Newt Gingrich's Legacy As A Political Commentator: Smears, Falsehoods, And Inflammatory Rhetoric
Research ››› ››› FAE JENCKS & DAVID SHERE
The hallmark of Newt Gingrich's media career has been his willingness to make incendiary statements and disseminate misinformation in service of his attacks on opponents. He has maligned President Obama, his administration, Democrats, and the left, while fighting for policies that benefit the private companies from which he and his organizations have taken money.
Gingrich's Rhetoric As A Commentator Has Been Defined By Inflammatory Rhetoric
Gingrich Has Labeled Obama "Most Radical President" And Claimed He Engaged In "Kenyan, Anti-Colonial Behavior" And "Racist Dialogue"
Gingrich: Obama Is "The Most Radical President In American History" From C-SPAN's live coverage of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference:
GINGRICH: The president of the United States, the most radical president in American history, has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people. He has said, "I run a machine, I own Washington, and there's nothing you can do about it." Now, that's where we are. [C-SPAN, 4/8/10]
Gingrich Says Obama Administration Is Trying To Bring About The "End Of America As It Has Been For Last 400 Years." From The Glenn Beck Program:
GINGRICH: The goal that the Obama team has is to fundamentally replace the historic America of self-reliance, independence, the work ethic, the people who go out and achieve because they spend their lifetime doing the right things. And they want to replace it with a politician-dominated redistributionist bureaucracy. Which in the essence would mean the end of America as it has been for the last 400 years.
And I think what you have to recognize...is the other side is not neutral. The other side is deeply, deeply, passionately opposed to us. And so if we stand up for the work ethic against redistribution, they're going to attack us. If we stand up for the right of Americans to be proud of America, they're going to say that we're somehow, you know, out of touch with the need to be sensitive to all of our enemies. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 5/17/10]
Gingrich: Obama Is Engaged In "Kenyan, Anti-Colonial Behavior." On September 12, 2010, Newt Gingrich reportedly told the National Review that President Obama has pretended to be "normal" but that Obama actually seems to be engaged in "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior":
Citing a recent Forbes article by Dinesh D'Souza, former House speaker Newt Gingrich tells National Review Online that President Obama may follow a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview.
Gingrich says that D'Souza has made a "stunning insight" into Obama's behavior -- the "most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama."
"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich asks. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."
"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president," Gingrich tells us.
"I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating -- none of which was true," Gingrich continues. "In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve . . . He was authentically dishonest." [National Review, 9/11/10]
Gingrich: Obama "Engaged" In "Racist Dialogue To Try Frighten Latino Voters Away From The Republican Party." From On The Record:
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me go to immigration. Because yesterday, when the president met with Republican senators, he didn't tell them about the 1,200 troops, and then left and then said, "OK, now you're going to get 1,200 troops."
Do you have any problem with the way that was done? I hate to harp on it, but it just seems so high school that he didn't tell them when he was there. Maybe there's an explanation.
GINGRICH: Look, the 1,200 troops are high school. The idea we're faced with a crisis on the border and that the crisis involves hundreds of thousands coming across the border, and the president thinks the rest of us are dumb enough to be impressed by a public relations stunt.
And that's what this is. This is a public relations stunt, and it's an insult to every American who's worried about immigration. And it's an insult to the people of New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Texas. This is not a serious response. And frankly, the country is going to get tired of government by public relations.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what about in terms of politics? Is he trying to keep some group happy or not in this?
GINGRICH: Well, look. I assume that somewhere after he attacked Arizona; engaged in what I think was a racist dialogue to try to frighten Latinos away from the Republican Party; stood next to the president of Mexico and said, "Borders don't matter because we have strong bonds"; had the President of Mexico get a standing ovation from Democrats for attacking an American state, and has his own State Department apologize to the Chinese for the Arizona law. Somewhere in that process this pollster came in and said, "Maybe your position is a little bad on this issue."
And somebody on his staff said, "I've got a great idea. Let's 1,200 troops to the border. That'll sound tough." It is baloney. It's not a serious reaction, it is trivializing the problem.
