When Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1994, his broad reform agenda included creating the post of Chief Administrative Officer, and the man he hired to oversee and streamline the House budget was Scot Faulkner.
Faulkner served in the post for two years: Long enough, he says, to develop a burning loathing of his old boss that endures to this day. He has been campaigning against Gingrich ever since -- campaigning against Gingrich, indeed, long before Gingrich had his own presidential campaign.
In 2007 -- when few were thinking of Gingrich - Faulker published a book-length assault on Gingrich, "The Naked Emperor." The book details how the 1994 congressional elections failed to turn into the "Republican revolution" the GOP was expecting -- largely due to Gingrich, Faulkner says.
Now Faulkner, 59, whose day job is as the executive director of actor Richard Dreyfuss' foundation, is on a mission to stop Gingrich from getting the Republican nomination. The tools in his one-man campaign: an AOL email account and a litany of grievances.
Faulkner reached out to BuzzFeed yesterday via email and made his pitch.
"Gingrich uses 'subjective reality' and 'selective relevance' to promote himself and defend against attacks," Faulkner wrote. "I can clearly explain this and provide recent examples."
He stressed: "I am available to talk on the record. I am not affiliated with any
campaign. I simply want the voters to know Gingrich’s complete record."
Faulkner doesn't claim to know anything that those who worked in or followed politics in the 1990s do not. But he thinks that the facts bear repeating, and that Gingrich's touting of four years of balanced budgets under his speakership is a sham.
From Faulkner's point of view, Newt kept balanced budgets simply because revenue was going up in a booming economy -- "the Republicans did not cut spending," largely because Newt was so involved in covering up his affair with Callista that he didn't focus on carrying out real reforms, Faulkner says. "We had to spend a lot of time in 95 fighting Bill Thomas and Bob Livingston who were trying to stop reforms, and Gingrich refused to do anything," he said.
"Newt is using his speakership as primary cornerstone for why he should be nominee, so it has to be brought up," he said in an interview from his office. "Not as old news, but as completing the picture for why he failed."
The ways in which he describes Newt's failures -- both personal and professional -- are many. Newt "literally has no shame." He will "literally stare you in the face and lie." He "was willing to sacrifice his own revolution in order to hide his affair."
Gingrich "has the IQ of a genius and maturity of a 14 year old," "an issue of erratic behavior," and a "zipper problem." He is "One of the most self-absorbed politicians in America. And that’s saying something."
Faulkner is no fan of Callista Gingrich either, who he believes is "the centerpiece to why [Gingrich] failed as speaker and why he killed his own speakership." He implied that she is a "gold-digger."
"I don't need to get sucked into this, I'm in the private sector now," Faulkner said. "But I had so many people who said 'You've got to come forward with what you know.'"
Faulkner describes himself as a "lifelong conservative" but won't make predictions about the outcome of the GOP race or come out in support of a candidate: "I do not have a dog in this fight."
When asked if the campaign is aware of Faulkner's vendetta, Gingrich press secretary R.C. Hammond said "First I've heard."
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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