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. mike

    The by line is typical CNN garbage. By putting big loser in quotations, it implies newt called her big loser, a personal attack, when if fact he meant she is a loser in the battle, as in won vs. lost. No wonder CNN has low ratings and no jouralistic credibility. Only trying to sell headlines or pushing political agendas instead of investigation and reporting facts.

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Jennifer NY

    Sorry, Newt – you're the loser, along with Cheney, Jindal, and the rest of your obnoxious GOP cohorts. She said, and I already said this, even if she knew there was nothing she could have done. All this "after-the-fact" stuff is ridiculous.

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. JimG

    "Speaker Pelosi's the big loser"

    ... Says the loudmouthed schmuck who was rightfully tossed out of power a decade ago, and will say absolutely anything for another second in the limelight.

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. D. Tree

    Did Pelosi have anything to do with creating the torture policy? NO! So why is this jerk attacking her so viciously?

    Simple: The architects of torture are going on the offense, because they are scared about what will happen to THEM when the truth comes out!

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Bob the Observer

    Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were buffoons who were appointed minority leaders back when there was no Democratic leadership. With the changes that have come in the past three years, the responsibility has devolved on the Democrats to search their ranks and come up with some valid leaders. Surely the vast majority they have in both houses could give them an opportunity to pick someone better than the two clowns they now have speaking for the party.

    It's time for some serious leadership. If the Dems do not take this seriously, their power on the hill will evaporate as certainly as the Republicans' has done.

    Sure would be nice if there were a viable third party to take over this time though.

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. GJ

    Who is Newt Gingrich to criticize anyone for being partisan and vicious?

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Ajit

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

    But the president of the country " George Bush " can.

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. pssr

    For a change of pace and a change of facts into "truth," try Fox News, indeed.

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Fred

    Newt.....go guy ! Ms. Pelosi is wasting the American public's time and our hard earned taxpayer dollars on with hunts and false accusations. She needs to start working on the real problems this country is facing like unemployment and recharging the economy. Get with the program Nancy !!

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Some of the poeple on here are ridiculous. You're going to BACK Pelosi for the lies shes stated, by bringing up the Bush lies. What the hell kind of sense does that make??!! She frickin' knew all along about the "torture" and did nothing about it.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    You go girl!! Lie, Lie and Lie some more. Pelosi, If you lie enough someone is bound to believe you even if it is only yourself.

    Funny how the Liberals have to turn everything around. Pelosi is yours, this is what a true Liberal is.

    May 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Ron Skrzysowski

    As much as I hate to agree with Newt, he's right on this one. She is an incompetent politician who wouldn't know or couldn't tell the truth if it was standing right in front of her. The Wicked Witch of the West needs to go to keep killing off the political party disease in our government.

    Ron Skrzysowski

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

    Keep spinning Republicans.
    When someone calls you on TORTURE, you point the finger and say "She knew too!"

    That does not get you off the hook for starting the whole mess.

    If you can't take the consequences of breaking the law, don't break the law. If you get caught, fess up and take the punishment, no matter who you are.

    By the way, if this was secret info and a matter of national security, could Pelosi actually say anything about it at the time?

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. sideon

    Torture. Pelosi and Gingrich are distracting the real issue: the US authorized the use of TORTURE.

    Bush and Cheney did not keep the US safe – the worst attack on US soil happened on their watch. Their Administration of Oil and Greed then used torture and false claims to take our great country into war with a nation that wasn't a threat.

    The real criminals are every single member of the Bush administration. The accomplices to their crimes are Republicans like Gingrich that keep repeating their lies.

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. ck

    Pelosi is an idiot.

    She is a MAJOR sponge... check how much she costs the taxpayers with her ridiculous travels.

    Oh... and she also things the US has 500,000,000 people employed... LOL

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Rene

    This is can be summed up in ONE word...DIVERSION!...this is typical of the republican party...to create a diversion to have the american people take their eyes off the greater picture here! They're trying to smear the dems so we can take our concentration elsewhere and off of the REAL criminals Bush & Cheney and the rest of the republican party! I don't care when or how Pelosi was briefed, Cheney ORDERED the waterboarding WHICH IS ILLEGAL PEOPLE! he needs to go to jail! I don't care for Pelosi much (and i'm a democrat) but what could she have done? she was dealing with the most ignorant president ever! he was gonna do anything and everything he wanted regardless of what Pelosi had to say, better yet...he did what he wanted despite what the AMERICAN PEOPLE had to say!

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. David

    Liberals are so funny. They love life right now because they can blame everything on Bush. The waiter at Chilli's took forever...Bush's fault.....I took my car to get washed and they did a crappy job....Bush's fault....Nancy Pelosi lied...well obviously she lied because she was under a supernatural spell that Bush put on her....the Mavericks lost to the Denver Nuggetts...no question Bush's fault....I cant get a job even though I haven't been really active in my job search...sorry ol' Bush's fault

    Starting to get how pathetic ya'll sound....

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Jack

    "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," Newt Gingrich

    So true, but coming from Newt, it sounds like a joke. The Republicans can't have it both ways. They don't want to investigate the Bush administration, but they want to investigate any Democrat that may have been briefed. They don't want to release evidence that may be used against Dick Vader and company, but they want to release all the so called briefing documents. Newt, go crawl back under your rock.

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Nathan

    Pelosi's claims are huge. You can't have the speaker of the house alleging that the CIA lied to congress and not have a full blown investigation.

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Ollie

    Is it just me or does all of this sound like a bunch of junior high students dis-ing on each other?
    I am not kidding – That is all I hear in Newt's words, Cheney's words, Pelosi's words, and some of the postings right here.
    Face it – every politico out there spins the truth. We have too few honorable leaders – on both sides of the aisle.

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Jeff

    I couldn't agree more. Nancy Pelosi is a liar. She's been a highly polarizing figure ever since she took office. The Democratic party and the country as a whole would be well served if she were stripped of her duties as House Speaker.

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Nancy

    I'm glad she's finally showing her true colors. She is a disgrace to Congress, California and the American people. She needs to step down now and just "quietly" fade away.

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. CG

    Sorry Gus, Bush never lied. All the cards were on table when Congress approved of getting into Iraq based on the U.N.'s findings. Please try to quit perpetuating these liberal myths.

    May 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    Im an American first.If she is found guilty with the rest of them,she should do time too.Maybe this is why she said impeachment was off the table.She was being blackmailed by the thugs in power.

    May 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Ken in NC

    WOW. I think Nancy Pelosi knew more than she is letting on about the Torture and it should be brought to light. That having been said, I am a Democrat that thinks "What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander". I also think Republicans also knew and if it can be found that any or all of these people violated the law then they should be persecuted.

    If in the process it is determined that National Security will be compromised then the investigation and or any resulting trial should be continued behind closed doors with the transcripts being made public in 50 years when they would no longer be relevant. In this manner Justice would be served and National Security would be maintained.

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