Clinton in control, Gingrich says
January 21st, 2011
08:51 AM ET
4 years ago

Clinton in control, Gingrich says

(CNN) – For Newt Gingrich, it's like Bill Clinton never left.

The former House Speaker tells the conservative Human Events the second half of Obama's term has essentially become "the third term of the Clintons."

"I think it's fascinating," said Gingrich in the interview published Friday. "You're sort of seeing the beginning of the third term of the Clintons because the first two years of Obama was such a failure in popular acceptance."

Since overseeing massive midterm losses, the president has installed several former Clinton administration officials, including selecting Clinton commerce Secretary Bill Daley as his chief of staff and former Clinton economic guru Gene Sperling as director of the National Economic Council. Meanwhile, former Clinton domestic policy adviser Bruce Reed has become chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.

"It's almost a Chicago-machine musical game, and all of it represents an increase in power for Bill Clinton," said Gingrich.

Gingrich, who is thought to be a likely Republican presidential candidate, may just hope his comments needle members of the left wing of the Democratic Party, many of whom think Clinton, and now Obama, are governing too far toward the center.

"It must be fascinating to be one of those left-wing activist groups that spent so much time and energy beating Hillary Clinton because they didn't want to see this kind of administration," he said.

But Gingrich doesn't want to give the impression Obama actually is a moderate president – after all, he will need the support of independents if he faces off against Obama - saying the administration uses "the language of the center-right, while in fact fighting for the policies of the left.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Newt Gingrich • President Obama
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Alina77

    If Clinton's smart people can help to pull this country out of economical slum, then Mr.Obama do it, after all we had surplus under Clinton administration, (there was something that they were doing right). And if Gingrich wants to embarrass Obama about it, I don't think Obama cares much. Gingrich is acting very unhappy lately with Obama, it only means (the country is recovering) and it pisses off the conservatives. Boohoo to them.

    January 21, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Tom

    And this is bad how??? Under Bill Clinton we had a balanced Federal budget and the deficit was erased. The economy boomed and the stock market rose. And it was all because of higher taxes on the upper class.

    January 21, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. TonyC

    and besides,this comes from a so called represenative of the people,who could never even stand in president Clinton's shadow when it came to anything,and THAT is why he has always been so bitter.Gingrich represents the past failures of the republican party and a total joke!!

    January 21, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. markiejoe

    Note to Newt: Shut your pie hole.

    January 21, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Jan

    Gee Newt.... thanks for pointing out the obvious way that Washington works. Professor Gingrich, I am disappointed in you for not relying more on your intellect. People who worked for Nixon, Ford, Reagan and HW Bush were in the W. Bush administration, and V.P. spot. And same for Clinton...he had Carter officials working with him. So.... yeah.... thanks professor Gingrich for stating the obvious, but making it seem ominous and somehow wrong??? Considering that Clinton had a pretty good handle on the economy during his terms... it might not be a bad thing for the country. I'd like to see you sign a pledge now to bring in all new people from outside of Washington who have never served to be in your administration should you somehow win the Presidency. Now that would be a contract with America.....

    January 21, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Rob C

    I'm curious – what kind of legacy did Gingrich leave behind? The first thing I can remember is that he once promised to refine government, make it run more efficiently, all backed up with a "Contract with America". I don't think it went any further than a novel name on a peice of paper. Did anyone read the article in Time this week about how China is spanking the US on so many issues (infrastructure, investment, money management, government direction)? In a poll, a majority of chinese actually think that their country is headed in the right direction. I don't think the same poll would fare well in the US. Like or not, if we as Americans didn't waste so much time and exhorbitant amounts of money trying to prove that one person, or one party was wrong, but instead invested our time, energy and resources into actually setting the bar on how to get things done, it would be a good thing.

    January 21, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. PalmReader

    "But Gingrich doesn't want to give the impression Obama actually is a moderate president – after all, he will need the support of independents if he faces off against Obama – saying the administration uses "the language of the center-right, while in fact fighting for the policies of the left."

