Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich advised House Republicans on Wednesday to win back the majority in 2022 by linking Democrats to socialism and big-government policies.
“God looked down upon us favorably,” Mr. Gingrich said of the current dynamics in Washington. “He got every single Democrat in House and Senate [set] to vote for a Bernie Sanders-inspired bill. You’re not going to get a clearer ability to talk about bigger socialism than having an opponent who has voted for Bernie Sanders’ $5.5 trillion dollar bill.”
Mr. Gingrich, who steered the GOP’s takeover of the House and Senate in 1994, spoke to members of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative bloc in the House.
“I would urge you to think about ‘22, ‘24, and ‘26 as a continuum,” Mr. Gingrich said. “Your job, in the sense, is to win ‘22 decisively to operate in such a way in ‘23 in early 2024. For you to then win ‘24 decisively, you then have the kind of transition much like Reagan did in 1980.”
The RSC, chaired by Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, has helped to shape the messaging strategy for the conference.
Mr. Gingrich urged lawmakers to focus on the issues of inflation and China’s rise to power, blaming them on Democrats.
But he mainly emphasized that Republicans should play up tying Democrats to socialism, particularly as President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending bill remains a point of contention in the party.
Mr. Gingrich told members to take the “Margaret Thatcher opportunity” to combat big government policies and “socialist” proposals. Mrs. Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who rose to power in the 1980s, is known for a legacy of being an anti-socialism advocate and for decreasing the size of government, focusing on making Britain competitive on the global stage.
GOP messaging that tied House Democrats to socialism was credited for winning several seats held by swing district Democrats in 2020.
With Republicans needing a net gain of just five seats to retake the House, nearly 60 Democrats have already been targeted by the GOP campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Last week, Mr. Banks laid out 42 policies in the Democrat-led reconciliation bill to be the driving message in Republicans’ opposition to the bill.
Among the points Mr. Banks made are proposals for expanded welfare programs that he argues would perpetuate the labor shortage; an emphasis on climate change initiatives touted by the Green New Deal; and weakened immigration controls at the southern border.
“We as congressional Republicans have an urgent duty to tell the truth about what’s really in the Democrats’ $3.5T big government socialist takeover and warn the American people what’s coming,” Mr. Banks said in a memo to RSC members.
The RSC has also been united against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, passed by the Senate with the help of 19 Republicans in the upper chamber.
The caucus has helped influence GOP leadership to officially whip members against the bill, which has dwindled in its support among a group of House Republicans who initially signaled support.
“[Because of] many of the dangerous socialist policies that are incorporated in both of the bills, it was obvious that conservatives and Republicans should be opposed to both bills,” Mr. Banks told The Washington Times earlier this month. “We came out early and took a strong position against them on day one.”