January 5th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
5 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. Billy J..Texas..

    Grandpa, go back to your nap. Your heyday is loooooong gone. You proved yourself to have a few good ideas and a lot of hypocrisy back then. Now, all you have left is the hypocrisy. Good Night.

    January 5, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Boisepoet

    "to profile for terrorists and to actively discriminate based on suspicious terrorist information."

    At least he is admitting that Republicans believe in 'active discrimation' in the pursuit of criminals. What's next? Profiling African Americans because they have a higher proportion of adult males who commit crimes? Republicans = Angry Old White Men who fear anyone with a different skin color, and look for any excuse to create discrimination in order to keep themselves in power. When they accepted the 'Southern Democrats' into their party, they signed a pact with the Devil and lost all pretenses of being the Party of Lincoln.

    January 5, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Where is the intellectual right?

    Newt, that is so outrageous, it is a wonder you can still claim to be American. Stop the insanity.

    It would be great to have a debate with the real party thinkers from the right stepping forward. Right now, we only have the GOP talkers to listen to, and it isn't helping.

    January 5, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Joe Fattal

    And he might be right. Terrorist do serve a purpose. Based on their actions, the war on terror becomes the highlight that the Administration rely on effectively to continue to confront an enemy that is impossible to believe that is a great threat to us. The Nigerian behind the failed terrorist attempt is the responsible one not a group of a terrorist organization that President Obama blamed on such Al-Qaeda which can be as mysterious as Bin Laden himself.

    January 5, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. nyc

    Sounds 100% accurate to me.

    January 5, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Gene

    Gingrich is absolutely right. This is just one of the many actions taken by he Obama administration that defy logic.

    And I know what I'm going to hear from the Obama supporters out there...references to illogical things done by President Bush, which may or may not be true. That is is now irrelevant.

    This is NOW and NOW we have confusion in the White House that could get Americans killed. Obama needs to show some rational leadership.

    January 5, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Trang

    Thank God the Republicans are not in power.

    For all the talk about 'God' in their party, once a challenge comes up, they throw 'Him' under the bus and disregard the Law ... same treatment to the Constitution, the law of the land.

    January 5, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. stevetall

    Still crazy after all these years!

    January 5, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Jay

    Since when have civilian courts been un-American? Since when do we pick and choose who to use Due Process for?

    Newt says "...law firms all gave pro bono support to terrorism," as if the vague concept of terrorism was itself somehow put on trial, and evil liberals rushed to defend it. This bizarre understanding is then called "politically incorrect honesty."

    What he actually means is that "Law firms give pro bono support to individuals accused of terrorism." That's a crucial difference. In America, individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    January 5, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. Retired US Army Officer-Kansas

    Such ignornace expressed by a former Congressman is a disgrace.

    January 5, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    To paraphrase Mr Gingrich:
    I</BI believe we have is a group of people centered in the Justice Department and the Attorney General, whose law firms all BELIEVE IN THE STRENGTH AND HONOR OF THE CONSTITUTION. They start every day with the presumption that the rights guaranteed to EVERYONE in our country by the Constitution of The United States of America are more important than the"Right" wing fear and posturing of the "Party of NO."

    If you are afraid that the Constitution cannot dispense justice, as written, change it, but don't just set it aside as an inconvenience. If we do it for this, we have jumped over the edge of the "slippery slope" and will, sooner or later, find a "good reason" to suspend (ignore) the Constitution for American Citizens too.

    January 5, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. JP

    Just another Republican stirring the pot for political gain. Don't these guys realize that if they are not part of the solution they must be part of the problem?

    January 5, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. al in memphis

    Sometimes I think the terrorists are watching Fox News just to see the type of America they can show the world.

    The only way Obama could have gotten praise from Newt was to take the guy of the plane and string him up by his burn legs until he told us what we wanted to hear. How do you torture someone who is willing to die- make them live long enough to see how foolish their cause is.

    January 5, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. John in Tampa

    Mr. Gingrich, Mr. O'Reilly:

    Whether we provide a fair trial to an accused person is about us, not them.

    January 5, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. mike

    HEY newt you are just another dick cheney you like to talk but nobody
    really cares the republican party is going to loose more seats in 2010
    its the party of no and that theme is not going to get you votes remember
    one thing voters are not going to be happy if they are not apart of the
    new health care system nobody likes to left behind

    January 5, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Bridget

    This guy is a total joke. He needs to understand that his way of thinking (and Cheney's) is what makes us unsafe. He had his years and look what he did with them. Stop with the fear Newt...we're not all idiots! We're not all scared and most of us aren't evening considering your nonsense!

    January 5, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    this Newt person is a moron

    January 5, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. mary mtl can

    what a moron

    January 5, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Ms. Callahan....just sayin'

    Creepy.....what 'if' he is right?

    January 5, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Tyler

    Wrong way to think about it ... better to understand that the Justice Department favors ALL peoples' rights over NO ONE'S rights. The terrorists aren't being accorded special rights, but rather the same rights that anyone accused of a crime has on American soil has, including ourselves or any one of our family members. The only reason for Newt and the boys to be afraid of giving terrorists their full judicial rights under U.S. law is if they don't trust the Justice System (kind of a hard position for the JUSTICE Department to take), or if they're afraid that they got the wrong guys but want to make an example out of them anyway, or if they know that they president from their party did things to them that may make conviction impossible. Either way, you start treating one person as a "special case," not subject to American law, then any one of us could be made a special case. Slippery slope, man.

    January 5, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. LizP

    Can the Republican Party sink any lower? If it wasn't obvious before it certainly is now, the Republican Party will go to any lengths, even at the cost of American lives, to regain power.

    January 5, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Jason

    Looks like Newt Gingrich is competing with Dick Cheney for the empty minds of the Republican right. After all, they're the same people who watch Fox News and who anoint GOP candidates via the primaries. Newt is a flawed candidate, given his philandering, ugly divorces and wretched treatment of his wives, and so he is now reduced to endearing himself to the same people who would reject him for his past sexual escapades by turning into a shrill wingnut. One wonders if there are any adults left within the GOP today.

    January 5, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. josephine

    Newt and O'Reilly, please stop already. You guys are insulting the intelligence of the American people. The majority of them except for a tiny but loud minority are getting sick and tired of your fearmongering.

    January 5, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. JonDie

    Cheney and Gingrich are such clueless morons. It's a miracle that our country is still in existence after eight years of Cheney backed by Gingrich. We could have easily collapsed on the rubble pile of history just like the former Soviet Union, which Cheney and Gingrich wanted to re-create on American soil.

    January 5, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. jeff jackson, alabama

    Half of our leadership and half our
    citizens have no idea how dedicated
    the terrorists are to destroying us.
    They have a strong resolve and will do
    what ever it takes to win.
    Even half our citizens are more concerned
    with gay marriage, global warming, and
    kissing up to France and Great Britain than
    they are about terrorists.
    If we had 50% of our enemy's determination
    with our technology. this thing would be
    under control.

    January 5, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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