Washington (CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich repeatedly brought social conservatives to their feet Saturday with an impassioned address in which he warned that America faces a dual threat from the Democratic establishment on the one hand and Islamic terrorists on the other.
“We are at a point where our establishment is sliding into policies of such disastrous impact that they will in fact fundamentally challenge the survival of America as we know it,” said Gingrich during his speech to the fifth annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.
“On the one front we have a secular socialist machine led by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, and on the other front we have radical Islamists who would fundamentally change this country into a system none of us in this room would recognize,” he continued to thunderous applause.
Gingrich, who has repeatedly acknowledged he is testing the waters in advance of a potential bid for president, largely stuck to red meat issues during his 30-minute speech before a gathering of activists who could play a crucial role in selecting the next Republican presidential candidate.
Gingrich also took aim at Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who recently sent a letter to insurance industry leaders warning them not to "falsely blame premium increases" on the recently passed health care legislation.
“And if she’s going to represent left-wing thought police about Obamacare, she should be forced to resign by the new Congress," he said.
But perhaps the former House Speaker’s loudest applause came when he weighed in on the controversial Islamic center and Mosque proposed to be built near Ground Zero, declaring, “We as Americans don’t have to tolerate people who are supportive of violence against us, building something at the site of the violence.”
“This is not about religious liberty, if they want to build that mosque in the South Bronx, frankly they need the jobs,” he continued. But I am totally opposed to any effort to impose Sharia on the United States, and we should have a federal law that says under no circumstance, in any jurisdiction in the United States, will Sharia be used in any court to apply to any judgment made about American law.”
Sharia is considered the sacred law of Islam as set forth by the Koran and the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
Gingrich also laid heavy praise on the “energy” of the Tea Party movement and its newest victor, Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, who defeated longtime Congressman Mike Castle, considered a shoe-in before the election. .
“I would beg Mike Castle to endorse Christine O’Donnell because she won fair and square in a process of representation. But let me go a step further, I am going to prdict right now, Christine O’Donnell is going to win in Delaware.”
And he sharply derided Republican Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska senator who announced Friday she would mount an independent bid after losing to a Tea Party-backed candidate last month.
“Senator Murkowski is fundamentally cheating,” he said. “If she wanted to run as an independent she should have.”
Gingrich’s speech comes on the second and final day of the gathering and hours before attendees will vote in a 2012 presidential straw poll – the results of which will be one indication of which potential White House hopeful can count on support from the social conservative faction of the party that is so vital in the primary process.
Gingrich followed a string of speakers Friday who constitute a veritable "who's who" of rising Republican stars and potential 2012 presidential contenders,including Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, as well as O’Donnell from Delaware.
Be afraid! Be very afraid! If you don't vote for me you are an America hater terrorist communist! Anyone who doesn't parrot what I say is the spawn of the devil!
Keep fear alive! Its all you have to offer.
the mendacity of the mosque comments is breathtaking. Nobody involved in the project "supports violence" or "sharia law" - Gringrich has no shame, no integrity, and just enough brain to be dangerous.
Excellent analysis Newt.
Gingrich is disgusting, any lack of discourse. He is the American Taliban...demonize the other side
Gingrich has been saying this for two decades and yet America is still America. Its military still kicks hinds, it is still the biggest economy in the world, Christian fervor has been on an increase throughout this time, there have been more and more tax cuts, more deregulation, and we even beat terrorists back to their own countries. So maybe he sees a doomsday that frankly the reality of America just doesn't. Sure, we've had a recession at the beginning of the Bush presidency. We climbed out of it. We had a recession at the beginning of the current administration. And wall street is already back on its feet and the private sector has had a positive job growth for 8 straight months. Do you still think America is collapsing?
Why the media still considers this guy an "intellectual" is beyond me.
Ole Newt sure can speak with a forked tongue. Secular America should be equated with Islamic terrorists? Hey, Newt, What about all those Fundie Faux Christian fanatics you are so proud to appeal to?
Why should Americans even listen to a man who was chased out of his Congressional position for his lack of ethics?
Funny how Republicans are so good at running their big mouths, but so bad at running government. Under what party's leadership did 9/11 occur and worst recession since the Great Depression start? And you idiots think we actually want you idiots back? You people are dumber than you look. Now go back to your trailers and let the adults handle things.
This is one dangerous and scary little man with a very big mouth and extremist views! Conservatives assume that their views are the countries views and that we are just robots who will follow their every command and do their bidding! Fortunately, 99% of the country thinks that Gingrich and his kind are ridiculous, out of touch with reality, and they make good material for late night talk shows!
How can anyone take Newt seriously when he's such a lying, cheating, bigot? Who can, in good concience, support someone who claims to be a moral Catholic, yet doesn't live the teachings of Jesus. His devisive words make him as patriotic as Benedict Arnold.
IMHO, he "is of the devil", as the Gainesville Book Burning Guy would say.
I know a rally on October 30 that Newt could attend.
He's trying to be his own man these days y proving he has the nads to stand alone and fight. How funny
Newt Gingrich, you are a one of the biggest hypocrite's that the Catholic church as allowed to slide into the church. Your just trying to play God. You sold your soul for money and power and some day, I hope sooner than later, you will pay a heavy price for it.
This is completely outrageous! We have GOT to hold these politicians accountable for spreading FEAR! Just because you do not agree with this administration, YOU CANNOT liken them to terrorists. Newt has got to be held accountable for the lies and hatred he is feeding the left! And we wonder why these people are up in arms...
This guy is NUTS, PERIOD
And he calls himself a CHRISTAIN, LOL
The threat to this country is what Gingrich is preaching more than anything,he is line with Taliban,Al Quaeda and islamic foundamentalist believes.
It's funny how he fails to acknowledge how deregulation almost collapsed the world economy and how tax breaks encouraged jobs to go offshore is eliminating the middle class in America.
I really believe it's the conservative policies that should be likened to terrorist, those are the policies destroying the things that make us great as a country and keeps us from being a 3rd world country...
Gingrich's drama is just that. Hysterical words. I suspect he is intentionally playing the alarmist game. But wouldn't it be fun to watch him debate in a panel that includes Sarah. Neither one of them are presidential material.
Newt is a fool, !!!!!, as always. He want it back to the Bush era. With all this going on about Obama and the republins, the terrorists are watching and waiting!!!
Typical of all "conservatives." If they don't like someone's politics they must be lumped in with terrorists. Pathetic, dishonest and exactly what is wrong with America today. Gingrich and Ronnie ruined the Republican party and moved it from a party about fiscal responsibility and smaller government to a party about hate and fear.
Good morning, America. How about a nice cup of FEAR to go with your fresh bowl of FEAR?
And for lunch and dinner we're having FEAR sandwiches and then a delicious FEAR stew.
Newt, you're a jerk and so is most of the GOP. But, keep talking so that eventually this country will wake up and realize who the real terrorists are.
Newt Gingrich is as slimy and untrustworthy as they come. The Republican Party is in a sad state if its leaders are Newt and Palin. If the Party wants to survive long term it needs to marginalize the extreme right and go to the middle. Eventually this right wing thing will ruin the Party.
He was a blow hard when he was speaker and instead of mellowing with age , this man has gone completely wingnut!
He is a good case of what is wrong with the GOP!