And frankly, this administration is trivializing the economy. It's trivializing Iran. It's trivializing the oil problem. It's trivializing the border. And there comes a point when you can't do enough fundraisers to make up for the damage you're doing to your own administration. [Fox News, On The Record With Greta Van Susteren, 5/26/10]
Gingrich Warns Of "A Gay And Secular Fascism In This Country," Says We Must "Break The Back Of The Secular-Socialist Machine"
Gingrich: "There Is A Gay And Secular Fascism In This Country That Wants To Impose Its Will On The Rest Of Us." From The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: OK, now, the culture war. I know you've been flying around the country, and you're doing stuff. In the last three or four days, this is really nasty stuff. I mean, you know, hyper -- we're gonna show you some of the video. A woman getting a cross smashed out of her hand. We had a church in Michigan invaded by gay activists. We're gonna show you the video on Monday of that -- we have exclusively. We had a guy in Sacramento fired from his job. We had boycotts called on restaurants.
I mean, it is getting out of control, very few days after the election. How do you assess that?
GINGRICH: Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion. And I think if you believe in historic Christianity, you have to confront the fact. And, frank -- for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam or the historic version of Judaism, you have to confront the reality that these secular extremists are determined to impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school.
O'REILLY: Are you surprised at the speed of it? You figure that there'd be --
GINGRICH: Oh, I --
O'REILLY: -- a two-week breathing, you know -- wham.
GINGRICH: No. I think -- I think when the left -- when the radicals lost the vote in California, they are determined to impose their will on this country no matter what the popular opinion, no matter what the law of the land. You've watched them, for example, in Massachusetts, basically drive the Catholic Church out of running adoption services, drive Catholic hospitals out of offering any services, because they impose secular rules that are fundamentally --
O'REILLY: Yeah, and that's -- right --
GINGRICH: -- sinful from the standpoint, you know.
O'REILLY: Of the church --
GINGRICH: And so I think, we need -- look, we need a debate. [Gingrich's wife] Calista [Gingrich] and I just did a YouTube video on the Capitol Visitors Center where there's also an effort to take "In God We Trust" out of the Capitol Visitors Center.
O'REILLY: OK, we'll talk about that when we come back.
GINGRICH: That's how bad it is.
O'REILLY: All right, so when we come back, I want to talk about the economy, which is frightening everybody. I want to talk about the illegal alien amnesty, and we'll talk about the "In God We Trust," all right. We'll have more with the speaker in a moment. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 11/14/08]
Gingrich: We Have To "Break The Back Of The Secular-Socialist Machine ... And Then Methodically Rip The System Apart." From The Mark Levin Show:
MARK LEVIN (host): We have never worked so hard in our lives. You know, we can only hope these activist judges wake up and hold these guys back. But isn't that the problem? I mean, they're coming at us -- as you point out in your book -- they're coming at us. This is a mentality that they have. And the problem is so much of this they're putting into unelected branches of government.
GINGRICH: Of course.
LEVIN: The courts, and the administrative state, that we can't get to it.
GINGRICH: Well, of course we can get to it. We have to frankly break the back of the secular-socialist machine, elect people committed to representing the American people, and then methodically rip the system apart. [ABC Radio Networks, The Mark Levin Show, 6/24/10]
Gingrich: "It's Not An Insulting Comment" To Compare Bush Administration Critics "To Those Who Enabled Hitler." From Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
ALAN COLMES (co-host): We were just talking about [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi [CA] and what she wants to do in this effort to perhaps get Rumsfeld removed. He recently made some very controversial comments, basically suggesting that critics of the Iraq war are tantamount to Hitler's appeasers. Do you agree with him on those comments?
GINGRICH: Essentially, sure. I mean, I think you've got to say that --
COLMES: You're calling appeasers people who disagree with the Bush policy administration --
GINGRICH: Look --
COLMES: -- comparing them to those who enabled Hitler?
COLMES: That's an astounding comment --
GINGRICH: What's your -- what's your -- why? Why is it astounding?
COLMES: -- that's a very insulting comment --
GINGRICH: It's not an insulting comment.
COLMES: -- to most of the American population, which doesn't agree with the Iraq war, for example.
GINGRICH: Look, look, no. First of all, the question is, if you have a North Korea with nuclear weapons threatening us, you have an Iran trying to get nuclear weapons threatening us. We've now found over 700 chemical warheads and weapons in Iraq, which supposedly had none, according to our friends on the left. You have a terrorist organization in Great Britain, a terrorist organization in Canada. My question, Alan, is, for the people who want us to cut and run in Iraq, and let's be clear --
COLMES: It's not cut and run. I don't agree with that.
