Gingrich to release new ‘Contract With America’

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is set Thursday to release a 21st-century version of the “Contract With America,” the landmark 1994 document that outlined the Republican Party’s goals for the country and is credited with helping the GOP take over Congress that year.

Gingrich, who is running for president, plans to unveil his new plan at a campaign event at a financial services company in Des Moines. A key architect of the original contract, Gingrich has promised that the new one will be far more ambitious and will serve as a starting point for addressing the nation’s greatest challenges.

“The scale of what I’m going to propose is breathtaking, and I’m prepared to spend the next 10 years of my life implementing it,” Gingrich said Tuesday before a screening of one of his films in Philadelphia.

It is the first major rollout from Gingrich’s campaign since its shaky start in the spring, when Gingrich offended many fellow Republicans by criticizing a budget plan by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as “right-wing social engineering.” The campaign also suffered a mass exodus of his top advisers.

Despite predictions that he would drop out, Gingrich has stayed in the race and even gotten a bump from a series of highly rated debate performances this summer. He came in at 11 percent in a recent CNN/ORC International poll of Republican primary voters — high enough to rank third after Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Sandhya Somashekhar is the social change reporter for the Washington Post.
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