May 15th, 2009
05:54 PM ET
5 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. PeaceProsperityLove

    Her response and technical sidestepping has all the earmarks of a lie.

    Its always the wrong response to go after the accuser and Pres Obama is slowly retrenching in his positions and moving closer to Bush...I call it Bush Lite

    Ffor those that are beginning to understand the horrible scenario Bush was thrown into but, who are not yet ready to say as a President
    he was perfect I agree, but Obama is really not so far different and getting similar all the time.

    No lofty speach can change that. I actually like both of them and can appreciate the tough spot that occurs from Pres candidate to teh real deal.

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Brad - Ohio

    This is amusing coming from Newt Gingrich who condemned the "immoral" Bill Clinton during impeachment hearings while he (Gingrich) was involved in his own adulterous affair. Newt, crawl back into your hole and leave the talking to honest people.

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Barbara Independent in NY

    Newt, do you want to see trivial? Look in the mirror. Keep talking Newt, that way the Republican party will keep losing ground. Can't see myself ever voting for a republican again as long as this current crew of spokespeople are out there.

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Florida Joe

    "despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort"

    You gotta admit, he knows what it it like to undertake despicable, dishonest and vicious political efforts .....It is his whole life.....Right from leaving his dying wife to run off with someone else..........POT KETTLE KETTLE POT
    Hopefully Darth Vader will take him hunting.............

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. shucks

    Yeah, whatever, let's not forget who started all the lies in the first place, regarding the war in Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, and the best of all Mission Accomplished 7 years ago. Even if Pelosi knew something and now doesn't recall, the fact is that this whole fiasco was started by the Bush/Cheney dictatorship, and trying to blame Pelosi for any of it is just absurd and a mask that the republicans are trying to use to divert attention from the investigation into war crimes that were committed by the Bush administration. Guilt by association doesn't work in this case. The attacks from the right are so vicious because they are still stinging from their loss in November. No other reason.

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Newt v. Nancy = Frosty calling the snowball white.

    May 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. jane GA

    Newt Gingrich ,
    You should be ashamed of yourself.
    Go and hide please. What did you do to your wife.

    May 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. Avi Shlomo

    Pelosi has no credibility whatsoever and so many memebers of the congress who went along with GWB policies and never questions them in the name of psuedo patriotism. she should resign. she does not serve the interest of this country but always acted as an agent of AIPAC

    May 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. bc

    It's Newt just trying to take the attention away from the incompetent Bush/Chaney administration that did all the damage!

    Is there a female in power that the Repubs don't try to bash? Oops, I forgot Sarah Palin. Now that's someone they should be concerned with.

    May 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Rick

    Nancy Pelosi is a "looser?" As my kids say, "It takes one to know one."

    May 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Pheonix85

    Seriously, it's sad to know the vast majority of commenters on here are grown adults, clearly all with severe emotional problems.

    Knee-jerk reactions, the sky is falling rhetoric, pitting one side against the other in an attempt to show superiority by means of morality and opinion. All the while forgetting how incapable we all are of asserting any belief without clinging to our own versions of reality.

    If you can truly act like you've never lied you've proved my point.

    May 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Adam from Ohio

    So, the worst, most corrupt speaker of the house in history is now engaging in junior-high namecalling against the current speaker?

    Oh, Newt, just go away. You resigned in disgrace, remember?

    May 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Mark

    I'm no fan of Pelosi, but this little piece of excrement should shut up and go play with his contract on America. This turd along with DeLay are the ones that brouhgt us the era of hate politics with Rush as their spokesman. Perhaps these bitter old white men can go camping, swill beer and shoot at the campfire and maybe hit each other in the face by mistake.

    May 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. john

    calling names or putting newt down does not exonerate Nancy. She should testify, I hope there is a truth commision and if she lied, she will pay her dues.

    May 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Cfoster

    Newt is the biggest loser of them all. Why will he not go away? He is oe of the reason the GOP is where they are today. He had big plans in "94" on how the GOP were going to screw over the American people. He is a hypocrite, liar and a scum bag. How can you answer for someoe else when you were not in the same meeting. I don't care much for Nancy but lets not create distraction from the facts. Newt's ButtBoys Cheney and Bush are criminals who belong behind bars..

    May 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Al4N

    Who does he think he is? Donald Trump?

    May 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Will

    I'm a liberal and can't stand Newt Gingrich, but Pelosi is an idiot.
    She always comes across as incompetent.

    May 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Jon

    Come on, what does Newt know about this? Last time I checked he hasn't held an official government job in quite some time, so I don't think he's in any position to be calling people liars when he couldn't possibly know all the facts. I agree with Pelosi that all transcripts of meetings she had with the CIA should be released. Then the people can see exactly what she was and was not told. If it turns out she was lying she should be held accountable. Until that happens uninformed blowhards like Newt should keep their mouths shut.

    May 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. f r chapman

    this from a pol who cheated on his sick wife while banging his staffer girlfriend; at the same time preaching self rightousness.
    find some other voices to let us hear from besides the downer addict limbaugh and the pompous self rightous gingrich

    May 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. B

    mike May 15th, 2009 11:48 am ET

    IMPEACH PELOSI!!!!
    LIAR. you can't claim to be as pious as you do and lie to the American people.
    She should at least lost all her power and at most be impeached.
    What else aren't you telling us Ms Pelosi?
    I and many others have NO FAITH in you.
    ----------------------
    Are you plain stupid or are you doing this on purpose? If bush won’t be impeached than no one will. IMPEACH BUSH!!!! Big fat LIAR.

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Alicia

    Jeff in Richmond,

    "Of course the Bush folk are going to lie about it. Anything to distract from the real issue at hand"

    HELLO?? what do you think the whole Gitmo and toture mess is all about? its a distraction! Obama is creating a sideshow in hopes of diverting our attention from the fact that he has done NOTHING to fix the economy except quadruple the deficit. just this week, we realized $30 billion was wasted on the auto industry. no one is cashing in on the promised "hope" and "change."

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. JAE

    Pelosi IS a liar. Instead of coming forward and admitting her faults, which she has plenty, she blames this situation of being briefed on the Bush administration. PURE CRAP. Pelosi ALWAYS passes the buck to someone else. She's a slimeball, dem. liar.

    Newt is 100% correct, but, because the dems love Pelosi the Pig so much, they'll overlook her garbage. Pelosi as Speaker is an absolute joke to begin with. She had NO CLUE about what she's doing AND lies EVERY CHANCE she gets. She wouldn't know the truth if it was staring her right in her UGLY face!

    Where's all the dems now, with their, "we want answers and an investigation?" Oh, yeah, that DOESN'T apply to them. What a buch of B.S. the dems are.

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. No Incumbents 2010

    Ginrich is a jerkwad who wants to change the subject of whether the people who CONDUCTED the torture should be excused or held accountable. There is no evidence that Pelosi or anyone else was briefed that torture was taking place. When Rep. Jane Harmon raised questions it had no effect on the Bush/Cheney torture program which was conducted NOT to protect America but to intentionally produce false statements supporting a non-existent Iraq / Al-Qaeda link.

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. rachel

    I nevered liked Pelosi too much, people call Hillary power hunry Pelosi takes the cake on hunger for power.

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. James H

    This is coming from a guy who, in an attempt to defend the Bush administration's stance on torture, opinted out that the Obama administration hasn't taken any steps to pass laws about waterboarding. Hello Newt!! It has already been illegal for over a century! Who's the real loser?

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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