May 15th, 2009
05:54 PM ET
6 years ago

Gingrich rips into Pelosi

Gingrich said Pelosi is a 'trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes.'
Gingrich said Pelosi is a 'trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes.'

(CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is engaging in a "despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort" to withhold what she knew about the CIA's aggressive interrogation techniques, Newt Gingrich said Friday, in what amounts to the harshest criticism yet leveled at the California Democrat.

In an interview with ABC Radio, the former House Speaker said Pelosi flat-out "lied to the House" when she earlier claimed the CIA had never briefed her about the Bush administration's use of aggressive interrogation techniques including waterboarding.

"I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," Gingrich said.

Pelosi has been under fire from critics who say that she was fully briefed on the techniques in 2002 and 2003.  On Thursday, the California Democrat accused CIA officials of misleading her, reiterating an earlier claim that she was briefed on such techniques only once - in September 2002 - and that she was told at the time that the techniques were not being used.

Pelosi also said the briefing she received from the CIA was incomplete and inaccurate, and she called on the CIA to release a full transcript of the briefing. She also accused Republicans of jumping on reports of the briefings to cause a distraction.

"She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior," Gingrich also said in the blistering interview.

Earlier: Source: Aide told Pelosi waterboarding had been used

"Speaker Pelosi's the big loser, because she either comes across as incompetent, or dishonest. Those are the only two defenses," he continued. "The fact is, she either didn't do her job, or she did do her job and she's now afraid to tell the truth."


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Moe NY

    News flash Mr. Gingrich: You, in my opinion are the biggest loser and liar of all time. Pelosi on her worst day could not compare to you.

    May 15, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. mmvanderson

    While I'm not a big fan of Pelosi, I would believe her 365 days out of the year over that lying , power hungry Newt.

    May 15, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Bill

    She reminds me of Bush. Lies through her teeth with that smirk that shows her arrogance.

    May 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. John Jardee

    Please use your own dime to fly back to San Francisco this weekend, we cannot afford it. Nancy your done ! Maybe we will not have to pay for her private jet flights much longer.

    May 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Bananarama Victim

    No, Newt also did a fairly good job embarrasing himself. This is yet aonther example of grapsing at staws to show superiority.

    As in, sure Iraq was a mess and the Bush admin authorized torture, countless Republicans caught in sex scandles with men...but that Pelosi, man...what a loser!

    May 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. WhoCares?

    Looks like the Republicans have finally found the "distraction" they will all get behind.

    Ok with me..They are basically admitting that illegal torture did take place so lets investigate and put anyone who knew or was involved behind bars.

    May 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Cue the hate-filled responses

    Hey CNN...Where's the story on the latest Gallup poll that indicates more people in America are pro-life now than pro-choice? Hello? This is pretty big news. You know, the whole public opinion thing. Anyone? I guess CNN won't be covering it because it doesn't push the Obama agenda. How can the Lefties spin this one?!?!

    May 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Republican not buying it..

    Meet the new GOP, same as the OLD GOP.

    Irrelevant.

    Newt, trying hard to reclaim political power by finding any and every microphone and camera possible.

    Great laugh, thanks.

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. P from CA

    If Pelosi knew so did the Republican's. The question is not about Congress the question is about Cheney. Did Cheney/Rumsfield torture to substanciate the war in Iraq. If so then those are crimes they must be tried for...end of story. The Republican's should not throw stones at glass houses....

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Daley

    You people are all crazy.

    She asked for the full transcript of the briefing in question to be released. Full transparency. Let's just see what it says, and see who's lying.

    How can you criticize her for that?

    Oh – that's right. You're crazy.

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Jim Stockand

    I see the GOP is up to its same old tactics. Take the focus off of the bad things they did by attacking and distracting. This standard practice of the GOP is starting to get so familiar... Sad. The issue is whether we tortured. Not whether a senator knew about it. Come on Newt, whose the politician that uses his political power only for his advantage.... I would say Republicans have been notorious for doing this lately. Similar to Newt before he had to leave for being such a pig to his dying wife amongst other things, Bush, Cheney, Rove and their cronies surely did.

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    GOP Strategery: Yeah, we started teh fire that burned down Rome, but that guy over there who had nothing to do with orchestrating it, knew about it.

