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. Brian

    Our Constitution guarantees justice for all people accused of committing crimes in the United States. That includes citizens and non-citizens alike. Our justice system is what makes us the greatest country in the world, not our ability to rush to decisions and behead people. That's what our enemies do.

    January 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Gingrich needs to run for president the rest of the administration is afraid offending the Muslim people where does the American people draw the line on incompetence .

    January 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. R in Maine

    Newt wants a country where he can decide who has rights and who does not. Newt belongs on a island with Cheney.

    January 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. caliseadog

    More fear please,
    Thanks Newt

    January 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Bert in UT

    Yes, and what a great job the Bush administration did setting up the TSA and its procedures. No political correctness over efficiency then, no sir.

    January 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Nick , California

    What a bunch of crap!! What makes the United States unique in the world is our justice system and our due process. We have already successfully tried other terrorist in civilian courts during the Bush years! So why the hell are all these criticisms starting to come out from the Republicans who let this Detroit terrorist go in the first place!!!! To say that the Obama admin. wants terrorist to have more rights that Americans is crap.. just hateful... fear mongering.. typical Republican!

    January 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. CHANGE.COM

    Will Gingrich, the lying-cheating-pretender just go away please? These are very divisive comments and our country is tired of this politically charged comments just to gain some political traction and coverage.

    January 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. sifto77

    Where is the article about the terrorist threat on inauguration day? If true, then George Bush is a hero for protecting Obama even as Obama trashed GWB in his inaugural speech.....

    January 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. chubby

    What else could it be. The ultimate stupid idea to bring terrorists onto our shores,give them lawyers and the same rights as citizens make it nothing less than totally stupid or insane. Or unless in nobamas book, he said he would stand with the muslims if the ill winds blew against them.

    January 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. LacrosseMom

    Gingrich....... what an idiot you are! We are a Nation of LAWS, remember? Even though the Bush Regime threw our Constitution. What makes our Nation a great nation is our Laws and Justice system.

    EVERY POW, every criminal is offered LEGAL PROTECTION UNDER U.S. LAWS! (excuse the yelling)

    IF we do not abide by our Laws, we are no better than terrorists!

    I suggest that Newt READ the Constitution & Bill of Rights!

    January 5, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Lee Chevalier

    Cheney and Gingrich, in a planned/staged national set of platforms, are truly strengthening and voicing "the Enemy Within." I'm more afraid of these folks than Yemeni separatists.

    January 5, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. 1fender

    Sorry Newt, you are close but not correct. American justice actually starts the day believing in the one thing it is built on. The right to a fair trial that includes a presumption of innocence.

    Trying the shoe bomber in federal court did not raise a peep out of this disgraced poilitical hack. American Justice found him guilty and I am sure the same will happen here with the underpants bomber. That result will be a shining example of American justice for the world to see.

    What Newt wants is to score political points on the backs of those 300 passengers on the flight that day. What he prefers is a "military tribunal" as an "enemy combatant". This is code for the ability to use torture instead of facts that prove the crime! But he doesnt have the guts to really say that.

    It has been proven that we do NOT get real information this way. And it only endangers our poor troops stuck in this so called "war on terror" to the same treatment when they are prisoners.

    January 5, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Angie in PA

    Keep it up Republicans keep bashing President Obama on this issue its going to backfire big time as I recall we were in danger while you Republicans held power with a Republican President REMEMBER 911 It happened on your watches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 5, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. william e murphy

    poor Newt just another looser

    January 5, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. David in Houston

    Absolutely ridiculous...

    January 5, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Black Viper

    This low level thinkers full of hate and making nonsense noises and non-logical arguments is the reason I turn my respect to hate for the republican politicians. It's astonishing to believe some people in this country listen to these people.
    They hate the president so bad that now for them it doesn't matter if the country is strong and sound and it's people are happy as long as they can fullfill their political goal they DON'T CARE.
    I wish the American people would show them how intelligent they are by increasing the democrat majority in 2010 that way they can go hang themselves. But there is too many STUPID american that believe in this nonsense.

    January 5, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Jeff in Virginia

    You have got to be kidding me!

    Have you no integrity CNN? Why do you give this failed politician a platform to spew his bile?

    January 5, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. Karine

    I do agree with Mr. Gingrich , terrorists should be tried in military court and should be charged with an act of war against America and it's people.
    What is going to happen next , these killers will milk the justice system and put a huge burden on taxpayers .
    There are many terrorist plots in the making and America is not sending out the right message.

    January 5, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Lois Spiess

    Ya know we just stoped a terrorist from boarding a flight to US and the Bush administrations missed eight or 12 terrorist from boarding flights on our own soil. Why Gingrich feels less safe now makes no sense.

    January 5, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Lou from CT

    Another grouchy, isolated former Republican heard from...

    Hey Newt – don't go away mad, just go away.

    January 5, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Steven

    It seems that the GOP only has time to criticize, nay-say and condemn any and all actions taken by Obama instead of saying lets work together and fix things. They are divisive and thrive on fear. Cheney and Gingrich are bad examples of our elected officials but good examples of what we do not need in government any longer.

    January 5, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Mike Syracuse, NY

    100% correct. The Christmas bomber was talking freely until his 'rights' were explained, then he lawyered up. He should be in GITMO getting interrogated rather than in a civilian jail with a lawyer provided at taxpayer expense. It's going to take another 9/11 or worse before Obozo realizes he can't make this go away with apologies.

    January 5, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Cathy in AZ

    Gingrich and Cheney need to shut up. In no way were the comments attributed to Gringrich to Bill O'Reilly accurate or responsible. This is just more GOP CRAP!

    January 5, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Mark

    You have to be kidding.

    January 5, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Realistic

    Newt continues to try to make himself relevant. How republicans wants Americans to forget the attempted bombing of an airplane, aka, shoe bomber during the Bush Admin. Was Bush weak than? Did he fail to protect Americans? Did Bush and his cronies fail in their duties or were they lax in taking the threat seriously? The answer to these question will vary depending on ones political affliation but to those outside the polluted world of politics, we know that republicans are no better in national security than democrats. The problem is now that even the war on terror has become political and that will be our undoing. Unless we unite and ignore people like Newt and the rest of fear drum bangers and do what we need to do and forget about politcal browny points, we will never win this war.

    People like Newt only serv their self interest and will do and say anything to obtain their goal, even if American blood has to be spilled.

    January 5, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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