May 15th, 2009
05:54 PM ET
9 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. shane

    I couldn't agree more. Both sides would benefit by removing her. Pelosi was the driving force behind the motive to release the interrogation memos, and she is proving to be blatantly dishonest. The little credibility she enjoyed has withered away. I cannot believe that there isn't more outrage. Who prepared her for yesterday's press conference? Maybe that person should be fired first.... I would hope that no one tries to defend her.

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Gstreet

    As one of the greatest 'losers', Newt should be able to recognize another loser. NOT!

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Jayden,FL

    Hey Newt where was your opinions during the Bush Admin. Bush started a false war HE LIED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. ez

    If Pelosi is guilty for not speaking up against torture; what then do we do with the Bush administration who authorizes it?

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. larrywi

    She thinks she is above integrity, and that she will be protected by the "GOLDEN BOY". It is beyond comprehension that the Speaker of the House would act so foolishly! The woman is a skunk, and she needs to be investigated throughly, and then removed...

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Drake

    "no proof other than words from Bush administration officials"???

    Well, to all of you left-wing self-righteous blind-faith Pelosi/Reid/Obama worshipers, here's a piece of unpleasantness for you: The recent CIA memos on the House briefings that Pelosi and other Democrats attended, wherein it is revealed that Pelosi WAS, in fact, informed of waterboarding, were prepared by a CIA led by and spoken for by none other than Leon Panetta, a left-wing heavyweight dating back to the days of the Clinton administration. Are we to believe that he is speaking on behalf of the Bush administration??

    Face it – none of you left-wing zealots can take the heat when one of your so-called "leaders" is exposed as the duplicitous, lying hypocrits that they really are.

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Glennis

    There may have been a dumber Speaker of the House in our nation's history, but I seriously doubt it. She IS a loser.

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Jon

    It is remarkable that someone as shallow and uninformed as Pelosi can be elected to any office, let alone become Speaker of the House. It is also embarrassing to me that she is one of our political leaders and a representative of this country when she visits others. She dumbs down the United States.

    When she speaks publicly, her constant search for the next word reveals her intellectual inadequacies and own insecurity about whether she should have a voice in our government.

    Lastly, her “memory” and those like her is fogged by the ideological goggles that will never separate her eyes from reality.

    Good grief . . . .

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Malcolm

    Got to love this guy, he's still pissed that his sister is a lesbian and seems to just take his anger out on everyone that doesn't go the way he wants. Typical GOP hu!

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Ali

    So the person asking for the transcript to be released is lying? If I really beleived I was lying the last thing I would do is ask that someone release a document that proved it.

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. reggie

    I prefer to call her a big liar, but loser fits, too.

    May 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Tom

    Hey Newt, did you ever call Cheney or Bush (43) or Yoo a "big loser?" You want to see a big loser, look in the mirror. All you GOP elitists looking for the quasi new vision of America, it's the same garbage you shoveled for the last 20 years. What did you and your ilk ever do for a middle class working fool like me. Why don't by drop $5000 on a new suit and go on a Sunday talk show. You poor old fool, trying to deflect blame from the real losers, the architects of the nightmare of 2001-2008.

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Jay T.

    Um, yeah, investigate them all. But, I didn't hear him banging his drum when the possibility of an investigation first became news. Think his motives are partisan?

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. TomJay

    Either Pelosi is a liar, or she is totally incompetent. In either case, she is proving to be an embarassment to the Democrats.

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. mike

    the point of the matter that those that will defend Pelosi now due to their own partisan beliefs is if you put yourself out to be holier than now and above reproach you had darn well better be.

    If you need examples check with Eliot Spitzer.

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Catty

    how can you people defend this woman? She is absolutely deplorable!! She has done nothing for my state, and even less for congress! You can continue to blame bush all you want if it makes you feel better, but don't be so dilusional as to think she's not going to lie save her political life!

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Nathan,

    I find it incredible that the Republicans want to talk about what Pelosi knew about an activity they don't consider to be criminal. Although any right thinking person would conside the despicable act of torturw criminal the Republicans want to focus on Pelosi instead of their own criminal behavior. Unfortuantely a full assault on this criminal behavior and the criminals who ordered it and did it is nto what Obama is doing. This just gives the Republicans some reason to think they were right.

    Obama is wrong not to take to task fully all those involved. This is a great disappointment and I believe will hurt him in the future. The less he looks like Bush and that rogue regime the better he looks to America and the rest of the world.

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. psr

    Jeff...No story on Pelosi's lying because you are reading CNN...never ANY negative stories allowed on Democrats, only on Republicans!!

    Check out Fox news for a change of pace.

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. JLS

    The biggest problem with this is Pelosi is saying the CIA lied. Let's see what other democratic politicians have to see about that. Many were involved with these discussions. But Nancy is the only one accusing the CIA of lying. Time to back it up, my dear. Don't think you can!!

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. MartyMar

    I say let's open it ALL up and let the heads roll no matter what side of the aisle they stand on.

    As for Pelosi, I guess if she is a liar she's only continuing the legacy of old Newt "The Poot" Gingrich. I'm totally convinced this stooge will not leave the news cycle because he's going to try to run for President in 2012. He soomehow believes his mid 90's playbook is still effective in today's politics. You are the biggest loser "Poot".

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Karla

    Distraction is the name of this game. The Republicans know that if this goes to a Judicial Hearing, things are going to come out about the Bush/Cheney Admin that they voted with and that will bury them deeper than they already are. Pelosi and the Dems at this point, 2002 were not in power. A 2 yr old could see through this crap.

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Fitz in Texas

    Pelosi needs to go now. Lets see, is this story number four or five from her. Now she's saying the CIA mislead her. Coming down on the CIA isn't real smart. That's like the Capt. pulling the plug in his own boat. Real dumb.

    And while we're at it the American people need to clean The White House up as well. There's a few good folks up there, but most are dishonest and in it for themselves only.

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Pusher

    Nobody is more despicable than Newt, except Rush!

    May 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Fenarkleman

    Gringrich's time as Speaker of the House was to politics what Drew Peterson is to being a good husband. Let's move on. This dude's 15 minutes were up a long time ago. He's not elected. He's not appointed. He's just annoying and now he's irrelevant.

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Bpin

    I think it is clear that she is not telling the truth. She acts like it is the CIA's job to make sure she knows. In her press conference, she was dancing like Ginger Rodgers. There is no place in Congtrss for a liar. Her and Chris Dodd need to resign or need to be removed!!!!!

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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