GINGRICH: It's withdrawal. It's leave. It's accept defeat. I mean --
RICH LOWRY (National Review): Yeah, that's exactly what it is. [Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, 9/1/06, emphasis added]
CHRIS WALLACE (host): You also write this, and let's put it up on the screen. "The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did." Mr. Speaker, respectfully. Isn't that wildly over the top?
GINGRICH: No. Not if by America you mean the historic contract we've had which says your rights come from your creator. They're unalienable. You're allowed to pursue happiness. Just listen to President Obama's language. He gets to decide who earns how much. He gets to decide what is too much.
WALLACE: But in fairness, we're talking not just about any company, we're talking about companies that the government has put billions of dollars in with his pay czar.
GINGRICH: No, but he has said publicly, generically you know, some Americans earn too much. So he's now going to decide that?
WALLACE: No, he -- well he's not. He has said that, I agree, that some Americans earn too much.
GINGRICH: So, so you want a politician to become the arbiter of your dreams? A politician gets to say, "We're gonna raise -- we're gonna have a tax" -- and they proposed this at one point -- "we're going to have a punitive tax on those we don't like. We're going to decide that you have too much money, so we're going to take it from you."
WALLACE: So -- but you compare that to the Nazis and the communists?
GINGRICH: I compare that as a threat. Not in terms of the moral -- look, there is no comparison to Nazi Germany as a moral force. Or, by the way, to Mao's China or the Soviet Union, all three of which were evil. But as a threat to our way of life, the degree to which the secular-socialist left represents a fundamental replacement of America, a very different worldview, a very different outcome, I think this is a very serious threat to our way of life. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 5/16/10]
Gingrich Compares NYC Islamic Center To Nazis Erecting A Sign Near Holocaust Museum, Japanese Site Near Pearl Harbor. From Fox & Friends:
GINGRICH: This is not about the right. First of all, there are over a hundred mosques in New York City. So people have the right to free religion if they want it. I've said it openly: If they want to build this mosque in the South Bronx, I'm all for it. Governor Patterson has offered them state land -- which interestingly, I don't know of any state that's offered a church or synagogue free land. But he's trying to solve the problem by getting them away from the site.
The folks who want to build this mosque, who are really radical islamists who want to triumphally prove that they can build a mosque right next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists. Those folks don't have any interest in reaching out to the community. They're trying to make a case about supremacy. That's why they won't go anywhere else, that's why they won't accept any other offer. And I think we ought to be honest about the fact that we have a right -- and this happens all the time in America. You know, Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/16/10]
Gingrich: HHS Secretary Sebelius "Was Behaving Exactly In The Spirit Of The Soviet Tyranny." From the 2010 Value Voters Summit:
GINGRICH: The first is Camus, who writes in his the novel The Plague: "There are times when a man can be killed for saying two plus two equals four because the authorities can't stand the truth."
Now, I'm going to give you two quick examples. When Secretary Sebelius said the other day she would punish insurance companies that told the truth about the cost of Obamacare she was behaving exactly in the spirit of the Soviet tyranny -- and if she is going to represent left-wing thought police about Obamacare, she should be forced to resign by the new Congress.
This idea that we, the people, have to tolerate some bureaucrat being paid with our taxes to dictate free speech to us should end in January by the Republican Congress zeroing out her office and explaining they'll be glad to pay for it when somebody's there who recognizes the rights of the American people. [Value Voters Summit, 9/18/10]
Gingrich Wonders If Anita Dunn Wishes She Could Send Fox Commentators To "Go To A Farm And Work The Way Mao Got Sent The Intellectuals Out." From Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: What do you make about the White House's orchestrated, continued attacks on the Fox News Channel, led by Anita Dunn, who has great admiration for, quote, "one of her philosophers," you know, one of the biggest mass murderers in the history of mankind, Mao? And more importantly, do you view this as an enemies list? You're laughing.
GINGRICH: No, I just have this interesting idea of asking Anita Dunn if this is her idea of a cultural revolution and if she really wishes that she could get Sean Hannity and the other Fox commentators to go to a farm and work the way Mao got sent the intellectuals out. [Fox News, Hannity, 10/19/09]
Gingrich Calls Sonia Sotomayor "Racist." From Gingrich's Twitter account:
Gingrich Backtracks: I Don't Know If Sotomayor Is Racist, But Her Comments Were "Clearly Racist." From an appearance on Hannity:
HANNITY: All right. You -- it's been highly publicized, your comments on the Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. Apparently, you had sent out a tweet, Twitter, and it got a lot of reaction. But in large response to her point, when she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male." Doesn't that should like gender and race superiority on her part, because -- I mean, there are reports that -- go ahead.
