Gingrich: We're losing war on terror
February 2nd, 2011
01:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich: We're losing war on terror

Washington (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave a grim assessment on the war on terror last night during a debate with former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and suggested the situation unfolding in Egypt could pose a threat to the United States.

"Any honest assessment on 9/11 this year, ten years after the attack, I think will have to conclude that we're slowly losing the war," Gingrich said. "We're losing the war because there are madrassahs around the planet teaching hatred. We're losing the war because the network of terrorists is bigger, not smaller."

Gingrich pointed to the unrest in Egypt as posing a potential new threat to American security.

"There's a real possibility in a few weeks, if we're unfortunate, that Egypt will join Iran, and join Lebanon, and join Gaza, and join the things that are happening that are extraordinarily dangerous to us," Gingrich said.

Gingrich, who stopped short of announcing a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, debated Dean on issues ranging from immigration to the economy.

And when an audience member pressed Gingrich about his stance on gay marriage, the former speaker defended his position.

"I'm quite happy to say that I come out of a tradition that is several thousand years old that says marriage is between a man and a woman," Gingrich said. "And I'm ready to defend that tradition and I happen to believe it. And I think I have as much right to my belief and you have to yours."


Filed under: 2012 • Egypt • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Anyone whose presidential material would never tell Americans "we're losing the war on terrorism" and expect to go into the WH and say we're winning the war on terrorism. This guy is suppose to be smart but now he sounds like a bonifide idiot. Furthermore, Newt only stands for his own tradition, several wives and all of them living. Newt should never talk about the tradition of marriage because in God's eyes sin is sin whether it's big or little. Newt can't cherry pick what's tradionally correct when he himself is no better.

    February 2, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Phattee

    Gingrich is winning the war on scaring Christian conservatives, but losing the war on being taken seriously by everyone else.

    February 2, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. a in austin

    Look out – here comes the fear mongering! Your entitled to your beliefs just as other Americans are entitled to theirs. You've already aired your dirty laundry – beliefs are one thing, morals are another!

    February 2, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Jay Bergen

    All well and good, Mr. Gingrich, but what, precisely, are you suggesting be done about any of this? What, precisely, CAN the United States do about any of this? You're not just stopping short of announcing a presidential run. You're stopping short of supplying any meaningful detail. I'm finding it very tiring that politicians on both sides appear perfectly comfortable using lots of words to say absolutely nothing. And we, the people, are letting them. And the news media are fully complicit. C'mon, everyone. Surely we all desire better. Surely we deserve full and complete answers from our politicians–especially those who plan (or play coy about) a presidential bid.

    February 2, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. 21k

    and your solution is, newtie-boy? or are you too busy trying to find wife #4?

    February 2, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. johnRJ08

    Gingrich is losing the War on Obama. The United States has handled the situation in Egypt as best it could. We are not the rulers of the world, as Gingrich would like us to be. We can only do so much before reaching a point of diminishing returns and possible back-fire. The uprising in Egypt has NOTHING to do with terrorism. It is a popular revolt against a tyrant who has ruthlessly ruled his people for three decades. The only reason that Mubarak has been a reliable ally of the US is because it was in his self-interest. It wasn't because he loved or respected the United States. If Egypt ends up joining with Iran and Gaza, then we'll just have to deal with it when it happens. Trying to take any kind of pre-emptive action would only provide another recruitment tool for terrorists and make things worse. Shut up, Newt!

    February 2, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Mr. Gingrich offered an interesting speculation without any hard, concrete facts. He spoke in vague generalities.Has the number of madrassahs increased, if so, by how much? Are the number of students attending these institutions of hate increasing, or are they being spread over more schools just to decentralize? How large is the network of terrorists as compared to say a few years ago.

    Newt is long on being vague and very short on specifics. Not the first time.

    February 2, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Chad Kruger

    You're losing the war because your strategy is brutal and contradictory. You're losing the war because you are creating more enemies than you destroy. You're losing the war because you're fighting a classical, expensive and bankrupting war with one that should be fought with ideas and minimal military effort. You're losing the war because you're using a club when you should be using a scalpel. You're losing the war because you can't wage war against a tactic. Thank you, very much, Gingrich, for finally gettting to where my level of thought was 10 years ago.

