Goldwater letters show he praised, chided Gingrich

February 21, 2012

Correspondence from the late Barry Goldwater shows the former senator thought highly of Newt Gingrich, but was also wary of Gingrich putting his foot in his mouth. From Phoenix, KJZZ's Paul Atkinson reports.

Letters from the Barry M. Goldwater Collection at the Arizona Historical Foundation give a glimpse of the late senator's thoughts on one of the four GOP presidential candidates.

In a January 1995 invitation to speak at the annual award given in his name, Goldwater praised Gingrich, saying, "I can't think of anyone more appropriate, or anyone who can more eloquently express the imortance of Ronald Regan or the challenges facing today's leaders than you."

Less than a month before, Goldwater had sent a thank you to a Republican supporter who had sent him a box of chocolates. The letter said, "If you send anything to Newt Gingrich, make it a zipper for his mouth, because if he isn't careful, he's going to talk himself right out of it."

Six months later, Goldwater wrote Gingrich, complimenting the House Speaker for meeting with President Clinton. Goldwater said, "American politics needs changes, it needs something other than two men or women standing up arguing with each other."

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