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Excerpts of remarks made Monday night by House Republicans in co

January 7, 1997

Excerpts of remarks made Monday night by House Republicans in connection with the quest by Newt Gingrich for a second two-year term as speaker in an election scheduled for Tuesday:

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Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, chairman of the House Republican Conference:

``I didn’t get any hint that the speaker was thinking of turning tail and running. If Newt Gingrich were to leave today, what he’s doing would be admitting guilt, even though he’s not guilty. ... If it’s not Newt Gingrich, whoever the Republican speaker would be, they’ll be in the same fight.″

Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois: ``He was not contrite. He was not apologetic. He was sincere and persuasive.″

Rep. Michael Forbes of New York, who will vote against Gingrich: ``It’s extremely difficult for me to do. I happen to revere Newt Gingrich. We are here because of what Newt Gingrich has done. ... But he’s become the issue. I care very much about the Republican agenda.″

Rep. Linda Smith of Washington, who will vote against Gingrich: ``When you are told you are unloyal or you are not one of the family, that hurts deeper than almost anything. ... He can even still be a part of leadership, but he should not be the focal point.″

Rep. Phil English of Pennsylvania: ``My sense is there were many people who were honestly trying to soul search. That’s what I did today.″

Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, holding up tapes from Gingrich’s college course: ``Just as the tapes indicted Richard Nixon, these tapes vindicate Newt Gingrich.″

Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana: ``The mood was very supportive of the speaker. There were a few people expressing some doubts. I don’t think it was contentious. I think everybody was expressing their views. I don’t think anybody really spoke in favor of the speaker stepping down. Some people spoke about reservations they had.″

Rep. Tom Campbell of California, who will vote against Gingrich: ``I believe that he approved the submission of inaccurate and unreliable information. ... I believe, enough for me to make a decision that I cannot support him.″

Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Kansas: ``When the smoke clears, the speaker will be speaker.″

Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, asked why the caucus lasted more than three hours: ``We have 227 members and they all wanted to speak ... and many of the members wanted to ask questions of the speaker and have their say, and that takes a long time.″

Rep. Mark Neumann of Wisconsin, saying he will vote against Gingrich: ``I cannot in good faith support his re-election for speaker considering his use of approximately $1.2 million of tax-exempt funding for a college course that was used to advance political goals.″

Boehner: ``This is a political battle, it’s not an ethics case. ... The vote isn’t over until it’s over.″

Rep. John Kasich of Ohio: ``Newt Gingrich is in trouble, not because he cheated on his taxes, not because he abused power, not because he sexually abused someone in his office, but because he taught a college course.″

Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona: ``My position is whether Newt Gingrich is guilty of any misconduct, my position is he is not. I have called on him to step down temporarily, until this issue can be resolved, and I believe he can come back stronger.″

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