1995: Many Faces of Newt Gingrich

Jan. 5, 1995: Part 1 of "Nightline" interview with Newt Gingrich.
6:47 | 12/06/11

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Transcript for 1995: Many Faces of Newt Gingrich
It's probably safe to say that -- speaker of the house is ever coming to power with such fanfare. No matter where you -- these days Newt Gingrich seems to be there. But it's not clear that familiarity. Breeds affection. -- an ABC poll released today. 35%. Viewed Gingrich favorably 37%. Unfavorably. 28% have no opinion still don't know enough. About Newt Gingrich. That compares with a 45%. To -- President Clinton favorably 51%. Unfavorably. It's senate leader Bob Dole who fares best 62%. Favorable 25%. Unfavorable. And the Republican Party also gets high marks. When asked who do you trust more to deal with the country's main problems. President Clinton -- only 30%. Compared with 54%. For the Republicans. -- Gingrich is convinced that public support for his party and his ideas. Is what's important that the more people hear from him. In the more than a light -- he says. And is not much danger of these days of not hearing him. Here's Nightline correspondent Chris -- In this pickle capital. For this moment. At least he is Newt Gingrich super street. Like never before Newt Gingrich is in the spotlight by King of the Hill. The center of journalistic gravity Washington's hot button issue. A -- -- basking in glory he went without an overcoat on this freezing January morning. To meet with the president he has now overshadows -- -- warmed by the opening day says he's not. The new speaker was so intent on keeping the atmosphere warming -- buzzing like he later scolded reporters for seeking slivers of disagreement going between himself and President Clinton. I -- M -- says under the I'm just tired of there's no point -- you all being destructive. We had a positive meeting the president MySpace was very positive. If the leaders of the United States can get together on a positive way would be nice for the national press corps to report accurately that it was a positive meeting. And not to rush off from the -- try to find some way to get a cat fight started. Yes this diplomatic lecture comes from the same man who once called the clintons McGovern next and suggested some of the White House staff had used drugs. In just the last 24 hours as he has taken Washington by storm. Newt Gingrich has revealed the dazzling array of facets to his complex character new -- old Newt and some -- In between. The Gingrich on display in the speakers well yesterday sounded like a statesman and student of history -- to magnanimous. I promise -- of -- that without regard to party. My door is going to be open. I will listen to Leach of Iowa try to work with the -- -- him. I will put in long hours and I'll guarantee they'll listen to your first -- you get it all out before I give you my average. The new speaker's speech was a -- most pundits hailed at five partisan tone. It just minutes before Gingrich's conciliatory words -- old parties and nudity was bashing Democrats on talk radio. You think after forty years in power that they would stop and try to analyze what might have gone wrong instead. Give the same kind of leadership doing the same number of things they did before they were repudiated. Even Newt Gingrich readily acknowledges the struggle within. At a news conference yesterday he was asked about the fight between his new -- -- an old -- -- for control of his partner I've said over and over again you can't go from being. The minority whip to being the speaker of the house and and and retain precisely. The style the work has Manaudou of course today you concede that Gingrich styles change on the very same question. On his way to the White House -- charged with reporters about that controversial CBS interview. In which his mother confided he considered Hillary Clinton quote a bitch. We're confident that -- -- the racket. I would tell I would list I would Westbrook table my mother's -- -- -- him. But emerging from the White House a short time later. Gingrich is jovial mood sour when reporters asked whether the subject of his mother's interview. -- come up in his conversations with President Clinton. -- -- -- -- I told -- I was very Charlotte county government going to be you would have totally disrupt. What I know you well you're welcome to win. You have no idea what I thought was fun because I have never -- those things and I won't. Be another and another liar. -- -- Soon after he slammed the door on the Washington press corps Gingrich sought a friendlier forum on the information highway. At a ceremony welcoming a new computer system to put congress on the Internet yet another side of being -- -- to view. Scifi -- the futurist and stem winding professed. The president -- was Movable Type development of murder is that the base of the reformation has the -- of an explosion of knowledge. That truly changes the way people think -- function those of us old enough to still be pragmatic and oriented literally and -- needed different. In people who have -- -- -- all visual impact. Say again. Understand him or not Gingrich has no shortage of -- And I give you -- -- idea that I'm that I'm just asking that they'll wanna start by getting you to think beyond the norm. Maybe we need a tax credit for the poorest Americans to buy a laptop. Now maybe that's wrong maybe it's expensive -- we can't do about it. Any signal weakens and to the poorest Americans that says we're going into a 21 century third wave information age and so are you and we want to carry latest. Begins to change the game. No matter which Gingrich. Is on display his political stock is so hot is now -- nearly constant demand. From the August committees of congress to the sillier side of politics. I wanna -- on behalf of the brand new congress that we're -- have you all here. Newt Gingrich super speaker and toast of the town. Knows he's on a roll. Newt Gingrich the history teacher and professional politician. Also knows his cynical Washington is already asking how long can it last. This is Chris -- for Nightline in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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