GINGRICH: In my newsletter -- in my newsletter Wednesday, what I said was that I went a step too far in saying that it proved she is a racist, because I don't know her. I don't know -- and there's no evidence in her court decisions.
It's clear that the quote is clearly racist. It's clear that the quote, if it was said by a white person -- said by a white male about white males, they would automatically be excluded from being considered.
It's also clear, by the way, and I outline in my newsletter, that people can get at Newt.org, item after item in a series of speeches and articles she's written, all of them very troubling, and all of them indicating that, when you look at her writing and her speeches, she is quite radical.
When you look at her actual judgments on the appeals bench, she's actually not nearly as radical as she has been in her speeches and in her writing. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/4/09]
Gingrich: Bilingual Education Perpetuates "The Language Of Living In A Ghetto." According to an Associated Press article:
"The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up" to vote, Gingrich said. The former Georgia congressman, who is considering seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.
"The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. . . . We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto," Gingrich said, drawing cheers from the crowd of more than 100.
"Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English. If that's true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English," he said.
In the past, Gingrich has supported making English the nation's official language. He has also said that all U.S. children should learn English and that other languages should be secondary in schools.
In 1995, he said that bilingualism poses "long-term dangers to the fabric of our nation" and that "allowing bilingualism to continue to grow is very dangerous." [Associated Press, 4/1/07]
Gingrich: It's Time To "Profile" And "Actively Discriminate Based On Suspicious Terrorist Information." From an op-ed by Gingrich published on HumanEvents.com:
In the Obama Administration, protecting the rights of terrorists has been more important than protecting the lives of Americans.
That must now change decisively.
It is time to know more about would-be terrorists, to profile for terrorists and to actively discriminate based on suspicious terrorist information.
The United States should track down the owners of every website that promotes terrorism and systematically root them out. It should be as dangerous to a person promoting terrorism as it is to execute an act of terrorism.
The same should apply to the electronic communications of every known radical (and using these communications to track down every unknown radical). [HumanEvents.com, 12/30/09]
Gingrich Has Used His Media Platforms To Push Right-Wing Talking Points And Falsehoods
Gingrich Claims Sotomayor "Clearly Supported Racial Quotas." From Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Let's go to Sotomayor. You have recently said you were wrong in identifying her as racist. I never thought you meant that anyway. I'm not covering for you, but, I mean, I think you were trying to say that her comment about Latina women having a better view on the law than white men, you know, was not good.
O'REILLY: I don't think the woman's a racist. I've studied her background. I don't think she's a racist.
GINGRICH: Well, I don't, look, I think you have to raise the question, because she repeated the same quote five or six different speeches. Does she really believe that one group has superiority over another? She's going to have to answer that question, I think, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And then with what she's -- there's a pretty big gap between what she's done as a judge, which has been relatively reasonable and with the exception of the Ricci case, where she clearly supported racial quotas.
GINGRICH: And what she's written. What she's written has been very radical and very activist, not just on the race question. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/8/09]
Gingrich: Sotomayor Case Decision Made "For Clearly Racial Quota Reasons." From CBS' Face the Nation:
HARRY SMITH (host): All right, well, let me jump to this, then. Is this a fight the Republicans should take and take all the way to the walls?
GINGRICH: This is -- this is a solemn obligation of 100 senators in both parties to render judgment on whether a lifetime appointment to be one of the nine people who interprets the Constitution should go to this person. I think the -- it's not a yes or no in terms of picking a fight. It's -- you have to decide -- on the Ricci case, for example, where people who had taken a year of their life --
SMITH: This is the New Haven firemen's case, right.
GINGRICH: The New Haven firemen, who did everything according to the rules --
GINGRICH: -- and then she accepted the fact that, for clearly racial quota reasons, they shouldn't be promoted.
SMITH: Well, and some people would say, well, that's the appellate court's job is to -- you either say yea or nay, and some people would say that was the appropriate response to that lower court.
