Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gingrich Lambastes Book Critics Takes Aim at Democrats, Media

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gingrich Lambastes Book Critics Takes Aim at Democrats, Media

Article excerpt

House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended his ethics Friday against "despicable" attacks from Democrats and news media he said were desperate to stop Republicans from revolutionizing America.

"I am a genuine revolutionary," he said in a speech to the Republican National Committee. "They are genuine reactionaries. We are going to change the world. They are going to do to everything they can to stop us.

"They will use any tool. There is no grotesquery, no distortion, no dishonesty too great for them to come after us," he said.

Gingrich also attacked Hillary Rodham Clinton and called former Democratic house Speaker Jim Wright "a crook."

Gingrich delivered his barrage and defended his book agreement in an hour-long speech to 300 Republican leaders at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee.

He said he was told by Republican Party chairman Haley Barbour not to talk about the book deal since it would be a distraction from the legislation that Republicans, now in control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, want to enact.

But Gingrich ignored the advice in a blistering assault on critics of the book deal. It caused a political storm after it became public last month, and has continued even after he rejected a $4.5 million advance from the publisher and said he would settle for royalties on sales.

The fresh criticisms arise because the book's publisher, HarperCollins, is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's ownership of several TV stations that are the foundation of his Fox TV network is being considered for review by the Federal Communications Commission.

"Now I know there are important Democrats in this city who would have automatically turned down $4.5 million," he said. "They would say I can make too much money in cattle futures."

The reference to Hillary Clinton's $100,000 profit from a $1,000 investment in the complex cattle future market long before her husband became president drew a rousing ovation from the partisan crowd.

Gingrich led the fight against Wright's book purchasing deal that forced the former Texas Democratic congressman to resign from the speaker's post in 1989. …

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