Dear Virginia:

I’m not going to talk about what I have previously said on the topic of Santa Claus. The record is perfectly clear: Yes, Virginia, I am in favor of a Santa Claus.

What I do want to talk about is what I see you and your friends doing, which is playing into the media’s game. You are buying into the fiction and the rumors and the outright lies the media peddles about Santa Claus. It is a liberal invention, one designed to get 8-year-olds fighting each other so that they don’t pay attention to the absolutely abysmal record of job creation under the current President. And, frankly, I’m against it.

I don’t say this as someone who doesn’t understand how Christmas works, Virginia. I’ve been there. I know the lists. I know the kind of deals kids try to make with Santa to get that new toy.

I remember when Santa Claus came to me with an idea about spreading good cheer. He wanted to do it in August and he wanted the gifts to be books of coupons.

I said, “Santa, that’s just not going to work.” I said, “You’re not going to be able to locate most of the good people, because they’re hard workers who don’t ask the government for anything, and come August they’ll be on vacation. Plus, a lot of people have their chimneys closed during the summer months. It’s impractical.”

“Also,” I told him, “coupon books are fine for cousins you’re not sure will show up to the big family get together, but for kids, they might want something a little more fun.” Callista and I just made a movie that goes into great detail about this topic, incidentally.

Basically, I told Santa, “What you have to do is fly in at the end of the year. It serves as a nice coda for people, plus it works better from a tax perspective.” That’s what Ronald Reagan and I did in the ‘80s, Virginia, and it’s what I was able to accomplish as Speaker of the House under the dictatorship of one of the most liberal presidents of all time: work until the last minute in service to the American people to lower taxes.

I also told Santa, “Give the children toys they might actually like.” However—and this is where the media has intentionally distorted what I have said because they fear my candidacy—I told him, “You have to be aware of something called ‘moral hazard,’ Santa. If kids think that toys are an automatic giveaway at the end of the year, then they will feel no repercussions for any bad behavior. Make sure the bad kids get something a little different.” And that is why bad kids today get something that’s actually quite useful: Good, honest, American coal, which—and I’ve said this many times, you can look it up—is the answer to the fundamental question of how we end our dependency on foreign oil.

You see, Virginia, you can’t just give everyone a toy, no matter their record. That’s what Government does: It rewards people for bad behavior. I wrote about this in my last book (all of which, I might add, are available in stocking-size paperback editions). I explained how you can’t expect, in good times or bad, for someone to just fly in while you’re asleep and give you whatever you most want, free of charge.

Now, I wasn’t referring to Santa Claus when I said that. I was using a metaphor about an outsider, much like myself, to whom all the world looks for answers to the complicated issues being debated in Washington today. But what’s in my sleigh, Virginia, is a bag filled with facts. Also in that bag: the most conservative voting record in the history of Congress. If you don’t believe me, Virginia, write to Santa and ask him to give you this Christmas a copy of the American Conservative Union’s report on the voting records of members of Congress. You will find that I—and none of the other candidates can say this—was rated consistently pro-life, pro-growth, and pro-capitalism as Speaker.

Virginia, to not believe that I have been consistent on the question of “Does Santa exist?” is simply ludicrous. You might as well not believe in fairies. And if you want to talk about inconsistency in message, then ask how the current President can say that there are no fairies, then pass legislation that would, effectively, create “death panels” for fairies.

Remember: Just because nobody in the media sees how clear I’ve been on my position regarding Santa, doesn’t mean that I haven’t been clear on my position regarding Santa.

Santa lives within us all, Virginia. A thousand years from now, or ten times a thousand years from now—which is how long the socialist number crunchers at the CBO say it will take to pay off the President’s disastrous health care plan—Santa will still exist.

Newt Gingrich
Former Speaker of the House