Newt Gingrich practically glimpsed his own future in 1991, when he got mad at voters in a town hall and taunted, "If you want to fire me, I don't care," saying he'd make more money as a political consultant. The prophetic episode comes to light thanks to BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski, who published the documents from a 20-year-old opposition research file on Gingrich. True to his prediction, when House Republicans essentially fired Gingrich as their speaker in 1998, that is exactly what he did, and his "historian" work for Freddie Mac, in particular, has come under attack during the 2012 Republican primary.
The "fire me" incident was first reported Georgia's Clayton Sun, which does not appear to be in Google's newspaper archives. Here's the Washington Times writeup of the incident from April 24, 1991:
Rep. Newt Gingrich, Georgia Republican, conducted a town meeting, and most of the citizens in attendance came to complain about crime. Mr. Gingrich apparently felt they were saying crime was his fault.
"I won't take any responsibility for [crime]," he declared. "I bust my tail and beat my brains" to solve problems. "If you want to fire me, I don't care." He said he could make more money as a political consultant anyway.
According to the report in the Clayton (Ga.) Sun, a retired Methodist minister named Harold Murphree stood up about that time to set folks straight on the subject of crime. It isn't a government problem so much as a spiritual problem, he explained. Why, if it were not for his Christian faith, Mr. Murphree said, "I'd be just as mean as hell."
Read the rest of Kaczynski's finds at Buzzfeed.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.