    February 2, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. MartiM

    Dear Newt, just because it is your "belief" doesn't make it "true" or "right." And quit being a scaredy-cat.

    February 2, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Republicans = Fascists

    If we're losing the war its because Geaorge W. Bush dropped the ball. If we would've been committed to Afghanistan until the job was done, we probably wouldn't be there today Newt. But that cowboy president of yours just had to get revenge for his daddy and get 4,000 of my fellow brothers and sisters in arms killed In the process. Invading Iraq created more terrorists. Gitmo is a recruiting tool for terrorists. So if we're losing the war, it's because George W. Bush handled it badly. Get your head out of your rectum idiot.

    February 2, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Gingrich is losing the war on brain aging. He went after Bill Clinton for having an affair, then he cheated on his own wife. He says madrassas teach hatred, yet he practices hatred. His ex-wife told the world about the true Newt, saying he is a fake, (and who would know him better?). But all objective assessments aside, Newt could never be elected for one reason...he's just not a likable person. There is nothing optomistic or uplifting in his message.

    February 2, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. rrock

    The politics of fear. The problem is that we have invaded 2 Arab countries with little justification or legality, and have supported Arab dictators all in the name of security. We have supported Israel even though they are taking Arab land. An we wonder why they hate us?

    February 2, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. juliei4

    Newt should have said he was in favor of marriage between man and women – since he has been thrice wed. Wrong one to be preaching morals to anyone.

    February 2, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. independent

    This man is completely out of touch with reality. He is gearing up for an election year and will politicize anything and everythihng.

    February 2, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. sammieb51

    And sadly Mr. Gingrich, private citizen, half-term speaker of the house, scandolously twice divorced third marraige Mr. Gingrich, there are legions of churches in our very country teaching hatred of Muslim each Sunday too, and scores of politicians and folks such as yourself, standing up and saying be very afraid of the Muslim man and faith. And we here in the United States are losing our Democracy to fear-mongering idiots like you.

    February 2, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. ...

    I watched this debate & when Gingrich wasn't trying to instill fear he was...well, actually that is about all he did.

    February 2, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. John in MN

    We have no one to blame but ourselves for the rise in madrassahs that hate us. Our perverted foreign polices of keeping tyrants and dictators in power, and support of an apartheid state in Israel will haunt us for years.

    February 2, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Bob

    Well, if the demonstrations were being suppressed by weapons marked "Made In America", they wouldn't give a rat's @ss about us. Keep spreading fear, Rat....I mean, Newt

    February 2, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Gregory

    This self-important old white guy just throws stuff out there. Stir up fear and hatred. See what sticks. He wants so badly to be in the driver's seat. He's just a hitch hiker in politics, stuck on the side of events. He hopes that, if he puts up a big enough and obnoxious enough sign, people will stop to pick him up.

    February 2, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. The Other Michael in Houston

    Newt, you forgot to mention, "we are losing the war on terror because everytime we drop a 2 ton JDAM missle on a whole village just to kill one person and end up killing 50, we create terrorist out of all the relatives of those who where killed.

    February 2, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Jacob

    the "war on terror" is fiction. a made up war. wars that were never even possible to "win"
    thanks for nothing GOP! and your scare tactics are not welcomed for 2012 – you're gearing up a bit early, no?

    February 2, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Chris

    Gingrich is as ignorant as he is arrogant. As someone who violated the "sanctity" of marriage numerous times, he should keep his mouth shut. As for terrorism, if it has increased, it is because of needless war promoted by republicans and a macho culture of chest thumping mostly by guys who refused to serve when called.

    February 2, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Kathy

    Gee Newt, you have been married what...3 times. I guess the first two didn't need defending so that is why you got divorced! HYPOCRIT!!! Newt is a HUGE adulterer and is always screwing around on his wife.

    February 2, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. sonny chapman

    Newt is right. We need at least 2 more aircraft carriers to get 'er done.

    February 2, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. sonny chapman

    BOO ! Now vote for me. Heck, it worked for Dubya.

    February 2, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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