imaginary conversations

Newt Gingrich Refuses to Share His Calamari: The Secret Tapes

Gingrich and his beloved calamari. Photo: Mary-Louise Price; Photos: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images (Gingrich), iStockphoto (Calamari)

Jackie Gingrich Cushman, the daughter of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, told People recently that, because of the positive effect that Callista Gingrich has had on her father, “He now shares his calamari,” thus indicating that there was once a time that Gingrich would not share his calamari. One such refusal occurred during a lunch on March 12, 1995. Courtesy of Daily Intel’s vast archive of secretly recorded conversations of political office-holders, the full transcript of that incident is reprinted below.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman: Mmm, Dad, your calamari looks really good. Mind if I try one?

Newt Gingrich: I’m sorry, I don’t think that will be possible.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman: Heh, okay, Mr. Speaker. Seriously, give me a taste.

Newt Gingrich: Let me be perfectly and unequivocally clear: If you want calamari, you are free to order some of your own.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman: Oh God, chill out, I just want a little bite.

Newt Gingrich: Frankly, what you want is a handout, and it would be fundamentally wrong for me to oblige.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman: It’s just calamari.

Newt Gingrich: It’s never just calamari!

Jackie Gingrich Cushman: What are you talking about?

[A waiter approaches the table, reaches for calamari plate]

Waiter: Finished, sir?

Newt Gingrich: No! Don’t you touch that! Don’t you touch my calamari!

Waiter: I’m … I’m sorry.

Newt Gingrich: This is precisely the type of behavior that doomed the Macedonian Empire.

Newt Gingrich Refusing to Share His Calamari