January 5th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
4 years ago

Gingrich: Obama team favors terrorists' rights over Americans'

Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack
Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack, saying Monday he believes the Justice Department is more concerned with the rights of terrorists than those of Americans.

"I believe what you have is a group of people centered in the Justice Department and the Attorney General, whose law firms all gave pro bono support to terrorism," the former House Speaker told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly Monday. "They start every day with a presumption that the rights of terrorists are more important than the lives of Americans."

An incredulous O'Reilly replied that Gingrich's statement was "impossible to believe" and asked, "Why would any rational person want to extend protections to a terrorist than their own family?"

"You interjected the word 'rational,'" Gingrich responded.

"We are in much greater danger than we were a year ago," he also said. "...We have to confront the fact that this is going to be a much bigger, much harder war than we thought."

In a letter in the conservative magazine Human Events last week, Gingrich said the recent terror attempt highlighted the need "to profile for terrorists and to actively discriminate based on suspicious terrorist information."

"Today, because our elites fear politically incorrect honesty, they believe that it is better to harass the innocent, delay the harmless, and risk the lives of every American than to do the obvious, the effective, and the necessary," Gingrich wrote.


Filed under: Eric Holder • Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. gl, From Pittsburgh

    "We are in much greater danger than we were a year ago," he also said. "...We have to confront the fact that this is going to be a much bigger, much harder war than we thought."

    I quest since the GOP still don't have any plan to help get this country back on track they decided to go back to their FEAR MONGERSING PLAN WHICH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE REJECTED IN 2008. GOP=TALIBAN

    Fear and be afraid were rejected by the American people in 2008. I refuse to live in fear and I refuse to continue to listen to the Fear Mongering GOP TALIBANS.

    January 5, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Susan

    NO SURPRISE WITH "OLD" NEWT'S WORDS! He is just like all those republicans who want us to ... be afraid, be very afraid. This is crazy. Move over Dick Cheney ... there is someone out there who is trying to "one up" you.

    Seriously, the republicans think they are the only ones who can keep us "safe", but they apparently fail to remember that we were attacked under the republican's watch!

    January 5, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. proud mother and sister of soldiers

    As far fetched as this man's statement is, you do have to wonder WHY would Obama be giving civilian rights to "enemy combatants". We also have to wonder where the man's loyalty lies who will defend them and blatantly say to the press "the trials are not about terrorism but his intention to put the US on trial". Anyone who supports this needs to be given a gun and sent to Afghanistan!

    January 5, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Go away....we have had 8 years of lies upon lies from the Republican party. What amazes me is that most of America believes these lies....god help us.

    January 5, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. sportsguydave

    Keep running that big fat yap, Newt.

    You and the rest of your motley crew are the best gift us Democrats could ever hope for. Thank God you aren't in charge any more...

    January 5, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Clay

    Just as Ron Paul steps up to the plate and admits Cheney should keep his lying mouth shut, up pops the Newt to fill the insanity void...

    January 5, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Peter Green

    Strange remarks by Gingrich, given that Obama's legal treatment of the Christmas Day bomber is the EXACT SAME treatment given to Ricard Reed (the shoe-bomber) by Bush in 2003.
    Unless, of course, the remarks by Gingrich and O'Reilly are just a misguided and unwise attempt to score political points for the GOP from an attempted terrorist's attack. In that case I understand them, as GOP pundits now have a history and a reputation for putting party politics above country, even when their remarks actually do damge to our country. Their current goal and agenda is not to protect and serve our country, but rather to do and say whatever it takes to render the President and a Democratic Congress ineffective, even if it effectively means they're giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    January 5, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. katiec

    We are in much greater danger than we were eight years ago.
    After the unwarranted, irresponsible attack against Iraq, terrorist and terrorists groups have grown to numbers never before witnessed by the world, and the war against Iraq, rather than terrorism took priority, giving them the ability to spread their hate and grow.
    The mindset of republicans is unbelievable and unacceptable.

    January 5, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. JJ Jones

    If Garrison Keiler and Rogert Ebert had a baby it would look like Newt Gingrich. Why do I suspect this story gets a lot of airtime on Faux News????

    January 5, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. fielding mellish

    Why does Gingrich still warrant news stories? He has proven his idiocy over and over through the years, and this latest comment is sheer stupidity, if not downright un-American.

    January 5, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. fmjk

    So if this is true, why did the Bush administration try the shoe bomber in US courts and not a military tribunal? Or Jose Padilla? The simple fact is that there is no adequate military substitute for the civilian court system that has been established or tested. And even if the Detroit plane bomber were turned over to the military, their rules for interrogations are no different than the FBI's - they can't torture him either. So the complaints from the right are much ado about nothing. All politics and no substance. The Obama Justice Department is doing exactly what the Bush Justice Department did.

    January 5, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Gary

    Typical Republican throwing themselves on the floor kicking and screaming. Grow up!

