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Newt Gingrich’s most memorable campaign moments

at 07:25 AM ET, 04/25/2012

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is ending his presidential bid within the next week.

He may had had some organizational issues, and he may have only won two states. But Gingrich knew how to make a memorable moment, either with a clever attack line or a novel idea. Here are the Fix’s highlights of the campaign that was.

* Gingrich famously suggested in November that children work as part-time school janitors, calling child labor laws “truly stupid.”

* In a January visit to Florida’s Space Coast, Gingrich promised to establish a permanent colony on the moon by 2020. In response to criticism of his “grandiose” ideas, Gingrich replied: “I would just want you to note: Lincoln standing at Council Bluffs was grandiose. The Wright Brothers standing at Kitty Hawk were grandiose. John F. Kennedy was grandiose. I accept the charge that I am grandiose and that Americans are instinctively grandiose.”

* In two South Carolina debates, Gingrich got standing ovations by turning his ire on the moderators. He went on to win a huge victory.

First he took on Fox News’ Juan Williams for asking whether Gingrich’s comments about food stamps and work were “insulting” to black Americans.

Three days later, Gingrich launched a blistering attack on CNN’s John King, who asked about allegations from the former speaker’s second wife about their marriage.

* Riding high on the day of the South Carolina primary, Gingrich worked the drive-thru window at a Chick-Fil-A.

* On the night of Nevada’s Feb. 5 caucus, Gingrich held a freewheeling press conference in which he launched some blistering attacks on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who he called “fundamentally dishonest,” and declared his intention to keep fighting.

* In March, Gingrich suggested that the “elite media” was ignoring “Obama’s Muslim friends.” He later suggested that if some Americans think President Obama is a Muslim, Obama himself is to blame.

* Even as his campaign ground down, Gingrich was still tossing out new ideas. In mid-April he told the National Rifle Association they had been “too timid” and promised that as president, he would submit to the United Nations a treaty that would make “the right to bear arms” a “universal human right.”

Of course, Gingrich might be best remembered for his love of zoos — or the fact that at one recent zoo visit, he was bit by a penguin.

 
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