The 2012 roster of Republican candidates features a blast from the past -- Newt Gingrich, who engineered the GOP takeover of the House in 1994 with his "Contract With America." But where does the former House Speaker stand on the issues now? Let's take a look:
Gingrich is pro-life and thinks abortion should be illegal. This is a slight change from his 1990s heyday. He was always pro-life, but he felt back then that the country was not ready for a constitutional ban on the procedure, according to On The Issues.
According to the website 2012 Presidential Candidates, Gingrich "believes that homosexuality is a sin." He opposes gay marriage, but he believes same-sex couples should have some rights so they can leave their estates to each other or visit each other in the hospital. He wants a constitutional amendment to protect the traditional family.
Gingrich believes everyone has the right to own guns, and is angered by courts which interpret the Constitution and rule otherwise. Regarding a 9th Circuit Court decision in 2002 that said there is no individual right to own guns, Gingrich wrote:
Over the last 50 years the Supreme Court has become a permanent constitutional convention in which the whims of five appointed lawyers have rewritten the meaning of the Constitution. Under this new, all-powerful model of the Court--and by extension the trail-breaking 9th Circuit Court--the Constitution and the law can be redefined, unchecked, by federal judges.
Gingrich feels Social Security has been looted and must be protected. He favors "modernizing" it with personal Social Security savings account and an IRA-type system. He wrote on his website in 2006:
Modernizing Social Security through personal social security savings accounts would raise take-home pay and free workers to put billions of dollars in savings and investment; that would be a huge benefit to our economy. The accounts indeed represent a new, very large tax-free shelter for saving and investment. It adds up to a dramatic increase in savings and investment-and an economic boom.
Gingrich admitted smoking marijuana as a young man in the 1960s, according to On the Issues. Now he is fiercely anti-drug. As House Speaker he advocated for a law that called for the death penalty or life in prison for anyone caught smuggling more than two ounces of drugs into the country.
He said anyone caught possessing drugs should have to serve community service two days a week. If they miss a day, they should be sent to prison for five years.