    January 5, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. ProudLib

    GinGrinch falling back on his reactionary boilerplate so early in the year? Zzzzzz. What this oaf doesn't seem to understand — along with the GOP in general — is that some in our current government are as interested in protecting our nation's 200+-year commitment to rule by law as they are in destroying our liberties in the name of "protecting" individuals.

    Governments willing to sow fear and double-talk their way around laws and legal processes become the very police-states they keep warning us against.

    Newt's rhetoric might be good 2010 politics, but it'd be lousy policy ... good thing he's only so much noise.

    January 5, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    I do not think the terrorists deserve a fair trail, but I know that giving them a fair trial is the right thing to do. If we show the world that we are the bigger, more mature nation than Al Queda, and give them a fair trail, the world will see that we handle situations like this maturely like the United States is supposed to do. If the world sees the United States acting like the more mature group, more people around the world will join our side of the conflict, and Al Queda will slowly but surely disenagrate into nothing over a couple of years. Who do you think the world will join sides with; a nation that does not give their enemies fair trails, or a nation that tortures without any regrets whats so ever? Again, if we give them a fair trail, the world will see that we are the more mature group of people, and they will join our side in the fight against these people. We could destroy them without lifting a finger; that is just my idea.

    January 5, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. CommonSense09

    Republicans gone wild.....not a word about the Bush Administration for starting the wrong war as he lied to the American people but you talk about the Obama Administration everytime they make a decision opposite of the Cheney/Bush Administration which will be great for us in the long run!!

    January 5, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Bren

    Gingrich is 100% right.

    Having Obama, Napolitano, Holder, etc. involved with the national security of our citizens/country-–is like having children in charge of protecting the well being of our citizens and our country.

    They are more concerned with protecting the rights of terrorists--than they are protecting US citizens.

    The Republicans will successfully be using national security--as well as the economy and unemployment-- when they campaign for the 2010 elections.

    The Democrats plan on campaigning on "blame Bush"-which is going to fail. After Democrats having control of Congress for years-–and Obama being in office almost 2 years by the time of the 2010 elections-–the majority of US citizens are NOT going to fall for "blame Bush".

    January 5, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    I think the world will join the side that gives fair trails and does not torture.

    January 5, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Jon

    OB and his team are not rational in term of fighting terrorism and protecting American homeland. Any rational human being would believe that they are doing these things for a purpose to harm US's efforts to fight terrorism and protect terrorists.

    January 5, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. anna

    I dont really expect any Republican to say any different? Does Mr Gringrich really think that the President stays up late at night thinking up ways to give terrorists more "rights"? Mr gingrich should do as the old say "think before you speak"

    January 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Ro

    Its obvious to most informed Americans the Republican Party has no intention of championing what’s best for all American's. They only support policies that benefit select groups; this is no longer an American political Party but one of special interest. Republicans were happy when America lost the Olympic bid, angry when an American President won the Nobel peace prize, silent when Americans need a major change in our healthcare system and antagonistic against our government when innocent Americans are being attacked by terrorist! Whose side are they on?

    January 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Newt speaking with a fork tongue....

    Why didn't you make this wild and neurotic claim as "shoe bomber" Reid was arrested for prosecution in Federal court by the Bush administration under due process of law??? When this happened....you did not so much as utter a sound. I'll tell you why. It's because you're a Republican looking for cheap political points based on neurotic political spin from terrorist attacks against potential American victims. You're a sick liar Newt........

    January 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. ps

    I was going to question the sanity of Newt's comment, but that point seems to be well covered here. Newt when can say something that is actually rational, then maybe, just maybe we'll be able to take you seriously- note – I won't be holding my breath.

    January 5, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. ProudLib

    If we start picking and choosing which foreigners get rights in our system of government — especially based upon laughable fears of "terrorism" — it probably won't be long before we start deciding which Americans get rights.

    January 5, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. hobart

    Another lying Republican hypocrite.

    The Bush regime released prisoners from Gitmo to Yemen, who actually helped train the underpants bomber.

    The shoe bomber was tried in American courts, got to lawyered up, got the same rights as American criminals in US criminal court, and was convicted, because our system works.

    Why can't Republicans ever tell the truth?

    Why do Republicans keep cheering on the terrorists, daring them to commit acts of terror on American soil on Obama's watch?

    Why don't Republicans use the word, terror, when our own home-grown neoconserative Christian theocrats commit acts of domestic terrorism against abortion clinics and government officials?

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    January 5, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Just askin'

    I would not put it past Ginrich, Cheney, Steele, DeMinted, Boehner or any of the GOP to actually have some involvement in a future attack like the one on Christmas Day. They want this President to fail so badly, they will do or say anything to bring him down. My question is do they really think he is that bad or is it that he is that good.?...if he is successful in fixing any of the mess they created (starting with Reagonimics) their lust for power is doomed. It so obvious to me the level of jealousy the GOPe'ers feel for President Obama is palapable.

    January 5, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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