GINGRICH: And I think that's an important national debate. [CBS, Face the Nation, 6/7/09]
- Ricci Decision Made Based On Precedent, Not "Racial Quota Reasons." According to the majority opinion in the case of Ricci v. DeStefano: "The district court correctly observed that this case was unusual. Nonetheless, the district court also recognized that there was controlling authority in our decisions -- among them, Hayden v. County of Nassau, 180 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 1999) and Bushey v. N.Y. State Civil Serv. Comm'n, 733 F.2d 220 (2d Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1117 (1985). These cases clearly establish for the circuit that a public employer, faced with a prima facie case of disparate-impact liability under Title VII, does not violate Title VII or the Equal Protection Clause by taking facially neutral, albeit race-conscious, actions to avoid liability. Insofar as the dissent suggests that the plaintiffs produced evidence of a racial classification or the imposition of a quota, I think it is entirely mistaken." [Ricci v. DeStefano, 6/9/08]
Responding To Palin's Claim About Death Panels, Gingrich States That "There Clearly Are People In America Who Believe In -- In Establishing Euthanasia." From ABC's This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: The only thing -- but let me just explain what's in the bill and then get you to respond to that.
GINGRICH: All right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The only thing in the bill is that it would allow Medicare to pay for what they say is voluntary counseling on end-of-life issues.
GINGRICH: I think people are very concerned when you start talking about cost controls, that a bureaucracy -- we don't -- you're asking us to trust the government. Now, I'm not talking about the Obama administration. I'm talking about the government. You're asking us to decide that we believe that the government is to be trusted.
We know people who have said routinely, well, you're going to have to make decisions. You're going to have to decide. Communal standards, historically, is a very dangerous concept.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It's not in the bill.
GINGRICH: But the bill's -- the bill's 1,000 pages of setting up mechanisms. It sets up 45 different agencies. It has all sorts of panels. You're asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there clearly are people in America who believe in -- in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards. [ABC, This Week, 8/9/09]
- Death Panel Claim Called "Nonsense," "Patently False." The claim that health care reform included a provision that enabled the government to determine whether people lived or died through a "death panel" has been rebutted by numerous sources. The Chicago Sun Times called this claim "nonsense," the Baltimore Sun called it "patently false," and the Miami Herald clarified that end-of-life counseling would not mean "pulling the plug on grandma." In fact, guidelines for end-of-life counseling provided by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicated that participation is entirely voluntary. [Media Matters, 1/3/11]
Gingrich Claims Health Care Reform Will Lead To Rationing. From Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: Starting tomorrow -- now the president yesterday talked about pay-go after he spent all the money. He talked about pay-go, and then he's going to talk about nationalizing health care -- ObamaCare. That big debate begins tomorrow.
That is not included in the pay-go, nor is the stimulus, nor is the omnibus, nor is the $3.6 trillion budget, So, it's really deceptive -- he's trying to create the impression he's conservative on fiscal matters, when, in fact, he's not.
GINGRICH: Look, Democrats only talk about pay-go when they want to raise taxes. Democrats only sound conservative when they want to raise taxes. This administration and its allies, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid on Capitol Hill, are spending an extraordinary amount of money.
We have passed a trillion dollars in debt already this year. It's unending, and I think the fact is that they waive every rule they want to waive to fit them and then hide behind the rules to fit them. And we ought to just relax and ignore them.
This is a big-spending, big-government, big-politician, big-bureaucracy administration. I am deeply opposed to Washington bureaucrats deciding whether or not to ration your health care or the health care of your loved ones. And I think that it's a fundamental choice for America.
Do you really want to have your future and your life and your health in the hands of the Washington bureaucracy? [Fox News, Hannity, 6/10/09]
- Health Care Reform Eliminates Some Forms Of Rationing Imposed By Insurance Companies. American Medical Association President J. James Rohack stated: "Well, there's a myth that rationing doesn't occur right now. In the United States, if a woman's pregnant and on the individual market tries to get health insurance, that's called a pre-existing condition, and it's not paid for. That's why this bill's important. It gets rid of some of the rationing that's occurring right now." [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 8/16/10]
Gingrich Claims That The Oil Rigs Off The Coast Of Santa Barbara "Have Had No Spill Since 1969." Gingrich wrote in a Twitter post that his wife, Callista, "pointed out flying into [S]anta [B]arbara you can see the oil rigs off shore," and asserted, "Ironically they have had no spill since 1969."
