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. Jerrold Stein

    Newt Gingrich has established a new benchmark for hypocrisy. I am sure that when he lied to the American public it was in our best interests and therefore it was acceptable in his mind.

    May 15, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. wally

    is sniffit employed by cnn?

    May 15, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Gene from Georgia

    I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," Gingrich said. ...but the President can, eh, Newt?

    May 15, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. K M

    "I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters"

    But if the Vice-President and President do it, it's no problem, apparently.

    May 15, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    @ DrMan, who said "she and her ilk are desperately trying to focus attention anywhere but on her perceived lies. "

    Right, because the spotlight certainly doesn't belong on people who committed crimes against humanity in our names. Oh no, we should divert attention to the Botox Monster because her potentially knowing about it and yet having no control over it whatsoever is much worse than actually having done it.

    May 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Terry

    It is a typical Conservative tactic to demonize their opponents and move the discussion from issues – about which Conservatives have nothing to say – to a discussion of how vile and repugnant "Democrat Socialist Liberals" are. They want to discuss personalities rather than the freedom, security, prosperity, and happiness of Americans, which are the real issues of politics.

    Newt Gingrich's own tenure as Speaker was scandalous and filled with a series of outrages. He is the last person who can give us advice on how a Speaker of the House should conduct himself or herself.

    It is my earnest hope that the two of them will retire on their generous government pensions with their great health insurance. They are both political hacks of the worst kind. Neither of them is worth anywhere close to the salaries we have paid them and the retirement benefits we will continue to pay them until they die.

    Most of us, of course, will be working for Walmart well into our golden years.

    May 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Shame on our Nancy!

    It is time that Nancy step down and apoligize to the American people, and specifically CIA officials that she has continued to embarrass and lie to. She has told numerous staff, family and friends, all along this debate, for several years now, that she not only knew of the water boarding going on, but "undestood the need to get to the truth and save American lives". Now that it has become politically incorrect to approve of such harsh methods, she is pretending to have not known anything about it.

    Shame on you NANCY!

    May 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Susan, Macedon New York

    Newt Gingrich, the most partisan of Republicans, is calling Nancy Pilosi a partisan? That's rich.

    I do agree, though, that Nancy needs to go. She's very poloarizing and frankly, I don't think she's very smart. It's hard to say bad things about one of the leaders of my own party, but she actually sabotaged a crucial vote with a venomous attack on republicans right before it happened. She puts herself first – not the country or even her party.
    Go away, Nancy

    May 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Let's get it all out in the open and let the chips fall where they may.

    The reputation of this country is on the line.

    May 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Reggie from LA

    Why just Pelosi? Why not Cheney? Why not all of them? And I'm not just questioning Gingrich, you other self-righteous ones.

    May 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. LLL

    I don't understand partisanship on this issue at all. I think anyone who feels that one side did all the "dirty work" and the other side is innocent has blinders on. There are plenty of folks on both sides of the aisle to blame. And if we, as a country, want to ever hold our heads up proudly again we need to hold all of them accountable. I have no doubt that Nancy Pelosi was told what was going on. However, I wouldn't doubt it either if she didn't grasp it. Either way she should be held accountable because she is either lying or incredibly stupid.

    May 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Trent

    If the Republican Party is ever expected to survive they have to shut this idiot up!

    May 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. CJ

    I find it amazing that Newt can use that terminology describing Pelosi. Does he think our memories are that short? Facts are facts, Cheney and Bush are responsible for breaking the law and issuing orders to have military personnel break the law. I do not believe Pelosi was waterboarding either of the two when they made their decisions.

    May 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. I married allmycousins in Utah

    Newt has never lied in his life.He always tells the truth,Rush Limbaugh told me so.

    May 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Sheryl

    Oh hell the bottom-Line is she didnot authorize any torture!!!!!! She had no power!!! REPUBS stop trying to shift Americans focus on all the hell your Adm authorized!!!!

    May 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. bj

    David –
    Pathetic is that this country was run into the dumpster by the George Bush admin and you still don't recognize it! How was the decision to go to war, running up the debt or his arrogance not his fault–he was supposed to be the LEADER.

    May 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. JILL

    Just another of Newts stupid cons!

    May 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Nancy Pelosi should resign from her position, obviously she lied and continues to lie and is putting our CIA in a compromising position. Does she think we all just fell off the turnip truck? She is an abomination to the upheld, respectable posiition she holds and needs to step down immediately.

    May 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. yeahrighttt

    Okay if someone with credibility (obviously not the Repuklean) will criticized Pelosi I will be worried but it's always the repuklean whose spewing hatred as if what they says STILL matters. They were given power to reigned the country and look what happen to America. Here's the thing; fool us once shame on you fool us twice shame on us. So now whenever there's any criticism against the democrat . I usually see whose talking if I see GOP, Republican, conservative whose doing it. I just shrug and say WHATEVER or BlahBlahBlahBlah or stick and stone will break their bones but words (coming from the REAL LOSERS REPUBLICAN) will never hurt them it will actually empower them. The more they spew the more power the democrat have.

    May 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. JohnS

    The United States of America is better without people like Gingrich.

    What does it matter?

    Torture was a Republican Policy and the Republicans should take responsibility of their own policies.

    Bush even vetoed the ban of waterboarding.

    Now we know TORTURE was used by Cheney and Co. to justify the Iraq war that was already engaged.

    May 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Dave

    Pelosi should be waterboarded. She might tell the truth then.

    May 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. joe

    Vicious partisanship? I'd say you know a thing or two about that, Newt. Your senseless attack on Nancy Pelosi, for instance.

    May 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12