"You’re killing us, you are just killing us"

Days earlier, Gingrich had dramatically walked out of the White House and was leading a very public rebellion against a deficit reduction and tax increase deal that Bush and top congressional leaders of both parties — including, they thought, Gingrich — had signed off on after months of tedious negotiations. The House was to vote on the deal the very next day.

“We went over and I said [to Bush], ‘I’m really sorry that this is happening,’ and he said with as much pain as I’ve heard from a politician, ‘You’re killing us, you are just killing us.’ ”

The photo was snapped, Gingrich and his wife took their seats for dinner, “and both of us just felt like crying,” he said…

In a long interview on May 4, 1992, devoted almost exclusively to the topic of Gingrich, Darman concluded that Gingrich was “an unstable personality” who talks about four or five great people in history, including Pericles and himself. “Psychologically, he has got to go against the reigning establishment . . . . The establishment has to fail visibly.

“No matter what you’re going to do, he’s going to bomb it,” Darman said. “He will find his way to the most inflammatory part of anything.”

In 1992, Darman said that Gingrich’s ambition was limitless. “Newt is on a path for himself to be president of the United States, not just speaker of the House.”