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. Frank G.

    The governmental agencies that attempt protect us against terrorists strikes is (are) not the Justice Department in either thinking or activities ( eg drones in Pakistan). This political fodder at a time when the Country should be united, irrespective of political bent, is both unpatriotic and un-American. It is one matter to question the efficacies of particular strategies (to defend), but another to make the absurd connections this "statesman" purports. He is representative of the sad new commentary of today's "Rebuplicants" and as much as they may think such audacious comments will gather some votes in the future, it will hopefully be a politicized operative soundly renounced by Americans in future elections.

    January 5, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Lori in St Pete

    Lucky for us there are far more enlightened Americans who know that newt is lying. Perhaps if the thugs cleaned the elephant dung out of their ears they would hear President Obama state exactly what they're accusing him of not saying. Nah, it's just easier to lie to the brainwashed & braindead minority.

    January 5, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Molly Weasley

    Gingrich is trying to be a Cheney wannabe. And they both sound like idiots.

    January 5, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. bcords

    you're right about one thing. we are in more danger and will continue to be every year after. bush was told by every one, with a little intelligence, not to go over there and stir up things. he was told that a few radicals would turn into millions. those folks were right but the little idiot went over there anyway. now we are left with the aftermath. and anyone who now thinks that we can control this is crazy. if you want to blame someone newt, start with the source. oh thats right you would never do that because you were part of it!

    January 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. VeeRobillard

    This is EXACTLY the type of comment that the world sees, and justify's it's opinion that many Americans are trailer trash idiots.

    Fear mongering leaders, and those dumb enough to believe it.

    January 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Dan Holiday

    And Newt would be right.

    January 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Junior

    What scares me more than terrorism is that so many Americans actually believe and vehemently defend this kind of ridiculous nonsense.

    January 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Juan

    Partisian Gingrich and Cheney are but only two reasons why the Democrats are ignoring Republican cries of "NO BI-PARTISIANSHIP", By playing fear mongers with the citizens of this great nation, after all the hard fought battles around the world to secure our peace and domestic tranquility, we find sore losers still holding microphones to their mouths yelling fire while we have continued military operations, both overt and covert, to surround these terrorist an caputure them so we can bring them to America for "three hots and a cot." (HA!) Next the Republicans will accuse Commander-in-Chief Obama of ordering the Predator drones to drop leaflets first before firing on them. You call yourselves Patriots, then prove it.......SUPPORT YOUR COUNTRY!!!!

    January 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. johnny walker

    seems like the reps are critisizing the president if a prisoner is treated like a prisoner, then when he gives them rights the rest of us feel they don't deserve he is critisized for that.

    January 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Kevin from Co

    "They start every day with a presumption that the rights of terrorists are more important than the lives of Americans."

    It's really scary how true of a statement this is. I guess Obama's apoligy tour didn't work. It just made us look weak and inspired the terrorist.

    January 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. mj

    I believe this is what the republicans called siding with the terrorist after 911.

    January 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Steve/Boston

    Please. Enough of this annoying political dog doo. Mr. Gingrich, and the CNN reporting, forget that the Bush administration tired Richard Reed in civilian court, with full constitutional rights. Reed is now serving his sentence on American soil, in an American prison.

    I'm disappointed that CNN continues to allow all news items and comments, whether, right left or whatever, to go unchallenged in their reporting.

    Mr. Gingrich and his ilk are at best mistaken, but I think the worst. They are liars, who will stop at nothing to undercut the Commander in Chief and American security, in their mistaken notion that to do so will get them elected/re-elected in the mid-term.

    Do they think we're stupid?

    January 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. kd

    why does anyone listen to this idiot? Only Jan 5 and he's already said one of the dumbest things for all of 2010.

    January 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Jim T

    As a result of Cheny, Newt, George Jr, and Rush, I am an ex Republican. Newt had his chance at greatness and blew it. Newt please stop pontificating(sp?).

    January 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. m jeff

    Where do all these right wing Clowns come from, and where were they in the last eight years.

    January 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Bethie in TX

    ". . .delay. . .risk the lives...." = exactly what G. Bush and his administration did before 9/11. Where was Gingrich's criticism then?

    We need to be always improving airport security, intelligence gathering processes, and relationships with other countries to garner cooperation in fighting terrorism. More than one government dropped the ball here. Thank goodness no one was hurt, and we can learn from the gaps that allowed the "underwear bomber" to get as far as he did. Of course we must always be vigilant, and we need to be willing to submit to the security procedures. However, we can't live under a cloud of fear, which conservatives like Newt seem to thrive under. How does prosecuting terrorists in criminal courts make us less safe, Newt? If so, why was it OK for the previous administration to do this? Better to prosecute them in open court for all nations to see than to torture them in private or hold them illegally and indefinitely.

    January 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. Marco V

    Under the Bush administration, Richard Reed, the show bomber, and others before him were sentenced under federal law. Now that Obama is President it is wrong to show how well the American justice system works. When will they stop playing politics?

    January 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. David

    Newt... shut up and go away... or I'll turn you into a newt!

    January 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Carmelle

    Didn't Bush give the shoe bomber rights too? Wasn't he lawyered up?
    And isn't he now serving a life sentence in a FEDERAL PRISON?

    Com'on Republicans....DO YOU HAVE NO SHAME!???

    January 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. America Shrugged

    Who cares what this party of losers has to say on the subject of terrorism and our justice system. This country has successfully tried many terror suspects in our criminal court system. Had Newt and his GOP " Rule of Law " gang let Clinton deal with the terrorist issues rather than go after him for a lie about a personal matter, maybe we wouldn't be at war on two fronts and broke. On second thought, maybe it wouldn't have mattered..WAR was on the agenda if you read PNAC.

    January 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Zoomie63

    Go away Newt! You had your day and BLEW IT.

    January 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Lytabunny

    I think protecting the rights of citizens and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, mainstays of our justice system, are EXACTLY what is happening here. What it seems Gingrich wants is racial profiling, where we simply stomp on the rights of ALL young, male Muslims just because that group has a higher risk rate than fat, old Republicans who resent being inconvenienced at the airport - meanwhile ignoring that the VAST majority of young, male Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. There are probably improvements that can be made in the system, and it IS a nuisance dealing with airport security from ONE shoe bomb incident and now ONE underwear bomb incident, but it's either that or knowing that any flight could contain one lunatic with explosives. Too many lunatics out there...

    January 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Peter

    The Republicans have become a party based on outright demagoguery. *Most* of them are intellectually bankrupt and purely reactionary.

    January 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. David

    Newt Gingrich is either intentionally mistating the views of the Obama Administration or woefully ignorant of the facts. Either way, his comments are detrimental to himself and the American people. He should apologize immediately for his remarks.

    January 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Tram

    More proof that the GOP is evil.

    We're America, for crying out loud! We're supposed to be the moralistic good guys! Remember? We're not supposed to stoop to the level of the enemy. We can be tough, we can throw these murderers in jail for the rest of their lives doing hard labor, but we don't have to act like this country is made up of Turkish prisons.

    January 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12