"Contract From America" Outlines Tea Party Principles

AP

AP

Sixteen years ago, Newt Gingrich and the "Contract With America" helped Republicans take control of Congress from the opposition in the 1994 midterm elections.

Now, Republicans hope the Tea Party-driven "Contract From America" will do the same thing in the 2010 midterms. And once again, Gingrich is along for the ride.

The document, which will be formally unveiled at a Washington Tea Party rally Thursday evening, "serves as a clarion call for those who recognize the importance of free market principles, limited government, and individual liberty," according to its drafters.

"Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government," says the document, which was produced in conjunction with an online contest in which more than 454,000 votes were cast, according to organizers. "It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices."

You can see the contract here. It has ten planks, articulated as follows: Protect the Constitution, Reject Cap & Trade, Demand a Balanced Budget, Enact Fundamental Tax Reform, Restore Fiscal Responsibility and Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington, End Runaway Government Spending, Defund, Repeal and Replace Government-run Health Care, Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy, Stop the Pork, and Stop the Tax Hikes.

Gingrich, a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, plans to endorse the contract today, CNN reports. But organizers stress that unlike the Contract With America, the new document did not come from the minds of politicians.

"It was not crafted in Washington with the help of pollsters," Ryan Hecker, who organized the new Contract, told the New York Times.

That hasn't stopped Republicans from embracing the document, however.

Politico reports that House Republican Leader John Boehner said it "captures the American people's frustration with a government that has grown too big, too costly, and too arrogant," while House Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence called it a "bold initiative that's marked by powerful ideas to get our government's fiscal house in order."

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