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Talk to Republicans and Democrats alike about former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and one word emerges.
In a field where ego reigns supreme, Newt Gingrich’s ego is considered supersized by those surveyed by Capitol Hill Blue.
“He’s out of control,” says former Congressman and MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough.
In recent days, Gingrich has taken credit for ending the cold war, for engineering the “Reagan Revolution,” bragged about how he doesn’t need money because people pay $65,000 a pop just to hear him speak and compared himself with legendary world leaders like Winston Churchill.
In Congress, Scarborough was part of a group of young GOP conservatives who engineered Gingrich’s ouster as Speaker of the House, saying he had abandoned the principles of the Republican Party.
Scarborough isn’t the only Republican sounding warning signs about Gingrich’s illusion of self-importance. Republican strategist Rich Galen, a longtime Gingrich confidant, warns that “sooner or later,” Gingrich’s ego will sink his Presidential bid.
This week, Gingrich said he “helped Ronald Reagan bring down Communism.”
That came as a surprise to former members of the Reagan administration.
“Newt Gingrich is a loudmouth, boorish asshole,” says one former Reagan White House staff member who asked not to be identified. “When Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, he killed the party’s chance to make a difference with his extremes. Now he wants to do the same thing to the GOP chances to defeat Barack Obama.”
Heads turned this week when Gingrich called himself “an enduring celebrity” whose fame — he claims — matches that of top tier stars.
That comment provided fodder for cable-TV satirist Stephen Colbert, who said Gingrich thinks he is a bigger star than dozens of celebrities.
“At least his head is,” Colbert said.