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. Tom in FL

    It's really very simple. If we are a nation of laws we have to follow them, even for terrorists. Republicans want a government that is above the law, that can imprison and torture anyone for any reason. They claim to be so frightened of terrorists that they think a police state is the only way they'll feel safe. How safe would they feel in a police state run by Democrats?

    January 5, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Jason S.

    I'm not sure what Gingrich (or Cheney's) goals are in this except for further publicity. The standard legal practice for foreign nationals who engage in criminal activity on domestic soil is prosecution in accordance with our Constitution and/or deportation.

    It appears Gingrich and Cheney are fair-weather Constitutionalists that think the US Constitution and Judicial Branch should only apply when they feel like it.

    January 5, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. katiec

    Why, CNN, do you insist on and give headlines to any and every republican, regardless of creditibility, who speaks out against
    our president, yet are very conservative, if at all, on any Democrat
    or supporter?
    These unpatriotic political hopefuls are headline grabbers and you give them total support. If you ever did any fact checking, any research, I would think you would be embarressed to quote them, but maybe not as is very obvious where your political favortism lies and you evidently are not above publishing lies, distortions, unAmerican behavior by any of these radicals.

    January 5, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. rachel

    Even though I don't necessarly agree with the decision to try the terroists in American courts didn't cheny and bush try the shoe bomber in civilian court? Where was newt then?

    January 5, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Joe

    What a blow hard... SCARE SCARE SCARE!!!

    January 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Holden Mirror

    So when the "shoe bomber" Richard Reid was treated the exact same way, where was your dissent? Oh yeah... .I forgot.... it was Bush in office. Hypocrisy watch continues.....

    January 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. GO AWAY

    What a ludcrious accusation. Republicans wrap themselves in the American flag but they are the first people to want to turn their backs on the Constituion. We need to support the values that our forfathers, fleeing chaos and tyranny, included in the fabric of our national identity; values that make this country great, among which are the right to a fair trial, no matter who is being tried. We are a supposed to be a beacon of hope and civilization to the rest of the world.

    January 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Funny, terror suspects were tried in civilian court many times during W's administration. Some of them were even freed. Nobody batted an eylid. Now suddenly we're "more concerned with terrorists rights than US citizens?" Puhleez. Surely someone who has been involved in government as long as Newt has posesses at least a basic understanding of how our justice system works. If we start throwing away civil liberties and subverting our ideals, as we did under Dick and his little puppet, we're no better than terrorists ourselves. Newt needs to shut the heck up. His party is more concerned with the rights of large corporations and regaining power than it is with the well being of US citizens. Have a nice day!

    January 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Al

    Newt,

    Your so full of it. Is your ex-wife still living in your basement below you and your current wife? I guess we'll hear nothing about family values out of your fat mouth eh? You are a L-O-S-E-R!!! Go back to your hole before your private live is investigated.

    January 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Lets vote all repugs out of office!!!

    What an idiot, but no doubt many idiots will follow!!!!!!

    January 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. usualone

    He is full of baloney, a polite way of saying that Gingrich is waaaaayyy off base.

    January 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. FM

    Oh yeah! they have now got the new song and the health care reform has been put aside!

    January 5, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. noneofyourbusiness

    If this fool every really runs for President, or any other office, just think of the really incredulous statements, like this one, that he has made over time that will show up in political advertising against him.

    Once in a while, he has valid ideas and contributes to the political dialogue, but usually, he just makes provocative statements just to show America he is alive.

    Good luck with any future political ambitions, aside from that of 'bomb-thrower'.

    January 5, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Marcus

    You betcha! I guess Newt is having a memory lapse as, after 9/11 nothing, and I mean NOTHING was done to secure the borders to keep the terrorist cells from coming into America and hatching things yet to come.

    Moron

    January 5, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. a voter

    So far, the Bush administration is the only one that prosectuted terrorists in federal court. That's what these right wingers seem to forget.

    Oh, forgot, it is also the Bush administration that send the terrorists back to Yemen who are now attacking us.

    Poor Newt, how can such a smart man sink to the level of O'Reilley.

    January 5, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. RAG

    Newt does it again. Take any issue and he will support the most crack-pot un-American position possible on it. Suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law in America. Yes, there are different rules in time of war but there is no war. Wars are fought between states. This "war" is a propoganda artifce of the Cheney / Bush junta.

    Denying these accused criminals their raights under American law is acting as an unwitting stooge of al Quida. Cheney / Bush danced to Osama's tune to the near destruction of the Republic. Newt continues their folly...

    January 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Chris from NC

    Put up or shut up, Newt!!! If you and your party honestly have any better ideas, let's hear it. Enough bashing. It's getting old!

    January 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Jacob

    since when does Gingrich care about American's rights!?

    January 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Northeast

    I swear the Republicans want America to be attacked again just so they can once again scare people into voting for them.

    January 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Black Viper

    Gingrich wrote....

    "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,"

    The Obvious, the Effective and the Necessary means:
    1. Invading every single Arab Nations looking for Al qeada Terrorists
    2. Waterboard and torture indefinitly terrorist suspects in a prison to get unreliable info to risk the life of our soldiers.
    3. The necessary is to bully all arab nations and increase American hate arround the world that way we will be secured at home.

    January 5, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Who do you trust?

    It is irrational to think that anyone in the administration or Justice Department favors the rights of terrorists over American citizens. Gingrich is making irrational statements in that regard.

    To think that our legal system works and is fair seems to be a legitimate position. Fair trials are a cornerstone of our system and should not be tossed aside for anyone. A fair trial does not give a suspected terrorist greater rights; it simply adheres to what we are supposed to stand for.

    Cheney and Gingrich seems to forget about the value of a strong judicial system in their fervor to criticize.

    January 5, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Jacob

    This is another Idiot in Gop who open his mouth before thinking any rational . warmonger. Mr Gingrich, you are no longer a presidential material. American people are smarter than you all GOPERS thinks, they all know you all are fearmongers and it won't cut it any more. If you can't support than shutt up.....................

    January 5, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Portland, Maine

    Newt Gingrich – King of Fear Mongering

    January 5, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Minnesotan

    Gingrich: Sit down and shut up. Every time you open your gob, you make a complete fool of yourself.

    January 5, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. st. louis jake

    i think that presidnet obama cares a lot more about the safety and rights of u.s. citizens than the bush/cheney/rove gang did.

    just ask the families of the soldiers killed in iraq.

    i thought gingrich was out of politics. he sure sounds like he's "out of it."

    January 5, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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