May 15th, 2009
05:54 PM ET
6 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. Kitty

    GET RID OF PELOSI!!!!

    She is a liar and the biggest loser for the democratic party!!! Investigate her like innocent people have been investigated for disagreeing with her!!!! Take that govt airplane from her – she is flying all over the map and spending big bucks – spending our money!!!!!
    ENOUGH OF PELOSI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Deborah

    One of the most disgraced, despiccable, two-faced, lying, hypocritcal, chauvanistic travesties of a politician has the temerity to criticize another politiician. Under the guise of being outraged at her actions, he is engaging in the same tired old Republican tactics from the Bush, Cheney, Rove years. Go away you little newt! You are irrelevent.

    May 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Jamie

    Lemme see. Nancy's a loser but Newt is a winner. I suppose that's why she's in and he's out.

    May 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. chelle

    Well she is a loser....but Newt so are you....perhaps you two could start a 12 step program.....

    May 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Robin

    @ Ed who wrote, Who cares if Nancy Pelosi knew in 2002 or 2003?

    Um, because that is when the waterboarding took place and we have not used that technique since then.

    Please do research and don't allow yourself to be spoon fed.

    May 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Matt

    Pelosi certainly isn't doing herself any favors by holding embarassing press conferences like the one yesterday. She is either incompetent or a liar. Once the facts are revealed, I am confident that both will be shown to be true.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Joying

    We shouldn't even be talking about this nonsense. Just another ploy to divert attention from the real liars...It's not hard to believe that the CIA "misled" Nancy Pelosi...Wasn't it their "intelligence" that got us into a war that will NEVER end. Lying about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connex to Al Quaida – it sickens me the the RE"DUD"ICANS have stooped this low..

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Tulsa

    @Scott May 15th, 2009 12:08 pm ET
    I can't wait for the day when democrats don't respond to any criticism, with an unrelated rant about Bush lying, WMDs, and the like.
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Unrelated? Are you insane? Who started the "enhanced interrogation techniques"?
    Torture is how the intel for starting the war was obtained. That WAS BUSH, you moron.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Gary Williams, Signal Hill, CA

    Pelosi should indeed be investigated if she is lying to the public, I totally agree with Mr. Gingrich.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. jcartistcat

    who cares what Gingrich says..he should have been indicted long ago. He's just a wind bag. The Bush admin is in for real trouble now that they can't hide behind/above their own misuse/abuse of power and law.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Laurie

    Before we get all exorcised about this situation we should wait and see what the transcripts say. People are forgetting that Sen Bob Gramm backs up Pelosi's story that he was also not briefed back in September of 2002. This is just a distraction by the Republicans to deflect what the Bush Administration did which was torture people in an effort to get them to admit to information regarding a link between Iraq and Al Quada. Shame, shame....they all need to prosecuted. I'm sure Ms Pelosi wouldn't be calling for the release of the transcripts of the briefings if she knew she had been told about waterboarding. I suspect she wasn't told at the original meeting and I think the transcripts have already backed that up. They are vague at the least.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Bill Terry

    Gingrich and the rest of the Republican cabal are the big losers. Bob Graham suppoerts what Pelosi has been saying – why aren't you covering that? Graham who is a very careful guy has documented the ways in which the CIA lied to him. There is every reason to believe Pelosi and not the CIA on this one.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. AmericanFirst

    Matt May 15th, 2009 12:05 pm ET

    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!!
    ------------
    Are you truly THAT BRAIN DAMAGED? This isn't a game......it's not about sides.....TRUTH IS TRUTH.

    Now.....slappy....bring back SANDY BERGER before he gets hold of MORE PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS! (before Bush!)

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

    I think it is about time to get Palosi out. I cannot stand this phony woman.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Zion

    Pelosi isn't going down, when will you people learn. Both DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS do not want this sort of debate to surface because many people knew what was going on and did nothing.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Fair is fair, you might want to put out the roach and look at the calendar, we have Hussein Obama as our president now thanks to your dope smokin' buddies and Bush and Cheney are no longer in office. Go down to your local ACORN office they will be glad to tell you that.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Fair Is Unfair

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

    Really? Someone speaks from a center viewpoint and you pye out your laughing like a 14 year old texting his BFF? Wow.

    This kind of crap is exactly why most people are afraid to be labled conservative anymore. Congrats on your superiority complex.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Dan

    All you Bush & Newt bashers are making a huge mistake just like the Republicans have made.

    You can bash all you want but what Newt says is true even if you hate him. Liberal or conservative, to think that the ranking member is lying or is not competent really should concern all Americans.

    If she is telling the truth then, as a conservative, I think that the CIA and Bush administration, if proven, should be punished. If not, she should go.

    May 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Linda

    From reading these postings, I can now tell what kind of people expect the government to take care of them! And, whats so funny, you probably believe the government has your best interest at heart. Liberals really do need to get educated and stop believing what they read anywhere. The government could care less about any of you, its all about retaining their power. Wake Up!

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. DrMan

    I love how "Matt" squawks that "the GOP is really grasping at straws to keep the focus off of them! It's ridiculous." The reality, my friend, is that your beloved (only by libs) leader of the House is accussed of lying and she and her ilk are desperately trying to focus attention anywhere but on her perceived lies. The Libs have the House, Senate, and White House. Stop looking for scapegoats and step up to plate. Thankfully November 2010 is not that far away. Tick tock, tick tock.....

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. djb

    time to be put out to pasture mr. gingrich..........you are no longer relevant and no one really cares anymore what you have to say. sayonara for good i hope.

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. rightsaid

    GOP's last gasp. "But she knew it too!"

    Who gives a rat's rear? Someone ordered torture up in order to justify going in to Iraq. Where the buck stops, those people need to go to jail or at the very least be censured in public.

    For the good of the nation.

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. suzyku

    It is gingrich and his has been party that are the real losers!

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Chris

    A lot of people are missing the point here. The point is that Nancy Pelosi lied about what she knew. It doesn't matter whether it's Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, or Mother Teresa saying she lied. The fact remains.

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Jeff K.

    C'mon...do you know what radical Islamic terrorists do to their enemies? When US politicians denounce our own military for what they consider "barbaric" interrogation practices those same terrorists laugh at us, secure in the belief that Americans don't have the stomach for war. Such public displays of finger-pointing are in themselves a threat to our national security by giving the enemy confidence. By the way, our own special forces personnel have to experience water-boarding as part of their training...Unfortunately, there is no training to prepare them for being beheaded on a video!

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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