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. gracster

    Opps, almost forgot the headmaster of stupid– Cheney.

    January 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Enrique

    Another baseless and ridiculous claim by Newt Gingrich. As intelligent as he may be, he certainly makes some idiotic comments.

    January 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Bob

    Just more provacative nonsense to get attention. Where were you Mr. Gingrich when the former Republican administration was violating the FISA laws? Did you speak up then? Did you ask for an adjustment of the amount of time the executive branch was required to inform the courts about wire taps or did you think it was OK then to violate American citizens rights then? I am coming to the conclusion that the Republican party is more interested in obstructing than in solving problems that they created or allowed to fester. Senator DeMint halted a nominee because he believed unions would compromise safety. Just more politicizing nonsense. Americans are frustrated and upset about the state of our country but do YOU want to go back to the "good old days" of the previous decade with the Republicans?

    January 5, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Chris

    What a lot of hyperbole and lack of substance. I expect more from Gingrich. Does he have a plan for exactly how to "do the effective and the necessary" while not "harrass[ing] the innocent" or "delay[ing] the harmless"? I am eager to hear how we can instantly and with 100% accuracy determine which people are threats and which people are harmless.

    January 5, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Connecticut

    yet another republican blowhard blaming everyone under the sun yet saying nothing to provide as reasonable point as to why they are right.

    January 5, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Mar

    Why don't you guys, for once, get behing your president to fight this together? GOP keeps complaining, nothing good and positive comes out of their mouth. So tired of hearing the same thig over and over again.

    January 5, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. James

    Newt is an idiot. The military tribunals that Bush was pushing failed to convict anyone and was a lightning rod for other nations to demand their nationals back. This has led to political pressure to determine who is in and who gets out. Does that make us safer?

    Every day our legal system handles thousands of murderers, crazies, thieves, etc. Should we chuck that because it is inconvenient and allow accused to defend themselves against their charges?

    January 5, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. susan

    oh God! Republicans don't want me to come back.
    I just hate the scare tactics.

    January 5, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Jerry

    This idiot had his day, now go away.

    January 5, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Somebody better get this guy to a doctor.We think Alzeimers and Dementia have set in on many of these old tarts,like Cheney,Dement,and Newt, the fly catcher.

    January 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    O'Reilly interviewing Gingrich is like watching two comedians: the straight guy and the punchliner. Remember those comedy routines? They went something like this:

    O'Reilly: "Why would any rational person want to extend protections to a terrorist than their own family?"

    Gingrich: "You interjected the word 'rational,'"

    Drum sound: bam bam boom!!!

    They'll be appearing at this location, doing three shows a nite, come one come all!!!!!!

    January 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. JD from Moraga, CA

    "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."

    At least the man freely admits that he doesn't think things through. That's progress, of a sort.

    January 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Kellie in Cleveland

    Stop with the faux outrage and criticism. Obama is handling this more proactively than Bush handled the shoe bomber - a response in 72 hours versus 6 days - and an investigation into the situation. I feel safer with the Obama Administration - they place the rights of people before the thirst for profit. Newt, your opinion on the matter means very little.

    January 5, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. no name calling

    "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.

    Didn't this morally corrupt individual divorce his wife as she entered chemo therapy?

    It would be nice for Newt and Dick to hang out together, swap stories on all the innocent Americans that the have harrassed, delayed, and whose lives the have risked (or ended) rather than due what is effective and necessary.

    January 5, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. J. Rochester, NY

    Really? What does the GOP care about????

    Allen Quist, a Republican who is seeking to defeat Rep. Tim Walz in southern Minnesota's First Congressional District, told attendees of the Wabasha County Republicans Christmas Party in mid-December that beating the "radical" liberals in Washington, D.C., is a bigger battle than beating terrorism.

    January 5, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Baby Boomer

    Just another OLD angry white man. Same as Limbaugh, Cheney, O'Reilly, etc.

    January 5, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. mark

    even the "open minded" Bill O'Reilly ain't buyin' this losers' desperate smear tactics !! Newt is the elitist for cryin out loud his rants are boring and fodder for headline scanning Ditto Heads.

    January 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. steve

    When O'Reilly cannot believe in all criticism of Obama then you know Nit Gwitch has lost all credibility. Last chance, try Glenn Beck!

    January 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. sine

    Just a bunch of buffons who have an avenue to speak their buffoonery!

    January 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. AP in Illinois

    I watch clips of the Tea Baggers on television and they hold up the United States Constitution as if the Democrats are ignoring it.

    Apparently they and Newt Gingrich are doing the same thing when it's convenient for their own twisted arguments. Burning your pants on an airplane is not an act of war. It is a crime. All crimes are prosecuted via provisions in the United States Constitution. I just glanced at the 5th and 11th amendments and they both seem to give the terrorist rights.

    We all don't like what he did. But being unfair to him makes our entire system of laws irrelevant and unfair. All you right wingers might want to consider 'due process of law.'

    January 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Walfre A Alvizures

    I can't believe my ears to some of the stupid comments by the repuclicans, it's like the never had a problem on their clock.
    by the way if they are so great how come Obama had to inherit such a big problem, if you have all the ideas how come you Mr. Gingrich who where 3rd incomand never did anything about, instead you where to busy screwing, your mistress or mistrsess, shame on you.
    instead of your criticism and you politics please help instead of dividing the country.

    January 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Linda S

    Yet Bush / Cheney & Co. affording these same judicial rights to, say, THE SHOE BOMBER, was ok?

    Sorry, Newt, but like Cheney, you should learn to keep your piehole shut unless you have something HONEST to add to a conversation. Hyperbole and hypocrisy is all you people seem to offer these days.

    January 5, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Brandon Mayes

    Why do people allow clowns to have a mike. Repubs always talk about giving terrorist a stage by giving them rights but these guys are no different.

    Im upset that CNN keeps reporting this non sence.

    January 5, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. Mark Robinson

    Gingrich needs to move to a place where the rule of law is not the norm. He clearly does not understand that if we lose track of our system of justice, assuming innocence until the proof of guilt, and following the same laws for everyone, then the terrorists have won. Newt, find a rock to hide under. Maybe the same one Cheney is using.

    January 5, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Andrew

    Terrorism can't be averted completely, that is what the conservative nut jobs need to understand. The US can only marginalize the damage, this kind of war has no real end. Religion started this war and only when religion has no say in any world government will actual peace be possible.
    The GOP should be more concerned with the Tea Party crack pots turning on their members in congress. I sense the conservative moment will actually implode once the inward attacks start. They've created the wack jobs through years of manipulation and lies. The Democrats , their just hanging on too. Obama has not done enough to encourage advancement in technology, science , manufacturing and small businesses.

    January 5, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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