- At The Time, There Had Been Two Spills Within The Past Few Months. By March 2009, at least two oil spills had been reported in or near the Santa Barbara Channel in just previous few months, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, including one spill in mid-February and another in December 2008 that required a coordinated cleanup effort by the Coast Guard, the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), and the company responsible for the spill. [Media Matters, 3/3/09]
Gingrich Perpetuated Debunked "Climategate" Smears. On December 1, 2009, Newt Gingrich posted an article on Newt.org claiming that the "Climategate" emails "show a deliberate attempt by several leading climate scientists to manipulate data sets in order to show warming trends." [12/1/09]
- Numerous Inquiries Found No Evidence That Scientists Falsified Data. The AP reported on March 31, 2010, that "[t]he House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming -- two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues." [Associated Press, 3/31/10]
Gingrich Fearmongers About Interpol, Claiming "Since The President's Executive Order ... There Is No Law We Can Invoke To Hold [Interpol] Accountable." From a Daily Caller column co-written by Newt Gingrich and NRO's Andrew McCarthy:
The overwhelming majority of police and prosecutors are honorable men and women, but like all human beings, law enforcement officials are not, as a class, angels. What prevents the men and women of law enforcement from abusing their power are the constraints of law. In the United States, the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure while FOIA and other laws protect American liberty and privacy from being violated by rogue cops or corrupt prosecutors.
[Interpol] Secretary-General [Ronald] Noble and others who defend President Obama's grant of immunity to Interpol claim that the order gives the agency no new power. But the point is not that the order grants Interpol new powers, the point is that it immunizes Interpol from the laws that can be invoked if and when it abuses its authority -- the same laws that hold the FBI, a local policy department or any domestic law enforcement agency accountable for abuses. Since the President's executive order, if Interpol were to act in violation of U.S. law, there is no law we can invoke to hold them accountable. And to add insult to injury, if an American citizen or official wants to find out what Interpol is up to, they can no longer do so. The Obama administration order makes Interpol's files unreachable by search warrant, subpoena or FOIA request. [The Daily Caller, 1/14/10]
- Interpol Already Had Immunity From Lawsuits Because Of Actions By Reagan. According to The New York Times: "In 1983, President Ronald Reagan extended some rights -- including immunity from lawsuits or prosecution for official acts -- to Interpol, which was holding its annual meeting in the United States. But Mr. Reagan's order did not include other standard privileges -- like immunity from certain tax requirements and from having its property or records subject to search and seizure -- because at the time, Interpol had no permanent office or employees on United States soil. That changed in 2004, when Interpol opened a liaison office at the United Nations in New York City. The office consists of five staff members, Ms. Billington said, and they have access to law enforcement information submitted by other countries with restrictions on who may receive it. 'When the office opened in 2004, we said look, we'd like to have the Interpol staff working in the office in New York afforded the same immunities as other international organizations,' Ms. Billington said. 'It's only for the New York office.' The State Department recommended approving the request, but the Bush White House did not complete the matter before its term ended, and so it rolled over." [The New York Times, 12/30/09]
Gingrich Claims EFCA "Tak[es] Away Your Right To A Secret-Ballot Vote Before Being Forced To Join A Union." From an appearance on Fox News' Happening Now:
JON SCOTT (anchor): Yeah, I am surprised to hear some of what you said. I mean, you're a conservative Republican. He takes office as a Democrat -- and at least in the Senate, his record, a very liberal Democrat. And yet you like a lot of the things that you've seen him do thus far.
GINGRICH: Well, I'm -- look, I'm very impressed with the discipline, the intelligence, and the general capabilities that President-elect Obama has brought both to the campaign and to the transition. Clearly, I think the first practical test will come starting on Wednesday with Tim Geithner's nomination to be secretary of the Treasury, because as people learn more about Geithner's failure to pay Social Security tax and Medicare tax and his claiming a child-care tax credit that he wasn't eligible for, that nomination may become sort of the one sore spot in the near future.
