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'Grandiose': A look back at Gingrich's campaign moments

BALTIMORE, MD -- Newt Gingrich considers himself a man of “really big ideas” and has used his presidential run to share them with thousands of Americans.

The former House speaker faced criticism from opponents for being “grandiose,” which prompted Gingrich to respond in January: “I accept the charge that I am grandiose and that Americans are instinctively grandiose."

While Gingrich continues fighting the increasingly uphill battle of trying to become the Republican nominee, here is a recap of some of the more fantastical ideas he has thrown out over the past 10 months of the campaign.

"By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon. And it will be American." – Cocoa, FL 1.25.12

“I want to restate, far from backing off, I want to restate, America has a destiny in space. It is a part of who we are. We are not going to back off from John Kennedy’s challenge and we are not going to go timidly into the night allowing the Chinese to dominate the future of space.” – Huntsville, AL 3.6.12

“UPS and FedEx move twenty four million packages a day and track them in virtually real time. Over here is the federal government, the world that fails. And let me give you an example of what I’m talking about: twenty four million packages tracked while they move; eleven million illegal visitors sitting still. Or 15 million. One of my proposals is very simple. We send a package to every person who’s here illegally. When it’s delivered, we pull it up, we know exactly where they are. It’s on the computer.” – Council Bluffs, IA 11.30.11

“You think about an Iranian nuclear weapon.  You think about the dangers – to Cleveland, or to Columbus, or to Cincinnati, or to New York.   Remember what it felt like on 9/11 when 3100 Americans were killed.  Now imagine an attack where you add 2 zeros.  And it’s 300,000 dead.  Maybe a half million wounded.  This is a real danger.  This is not science fiction.  That’s why I think it’s important that we have the strongest possible national security.” – Cleveland, OH 2.8.12

“You have a bipartisan establishment that has been running this country, that has created a gigantic mess.  You have bureaucracies that are out of control, judges who think they can be dictators.  You have systems around this country.  You have laws that don’t work.  So, we have got to change not just Obama, we have got to change the entire direction of the United States of America to get it back on track and that is our obligation to these young people." – Rock Hill, SC 1.11.12

“The long-term answer is American’s producing their own energy and telling other people, ‘you may have a problem, we don’t because we can be the largest oil producer in the world by the end of this decade. Bigger than Russia, bigger than Saudi Arabia. We have vastly more resources than any other country if we use them.” – San Francisco, CA 2.25.12

“We’re not going to fix Afghanistan.  It’s not possible…There’s some problems where what you have to do is say, ‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life because I’m not here – you clearly don’t want to hear from me how to be unmiserable.’  And that’s what you’re going to see happen.” – Nashville, TN 2.27.12

“I believe we need to reassess every element of our relationship with the Islamic world and we need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to become economically independent and to be able to tell the truth. And American president who cannot tell the truth cannot possibly defend this country.” – Rome, GA 2.28.12

”Between the election and the inauguration, I will try to meet with every Democrat individually and sit down with them face to face and say look I’m going to be here for four years and what is it that you’re trying to get done that’s compatible with what I’m trying to get down. Now, they’ll break down into three groups. There will be the crazies. We won’t invite them back. There will be hardheaded guys who you can get occasionally. And there will be folks who say I’m glad we’re trying to do this together, let’s see what we can get done.” – Mobile, AL 3.10.12

”Let me just say to the president: I will be glad to debate him anywhere, any time, and I’ll go a step further just to make it non-political. We ought to debate on pay-per-view and we ought to charge ten bucks to watch the debate, and it ought to go to a charity of our mutual choice, and it would be the largest charity fundraiser in the country this year. And the topic ought to be price of gasoline.” – Shreveport, LA 3.20.12

“The psychological attitude of the modern world is such that if Thomas Edison invented the electric light in the modern era, it would be reported on the network news as the candle making industry was threatened today. And somebody on the left would jump up and say this was all an excuse for killing poor people by putting electricity in their homes, and who knows what the electricity will do to them. And is this really a gamble to electrocute people? Think about -- Everything we do nowadays is negative.” – Frederick, MD 4.2.12

“If you went to somebody who was a great cook and you said ‘do you think you can bake a birthday cake’ and they said ‘sure I can bake a birthday cake,’ the odds are pretty high they’ll be able to bake a birthday cake. Now it helps to have a recipe for birthday cakes and it helps to have baked one. President Obama’s biggest challenge is, that he has exactly the wrong ideas. He belongs to an ideology that believes the way you get hard eggs is you freeze them (laughs)…. This is his whole problem with job creation.” – Dyersville, IA 12.27.11

“And so I’m prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention to talk about why the African American community should demand pay checks and not be satisfied with food stamps. And I’ll go to them and I’ll explain a brand new social security opportunity for young people, which would be particularly good for African American males, because they’re the group that gets the smallest return on social security…” – Plymouth, NH 1.5.12

“You have a very poor neighborhood. You have kids who are required under law to go to school. They have no money, they have habit of work. But what if you paid them part time in the afternoon to sit in the clerical office and greet people that came in. What if you paid them to work as the assistant librarian? And I’d pay them as early as was reasonable and practical. And then we get into the janitor thing. These letters were written saying janitorial work is really hard and really dangerous. Fine. So what if they became assistant janitors and their job was to mop the floor and clean the bathroom and you pay them?” – Des Moines, IA 12.1.11

“You can’t put a gun rack in a Volt. So, let’s be clear what this election is all about. We believe in the right to bear arms and we like to bare the arms in our truck, there.” – Peachtree City, GA 2.17.12

“If you would like to have a national American energy policy, never again bow to a Saudi king and pay $2.50 a gallon, Newt Gingrich will be your candidate.” – San Francisco, CA 2.25.12

“We should indicate calmly and decisively that any act to close the Straits of Hormuz will be considered an act of war and we will eliminate the government of Iran.” – Knoxville, TN 3.5.12

“I think the vast majority of them should go home. And we should be very clear about this. If you are here without any great ties to the United States and you came here illegally, you just need to leave and apply for the guest worker program from back home. Period…I do think that if you have somebody in your neighborhood who has been here for 25 years, and they belong to your church and they have three kids and two grandkids, and they have been paying taxes and working hard the entire time, it’s going to be very, very hard to get the American people to agree that we should tear up those families and expel them.” – Naples, FL 11.25.11

“I do think it’s legitimate for the Congress and the president to address the 9th circuit’s aggressive anti-religious bias but I think that will be done with other methods. I’d ask the Congress to look seriously at either impeaching or replacing the 9th circuit.” – South El Monte, CA 1.15.12

“I proposed yesterday what Chris Cox of the NRA called the Gingrich Treaty. As president, I would propose that the United States submit a treaty that says that the right to bear arms is a universal human right and that every human being on the planet should have the right to bear arms. That the Second Amendment should apply everywhere." – Raleigh, NC 4.14.12

"The number of things we'll learn by learning about the brain will absolutely pay for itself probably by a thousand to one or better. Literally in terms of cost to the government … This is a very big idea in an area that I don't know of any political leader who is willing to tackle that would lead to a dramatic explosion of new science that would lead directly to a better quality outcome for health which would lower the cost of healthcare which would help solve our long term budget problems and would create a huge new zone of creating American jobs. But it requires having a conversation in an area the people just aren't used to talking about politically.” – Iowa City, IA 12.14.12