    No need for Gingrich to worry ... he won't be facing off against Obama. It amazes me that there are people actually winning to send campaign donations to persons such as Gingrich, Pawlenty, Santorum, Pence, and Palin ... none of whom have yet committed to running. Pawlenty uses his PAC funds to fly around the country hoping for enough name recognition to get folks to buy his book. Ditto the name recognition game for Pence and Santorum. Palin absolutely requires attention, using her PAC funds to feed her ego. And Gingrich jet sets around the country because he can.

    January 21, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Phil in KC

    Let's see, Obama's in the middle if Gingrich is talking to liberals. Obama is a socialist if he's talking to the neo-conservatives. And now Clinton is in charge – which needles both ends? This guy changes his story to fit whoever he's talking to. In the end, you can't believe anything he says.

    January 21, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Expat American

    The Republicans spent 8 years trying to destroy President Clinton; simply because he had the support of the educated electorate, and that the President was simply smarter than them on his worst day, and was untouchable to them on his best. President Obama frightens the GOP just as much but in a different way. This is why they ‘cry’ socialism; a mere 2 years after waging a bankrupt war based on an outright lie. Cut spending, is the mantra of the GOP but where were the Tea Party when Bush and Cheney were destroying the country? Were their actions acceptable to those crying ‘Socialism’ because innocent Muslims were being killed? God Bless Red State America.

    January 21, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Newt will say anything to win the republican nomination. Go crawl back into your hole, better yet you need to concentrate more on beating out Sarah Palin. No need for you to worry about the democrats.

    January 21, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. Jersey Bob

    Wassamatter, Newt? Jealous???

    January 21, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. Jeff in Virginia

    This should be seen as the sign that it is- Newt Gingrich is running for president.

    January 21, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. rick

    Gingrich has always used scare tactics instead of reason in his political campaigns. A third Clinton term would actually be a good thing.

    January 21, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. Responsibility

    Gingrich is such a jerk. Look at all the past administrations, Bush and Bush W all had staff members from Reagan and Bush Senior. You are always going to use people who have that experience. Why do the Republicans always point out things about the Democrats that they themselves also do?? Such friggin Hippocrits!!!

    January 21, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. nolapearl

    Who cares what Gingrich thinks? He's one of the architects for the divisiveness in American politics. He's also a family values dirtbag.

    January 21, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. Louisiana Man

    We can only wish that Clinton is in a 'third term'. How great for this country if the citizens are subjected to the proven wisdom and intellect with a superior cerberal flux plus an insight for inherited fiscal incompetency and the solutions to fix it.

    Newt and his cronies who vie for the presidency-cant even come within a hair.

    January 21, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. GI Joe

    We booted him out of government once - GET THE MESSAGE NEWT.

    January 21, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. Name king

    Gingrich isad and frustrated because issues that be could drag obama with is slowly dissipating he is nervous about his chances of winning the presidency since Obama now start to appeal to the independents again, now he have to make up new lies and fear mongering with fox to figure out away to get Obama and start his fear mongering again.

    January 21, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. Luke

    Is this a bad thing, whY?????

    January 21, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. Dnick47

    As usual Grinrich is show that he's a phi betta kappa liar....

    January 21, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Tam

    Does anyone care or respect what Gingrich has to say?

    January 21, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Casprd

    By that Logic, Bush Jr's time in office was really the second and third terms of Bush senior or possibly the fourth and fifth terms of Ronald Reagan.

    January 21, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Bruce

    Newt is probably the most intelligent person in the conservative ranks right now. He has, however, developed this nasty idea that he has to play to the media. He has made some rather "off the wall" comments. Sadly, I no longer trust him.

    January 21, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. doc

    newt: irrelevant, and proud of it.

    January 21, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. John in Brooklyn

    Gee....in the quote from Gingrich it felt that he was seeing just how many Republican buzz-terms he could throw into the sentence. I'm surprised that he didn't actually refer to the Clintons as "job killing"....but, oh yeah, under Clinton more jobs were created than under any administratration since WWII.

    January 21, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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