And then when you get into more details later on, clearly Obama -- Senator -- or President Obama, is going to appoint liberals to the courts. He's going to be for the labor unions taking away your right to a secret-ballot vote before being forced to join a union. He's going to be for higher taxes. So there will be places where there are strong, principled disagreements. But in terms of style and tone, and in terms of meeting with people and reaching out, he has been more centrist to date than anyone could have expected, based on his Senate record or based on the campaign. [Fox News, Happening Now, 1/19/09]
- EFCA Gives Workers Choice Between Majority Sign-Up And Secret Ballot. According to the Christian Science Monitor: "The proposed law gives workers a choice of forming a union through majority sign-up ("card check") or an election by secret ballot. The current election process, governed by the National Labor Relations Board, strongly favors employers, unions say." [Christian Science Monitor, 3/11/09]
Gingrich Pushes "Wildly Inaccurate" Claim That The IRS Would Need To Hire 16,000 New Employees To Act As "Health Police". From Fox & Friends:
GINGRICH: But my general experience is that, you know, you don't have people walk up to you in an airplane and start attacking you very often, or you're in really deep trouble. I think what [Sen.] Harry [Reid] ought to do is get in a car and drive around Nevada, where people are overwhelmingly opposed to hiring 16,000 IRS agents as health police. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/6/10]
- FackCheck.org: Claim That IRS Will Hire 16,000 IRS Agents Is "Wildly Inaccurate." According to FactCheck.org: "This wildly inaccurate claim started as an inflated, partisan assertion that 16,500 new IRS employees might be required to administer the new law. That devolved quickly into a claim, made by some Republican lawmakers, that 16,500 IRS 'agents' would be required. Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas even claimed in a televised interview that all 16,500 would be carrying guns. None of those claims is true. The IRS' main job under the new law isn't to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them -- starting this year -- which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer's contribution toward their workers' health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies -- in the form of refundable tax credits -- to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance." [FactCheck.org, 3/30/10]
Gingrich's Media Career Has Been Marked By Questionable Ethical Practices
Gingrich's Center For Health Transformation, A "Corporate For-Profit Organization," Receives Annual Membership Fees From Insurance Groups. According to the center's website, members pay tiered annual membership fees, providing varying degrees of "[a]ccess to senior Center executives on your company's strategy," among other benefits. Insurance groups BlueCross BlueShield Association and WellPoint Inc. are listed as "Charter" members, while the industry's trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans, is listed as a "Premier" member. The Center for Health Transformation describes itself as a "Corporate, For-Profit Organization. [Center for Health Transformation, Our Members, accessed 3/1/11; Center for Health Transformation, Membership Levels, accessed 3/1/11]
Gingrich Chairs A 527 Organization That Takes Fossil Fuel Money. In the first quarter of 2010 the 527 organization American Solutions for Winning the Future, of which Gingrich is General Chairman, received $350,000 in donations from major fossil fuel companies. In that same time period, Gingrich appeared on Fox News at least four times to criticize cap and trade regulations and carbon pricing. Gingrich said that cap and trade was "a giant energy tax," that the Democrats' energy policy would "cripple our industry," and that Democrats "want the Environmental Protection Agency to run the economy in terms of energy." [Media Matters, 4/19/10]
NYT: Gingrich "A Well-Paid Broker Of Ideas And Influence." In 2005, The New York Times described Gingrich as "a well-paid broker of ideas and influence in the field of health care policy" and reported that "[b]ase camp for Mr. Gingrich's health policy work is his Center for Health Transformation, a for-profit organization that occupies new office space overlooking K Street, the main street for Washington lobbyists." The Times also reported that the center's members "pay yearly fees of up to $200,000" [The New York Times, 1/16/05].
WaPo: Former Gingrich Aide: Gingrich Is "Making More Money Than He Ever Thought Possible And Doesn't Have To Tell Everybody Where It's Coming From." The Washington Post reported in 2004 that, according to Gingrich aide Rick Tyler, the Center for Health Transformation's for-profit status -- as opposed to being a registered as a nonprofit lobbying group -- enabled Gingrich to operate " 'under the radar.' " The article further quoted "former adviser Rich Galen" saying of Gingrich: "He's making more money than he ever thought possible and doesn't have to tell everybody where it's coming from" [The Washington Post, 7/13/04].
