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. Jake

    Wow! The GOP is having a great week!

    Gingrich calls Pelosi a loser, Limbaugh beats up on a 97 year old woman, and Cheney tattles on Powell.

    May 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Deano

    Pelosi is a twit, at best. Stay tuned for more mind-numbing stupidity; there si plenty more to come.

    May 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Mike

    Gingrich is just freaking out because this whole thing has inadvertently exposed Dick Cheney as the bona fide war criminal that he is. This means even WORSE news for the Republican party..as if it could even get worse. Ladies and Gentleman-the new Whig party!

    May 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. citizen like you.

    She is being criticized harshly by you for simply, possibly having knowledge of the mentioned torture methods, that the president and his pals created. If she is so bad a person and such a bad congress woman for just hearing about those methods, then I supposed you must have some REALLY harsh words stored up for the people RESPONSIBLE for those methods, The president, who took us to WAR on false pretenses and lies, and those other "officials" who orchestrated it. They hijacked America, flat out. Don't be such a step in time lackey. Turn on your lying party, have some principal, look your self in the eyes.

    May 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Super D

    despicable, dishonest and vicious

    That's the Dems, face it Nancy, you've back yourself into a corner.

    You are a sorry speaker and your San Francisco value system does nothing for this country.

    You are a despicable, shallow woman, who should be no where near any type of power.

    I hope this takes you down, because when you play politics with national security, you deserve the arrow that's sticking out of your back.

    My Friends, another reason why the Dems cannot be trusted with National Security!

    May 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Dave

    I'm not a big fan of Pelosi, but honestly, Newt Gingrich calling anyone else a loser is laughable. This man is a failure morally, politically, and on every other level. His personal life is a nightmarish hell and his career is in the toilet, and he's obviously trying to keep himself out there because he wants to run for president in 2012... but he's already undermining any hope he had of that by being such a jerk in public.

    He has no credibility, and his criticism is only making Pelsoi look more sympathetic... when she shouldn't.

    May 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Brian from Tampa Bay FL

    Why would anyone believe any republican especially now when they are known liars! I guess it takes the CONservative enterainers to get their delusional message across to the american people.

    One thing I've noticed they just keep giving their opinions on issues from the past 8 years. why? andWHO CARES; who are these people fooling and why should we listen to them? They had there chance the past 8 years but they blew it! Sit down shut up and let the real competant people fix your mistakes.

    May 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Repubs have All the answers

    Well said, "Newter", and you would know, as one fellow disgraced and
    forced to resign Speaker of the House to another. Give her hell "Big
    Boy".....After she resigns or is forced out, (like U were), U & C & P can
    all sit down and talk about your favorite subjects.....lying, cheating and
    stealing to the American people and the world. Past politicians are
    "PAST" or a reason and you sir are "PAST". I have NOT trusted or liked
    Pelosi, Reed, Geitner and the rest of the "Demo thieves" for quite
    some time, but you Repubs have you own skeletons don't you? It's
    time to charge, arrest, convict and imprison all these "so-called"
    American patriots and give the American people and the world our
    "JUSTICE" for their corruption and lies. Hey, "you can put lipstick on
    a "pig".......but it's still a "P" (Pelosi). God help us all.

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Randall Ainsworth

    You're confusing the messenger with the message.

    Pelosi is a nutjob. You can tell she's crazy just by looking at her (and then listening to her).

    She's probably second in line for being the most liberal politician in the country exceeded only by Him.

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Douglas

    Not sure how all this will unfold, but this does denograte Pelosi's pious position.

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. 4 and The Door

    Go Newt! You are absolutely correct on this.

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. S Callahan

    Without throwing a stone, I would Really like to know the whole truth of this story. There is a creditbility issue going on....do you realize the role she plays, the power she holds....she has to be honest and will suffer greatly if she isn't. Truth always comes full circle.

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. 'coiny'

    suuuuure, Newt. yer the biggest storyteller of all politicians except rove and cheney.

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. DJW

    She hasn't shut the gov't down because the pres did't speak to her. Go away newt. go find your next wife!!!!

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Bill

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

    How about a (former) president and vice-president?

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. mike in colorado

    ya know, when ever i want to steal a french fry from my daughters plate I always point over her shoulder and shout, "look there's Elvis"....she doesn't believe me either.

    May 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. CG

    Newt is right as usual. Obama and Pelosi do not have the sentience to carry Newt's intellectual jockstrap.

    May 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Scott

    DebM,
    Do you pay attention at all? Newt is not omnipotent, neither are the Liberal reporters who grilled her at her press conference yesterday. Pelosi went from saying there were no briefings, to saying they were told something, to saying the CIA routinely misleads Congress. Newt is right, she is either incompetent or dishonest. You make the call!

    May 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Mark

    Pelosi is on her way out.......finally.....

    May 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    The pot calling the kettle black, eh NEWT??

    Ol' Newt forced out of politics because of corruption and trying to make a bid for president!!

    LMAO!! It doesn't get any better than this, unless, of course, he runs with Palin or Joe-the-Not-Plumber.

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

    Hey Mr. Pot....meet Ms. Kettle. Sheesh, the irony. With his kind of ethics history you'd think he'd keep his mouth closed. Best of luck to the Repubs.

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

    Clinton's ,Chief of Staff, that got caught STEALING and destroying evidence during the 911 investigation. SWEPT UNDER THE RUG.....FORGOTTEN.

    We don't need to know HOW we handled 911.......we need to know WHY 911 happened.........let's release the SANDY BERGER lie detector test.

    May 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Paul from Phoenix

    He is right. Pelosi is a liar, a cheat (look into her husband and contract dealing she massaged through Congress) and an embarassment to the US Congress.

    Oh, and she is the most inocompetent Speaker ever.

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

    Who in the Bush administration would have given anything Pelosi had to say any attention? Whether she knew or not knew the fact still remains George Bush was in charge and waterboarding did go on under his administration. Wake up America. Repubs doing what they have always done to take the attention away from the REAL issue here. Waterboarding is the issue, Newt!

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Indigo

    So glad to see that all of my smart democrats are onto this attempt by the Republicans to bring down Nancy and prevent our party from making progress. So glad to see that we are the smart ones and we won't fall for it. I feel so proud of what the Democratic party is doing.
    Smear tactics are all the Repubs have left. and it looks like their last weapon is not going to work. Think about it wasn't George Tenet a part of the CIA? What about the way they did Valerie Plame?

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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