    Real effective. Morons. All sound and fury signifying nothing. It's the crimes against humanity, stupid.

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Marge

    I can not understand this. Pelosi and the other democrats on the committee say they were not told they were going to waterboard prisoners. But those who think they are authorities on everything such as Newt say they were briefed. Now for what it is worth I think no matter how people want to dump on Pelosi because she is a woman and a democrat, I'd rather believe her than ????THE CIA???NEWT GINGRICH???AND KARL ROVE???? What a joke. The republicans are trying to take the heat off bush and cheney and it seems the MSM is going along with it, putting the blame on a member of a committee. How in the devil would they expect Nancy Pelosi a lone democrat in this crooked and corrupt republican administration to stop bush and cheney from letting the CIA run wild....don't you just love the ignorance of the press and the public.

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. w4s

    its a distraction. They're trying to focus on Nancy rather than the people who did the deed.

    The argument how seems to be "it was wrong and you did nothig to stop it"

    ...wait a minute....

    what about the people who DID IT and ORDER IT.

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. kate

    She needs to go. i'm so sick of all this lying. repubs....dems.....does it matter???? they all are lying to us on a hourly basis. i like obama a lot, and at least feel like i'm being told the truth by him....he needs to shake up congress and get rid of people like her!

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. bbech

    I can't stand Pelosi. I can't wait until she is gone.

    May 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. semp

    Does Pelosi drink water? Nah ... she's been acting like Stewball who only drank wine.

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Voter08

    So the act of committing a crime is not a crime but whether a person who know/not know about somebody else committing a crime is a crime?

    The Bush administration tortured prisoners, that was not a crime?

    Pelosi lied about knowing or not knowing that the Bush administration committed a crime is a crime? How screwed up could this be?

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. C.J.

    You know what, for once I agree with Newt. It is deplorable the way Pelosi has handled this situation. This whole thing is such a farce and she should either come clean, or step down. Personally, I'd just like to see her resign and quietly go away, then maybe we'll have some partisanship.

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. mark duncan

    these comments from a disgraced former SofTheH, who cares what he has to say. Newt was booted...why are all these failed politicians like newt and the Cheney dude crying, is it because their failures have brought this country to its knees, or are they so jealous they wil say and do anything to keep We the People from recovery? Think America, who brought you this economic crisis, health care crisis, energy crisis, inherently immoral OIL war on Iraq? and by the way , Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. carlo

    This guy's still talking? Isn't this the same guy who tried to crucify Clinton and left his wife in the hospital for wife No.2 (who has since been dumped for wife No.3). What a hypocrite. I don't give a tinker's behind if Pelosi knew. She had no authority to order anything. I want to know who ordered it. This is a red herring, and the GOP are so desparate to grab on to something they are falling over themselves.

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Bill Cheek

    I still don't quite get why Republicans still engage in this kind of public battering of political rivals. Don't they understand that the 2008 elections were a rebuke of the typical Republican tactics. The nation is tired of this. It's petty and creates issues where there were none to act as a distraction from the real issues. Lee Atwater would be proud, but it's a distraction we can no longer afford. Public pictures of torture did more harm to our nation and more to recruit terrorists than anything else we've done in history. The Republican Bush administration condoned it, encouraged it and that's the real issue. What Pelosi knew and when she knew it is a smoke screen. I just wish the Republicans would go away and come back when they either admit they were wrong about anything or have something constructive to offer to move us forward. Gingrich was worse than Pelosi ever thought about being when he was Speaker. Bunch of sour grapes. Continues to resign the Republican party to continued pubic disgust of their tactics and destines them for obscurity if they continue.

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. SLM

    Why does California keep on electing a liar like Pelosi? California isn't it? Wonder why we are in such huge debt and still can't stop spending. This is what happens when the liberals run the show for so many years.

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. C.J.

    You know what, for once I agree with Newt. It is deplorable the way Pelosi has handled this situation. This whole thing is such a farce and she should either come clean, or step down. Personally, I'd just like to see her resign and quietly go away, then maybe we'll have some bipartisanship.

    May 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Obama 2.0

    Gingrich is Pelosi!

    May 15, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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