Gingrich Supports Subsidies To CHT's Member Companies. On the September 13, 2009 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, Gingrich defended the Medicare Advantage program from criticism, saying that "[p]eople who are in Medicare Advantage in rural America are getting a quality of health care they never got before." Neither Gingrich nor host David Gregory noted that Gingrich reportedly profits from his position as head of the Center for Health Transformation, which receives membership dues from companies that participate in Medicare Advantage. [NBC, Meet the Press, 9/13/09]
Gingrich on GMA: "I Don't Want The Government To Be The Primary Operator Of The Health System." From the July 1, 2009, edition of ABC's Good Morning America:
GINGRICH: I don't want the government to be the primary operator of the health system. I don't want the government to try to run things. I don't think the government runs things very well. It rapidly becomes politicized.[ABC, Good Morning America, 7/1/09, via Nexis]
Gingrich On Today: Suggests Democratic Proposals "Put Power In The Bureaucracy," Not "With Citizens And Doctors." From the March 5, 2009, edition of NBC's Today:
GINGRICH: Look, the president talked a lot about bipartisanship and then backed off and allowed Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Obey to write a totally partisan stimulus bill with zero Republican input.
If the president actually insists on a bipartisan process and if he's genuinely open to new ideas and new approaches, I think he could get an extraordinary achievement which would help average Americans have health coverage in a way that did not put power in the bureaucracy but actually put power back with citizens and doctors. I think the key is, are they really willing to listen, or is that just a charade behind which they already have a plan they're going to pass that will be unacceptable to most Americans? [NBC, Today, 3/5/09, via Nexis]
Gingrich On Hannity: Reform "Permanently Puts Power In Washington, Takes Control Over Your Life And Gives It To A Bureaucrat Who Can Ration What Kind Of Care You Get." From a July 16, 2009, appearance on Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: All right. For people at home, because now people are beginning to get support for this, there's a Zogby Poll showing that support for this is slipping and slipping dramatically. To make it as simple as I can, how dangerous is the proposal by Obama for government-run health care? How dangerous do you view this for the country?
GINGRICH: Well, I think that this could be one of the things which both permanently puts power in Washington, takes control over your life and gives it to a bureaucrat who can ration what kind of care you get, and so weakens the economy with massive taxes that we don't get any kind of real economic growth for the rest of this decade into say 2020.
So I would hope that everyone watching us tonight would e-mail every friend they have on their personal e-mail list and urge them to call their member of Congress. It's very encouraging. The Congressman Ross, Democrat of Arkansas, is leading an effort to stop the bill. There are a number of Democrats now in rebellion against this big spending liberal bill, and if enough people call them, we may well be able to beat it in the House. [Fox News, Hannity, 7/16/09, via Nexis]
Gingrich Attacks Cap And Trade As "A Giant Energy Tax." On the April 12, 2010 edition of Fox News' On the Record, Gingrich said that Democrats are "going to come back, I think, and try to pass cap-and- trade, even though it's a gigantic energy tax and weakens America in energy production." [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 4/12/10, via Nexis]
Gingrich: Democrats' Energy Policy Will "Cripple Our Industry." From the April 6, 2010 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
GINGRICH: The fact that [the Obama administration is] talking about 10 trillion dollars of additional deficit over the next decade. Must have of it will be owned by the Chinese and the Saudi Arabians. So you have to ask yourself to what extent at an economic level are we going to face a national security crisis.
The fact they are determined to cripple our industry at a time when virtually every American realizes that having national security and energy, keeping the money here at home, creating less expensive energy here is vital to our economic future.
And then you combined with unilateral disarmament mindset. I think -- I think that the term dangerous is a very legitimate term to raise about the policies and the lack of understanding of reality in this administration. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/6/10, via Nexis]
Gingrich: Democrats "Want The Environmental Protection Agency To Run The Economy In Terms Of Energy." From a February 22, 2010, appearance on The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: All right, but look, look, there's a difference, is there not, between being a far-left guy who wants the government to level the playing field for social justice, which is what I think President Obama is, far-left guy, wants social justice, implemented by the government.
You apparently believe-
O'REILLY: --that the guy really embraces the government running the economy, therefore, knocking out free economy, free market economy, and even regulating private property, where you live.
GINGRICH: Well, of course, he does. I mean, of course, he does. I mean, they want the Environmental Protection Agency to run the economy in terms of energy. They've announced that publicly at Copenhagen. He has appointed all these extra constitutional czars. He has a pay czar. You don't think reaching in and deciding that the government will decide what your pay ought to be. I mean, go through step-by-step all the different interventionist things in this administration. And it is by a big margin the most Socialist, the most left wing, the most big bureaucracy in American history. I mean, vastly more so than any other president we've ever had. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/22/10, via Nexis]