Media don't ask if Gingrich considered Reagan comment "intellectual nonsense"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

CNN's Candy Crowley and CQ Politics' Jonathan Allen reported Newt Gingrich's claim that "I am not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous," saying the line was a jab at President Obama. Neither reported however that President Reagan made similar remarks.

In reports on Newt Gingrich's June 8 speech to the Senate and House Republican campaign committees, CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley and CQ Politics' Jonathan Allen reported Gingrich's claim that "I am not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous." Both Crowley and Allen reported that the line was a jab at President Obama, but failed to report that former President Ronald Reagan made similar remarks. In a July 2008 speech in Berlin, Germany, Obama described himself as "a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world." In a June 17, 1982, speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Reagan similarly said, "I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world."

During the June 8 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, Crowley reported that Gingrich was "on offense when it comes to the president" and aired Gingrich's claim that he is "not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous." Similarly, in a June 9 article on CQPolitics.com, Allen wrote of Gingrich: "On foreign policy, he attacked Obama for declaring himself a 'citizen of the world,' " and quoted Gingrich saying: "We must strengthen our unique American civilization. ... Let me be clear: I am not a citizen of the world."

On its June 9 broadcast, while interviewing Gingrich, Fox News' Fox & Friends aired on-screen text that read: "Newt: I am not a citizen of the world":

Referring to Obama's Berlin speech, Gingrich similarly claimed on the August 6, 2008, edition of Sean Hannity's radio program: "I think saying that you are the -- a citizen of the world, talking to 200,000 Germans is very dangerous because the average American does not want to elect a president of the world to use up America in order to make the rest of the world feel good."

From Gingrich's June 8 speech:

GINGRICH: Let me be clear. I am not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous. There is no world sovereignty. There is no world system of law. There is in fact no circumstance under which I would like to be a citizen of North Korea, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Cuba, or Russia. I am a citizen -- I am a citizen of the United States of America, and the rest of this speech is about the United States of America.

From the June 8 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:

CROWLEY: Guess who came to dinner? They both did. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, keynote speaker, in defense of conservatism, on offense when it comes to the president.

GINGRICH: I am not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous.

CROWLEY: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin -- star spectator.

GINGRICH: I also want to thank Governor Palin and Todd for coming tonight and for being part of this.

CROWLEY: She was supposed to be the keynoter. Earlier this year, her staff accepted on her behalf but later said they hadn't asked her, and Palin seemed uncertain. A staff snafu, or indication of a split among the Palin image rehab team?

From the June 9 CQ Politics article:

On foreign policy, he attacked Obama for declaring himself a "citizen of the world."

"We must strengthen our unique American civilization," Gingrich said. "Let me be clear: I am not a citizen of the world."

By the end, enthusiastic or exhausted, Republicans acknowledged it was Gingrich, not Palin, who was memorable.

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