month in their history, and you're raising fundraising questions?"

By David Weigel  |  April 8, 2010; 9:31 PM ET
Categories:  Newt Gingrich , SRLC  
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Next: A second RNC committee member calls for Steele to step down

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