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. Ralph

    Fine. Let's investigate ALL who had a role in committing torture. Where did the commands come from? Was it a violation of Geneva? Was it a violation of human rights? Investigate and prosecute.

    Or perhaps this is another "witch hunt" by the republicans against the Democrats. Distract, shift blame, cause the public to lose focus. That's how you control them, that's the republican way.

    Funny, I used to like Newt. To bad he's turned out to be just another bitter, washed up republican, eager to recapture his "glory days".

    I almost hate to admit it, but I actually find myself having a ever so slight amount of respect for W for vowing to keep his trap shut about the current administration. I guess he has no choice, since the puppet master (Cheney) has struck out on his own.

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. David

    This is exactly right:

    "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."

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Dee

    Thank God Gingrich has always been such an HONEST MAN.

    What would we do without the great honesty of the Republicans.

    And why did you leave Mr. Gingrich?????

    Go home and enjoy your retirement. Tired of hearing you!!!!!
    And all the other innocent Republicans!!!!

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Dan

    Takes one to know one Newt! You ran off whith your tail between your legs when your party lost out a few years back. You and your buddy Dick Cheney need to fade away into the sunset and good riddance to you both.

    May 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Steve from Florida

    Who's the loser? Fig Newt?

    May 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Mississippi Mike

    If she lied, she should confess and drop the investigation altogether. By lying and trying to cover it up she is spreading her filth all around the House of Representatives. This is Bay Area ethics at its finest.

    May 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Becky in CA

    This has got to be the best entertainment EVER watching them dems talk them selfs into a total disaster. This is the best CHANGE that any body could ask for. Waaahaha!

    May 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. David

    While i don't think Newt has a lot of room to talk, I do like when people rip into one of the worst Speakers of the House ever. I hope Pelosi does not think we are so dumb as to believe her on her waterboarding excuse. She knew.

    May 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Proud Member..Party of No

    There's really nothing new here....just another lying, cheating, corrupt democrat.

    May 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Larry from RI

    Stop trying to change the subject to what Pelosi "knew"!
    The issue still is, and will always be "who authorized and perpetrated the crime of torture"

    If Pelosi is suspected of a crime then she should be charged and prosecuted right along side those from the Bush administration who authorized and committed this heinous crime against humanity!

    Pelosi's involvement does not, in any way let Dubbya and friends off the hook! Since when does one persons complicity in a crime absolve the other perpetrators of that same crime of any wrong doing?

    This is just another example of failed logic and false choices from the GOP – torture is illegal and is a crime against humanity PERIOD!

    May 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Matt

    But obviously it is okay for the President (Bush) and Vice President (Cheney) to lie to America – huh? Geez – the GOP is really grasping at straws to keep the focus off of them! It's ridiculous!!

    Hopefully the American people are smarter than this and can see right through yet another dirty Republican trick! I've never seen a party with lower morals!! I pray they NEVER return to power again!

    May 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. GOP = 21st century dodo

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

    Hahahaha. Irony defined.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    "She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior" Believe that falls under the heading of 'takes one to know one'. And Greg Smith from Clifton Heights, please log off the computer. The nurses need to give you your meds and the other, uh, 'residents' want to use the computer to contact their home planet.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. gus

    If Mr. Gringrich feels that Pelosi should not lie about national security measures and should be prosecuted, then lets get the Bush administration in line to be proscecuted as well. They lied to the nation about weapons of mass destruction to get us into a war we could never win. They lied and misled this country for 8 years.
    I just don't understand how Bill Clinton can be impeached for impropreity and George Bush goes unscathed for putting this country in financial ruins because of a war he was determined to make happen no matter what.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. dimes1

    Pelosi =Liar

    It is the new Democratic theme, a lie well stuck to is as good as the truth.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. people against BS gov't

    Newt's view of the situation is absolutely correct. either Nancy is dumb as a door nail (which I don't think is the case). Or she is affraid to admit the truth which is not acceptable. If she was not able to ask the right questions and do her job to the fullest then she is not capable of doing the job she has right now. THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. I am SIXK and TIRED of our elected officials not doing what is right for us as a country. I live in Cali and my entire family will not vote for her when the time comes. She even make the satement "do you think we (the gov't) can stop the CIA from doing what they want? come... on.... She needs to be remove PERIOD. she is just trying to save her own ASS. what a joke

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Big red shoes

    Newt the lizard should shut up.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. coach

    Let's keep our eye on the ball here and dismiss the political verbage coming from those on both sides.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Ron

    I'm not a huge Pelosi fan, but isn't this like the pot calling the kettle black? Here's a politician as scumy as they come, criticizing Pelosi?

    Please note, Newt says "I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters,"

    But I guess in his book, it is ok for the President, the Vice President, and everyone under him to lie about it, right? You know, the old "Iraq had ties to Al-Qaeda" crap? "The WMD" crap? , the "we do not torture" crap?

    All I can say is, be carefull, republicans. You want an inquiry? You just might get one you wish you hadn't opened....lmao

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Mike

    Ah the demorats are trying to hide the light of the truth from the American people. Calling the CIA liars will not sit well with them and stand by for the notes from the briefings to show up on the tube. Of course abc and nbc will not air it. You air heads who only get your news from them is the reason you are so misinformed. I cannot wait for 2010 then finally 2012.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Dale

    She's a fraud. People talk about her all the time saying how can anyone ever trust anything that she says. Her first reponse to any question is to lie and say whatever she thinks fits at the time.

    What I want to know is who in their right minds ever supported her to be the speaker in the first place. She acts like she's in first grade.

    We have this person representing the United States?????? You have got to be kidding me, I wonder what other countries REALLY say if they were telling the truth.

    We have many politicians just like her. When will the truth tellers appear in our government and when will companies and people back the ones that should be there? When will the campaigns be run on even ground where support from big corperations and money don't decide what the rest of us have to deal with for the next term? We are a joke and we have many people in our government that just don't belong there.

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Rudy

    Holy Jumpin's.... look at the hate flowing from these comments.... if you don't see anything wrong with Pelosi's actions/arguements, then... give your head a shake!

    May 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. jack

    Kick that leathery old bag to the curb. I bet she smells like fomaldehyde.

    May 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Aaron

    You divorce your wife while she's in the hospital, recuperating from cancer, in order to take up wit'h your mistress. You puclically advocate putting minority children in orphanages. In public, you still screech about "family values," while your own practice shows you don't care about it one tiny bit.

    Newt, you dare call someone else "despicable, dishonest, and vicious?" In the words of Joseph Welch–a man who brought more honor to his post than Gingrich could ever hope to do–"You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency? [...] If there is a God in Heaven it will do neither you nor your cause any good."

    May 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    "If it takes getting rid of dems and reps – half of congress – in order to get Cheney and Bush, DO IT."
    _______________________

    Hahahahahahahahaha... liberals throwing their own under the bus to be vindictive!!!! I love this!!!!!

    May 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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