Gingrich: Obama holding troops 'hostage' over budget
April 8th, 2011
02:11 PM ET
4 years ago

Gingrich: Obama holding troops 'hostage' over budget

Washington (CNN) - Likely Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich Friday laid the blame of a possible government shutdown squarely on the feet of President Obama, saying the commander-in-chief is intentionally holding U.S. troops "hostage" so Democrats can prevail in the budget showdown.

"Let's be clear," Gingrich said during a speech at Liberty University Friday. "President Obama is deliberately seeking to hold the men and women in uniform hostage so the politicians can fight over the budget and use the threat of not paying the troops their weapon."

Gingrich's comments are in reference to the president's pledge Thursday to veto a Republican-backed spending bill that aimed to cut spending by $12 billion and fund the Pentagon for the remainder of the current fiscal year. The president and Democrats opposed the measure because of the programs it would cut, including a provision that would prevent Washington, DC taxpayer money to be used to fund abortion providers.

The president called the GOP bill a distraction while House Republicans said Democrats are deliberately putting U.S. troops at risk.

"You would think that the President of the United States as commander-in-chief, who has just committed to us to our third war on his term, would have some concern for the men and women and their families who are serving America," Gingrich added. "But that's not the case."

According to the Department of Defense, a government shutdown would likely halt paychecks to the majority of military personnel, but those who are on active duty will be compensated once an agreement has been reached.

Gingrich is headlining Liberty University's "Awakening Conference," a two-day gathering which, according to the Lynchburg, Virginia school, will address such topics as "abortion, the economy, religious liberty, marriage and homosexuality, Sharia Law, the Middle East, Human Sex Trafficking, Reaching Minority Communities and Using New Media and Technology to Power a Movement."

Gingrich, who is seeking to burnish his credentials with the evangelical community as he mulls a presidential run, last appeared at the religious school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell in October.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    Hide behind the troops to support your argument. Bush/Cheney did it for 8 years. BEHIND is the operative word–Newt, Bush & Cheney all "missed" Vietnam.

    April 8, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. timz

    Can't we all agree that Newt Gingrich should retire? After all, when he gets to working too hard and loving his country too much he can't resist roaming the streets looking for some woman not his wife with whom to have some good hard working, country loving, Republican family values sex . . . and that's too much of a sacrifice for us to demand of any individual.

    April 8, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Lynn

    Funny, it seems Gingrich had these same comments about clinton during the federal shutdown in '95.

    April 8, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. chris

    BOY HE IS REALLY REACHING ON THIS ONE!!!! He knows darn well active duty personnel will get paid!!! Stop playing the word games Newt!!

    April 8, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Alene J. Stanes

    I would just like to ask the question of these"POLITICIANS" Who do you think you are? From Mr Obama right on down! You people are, according to the constitution, elected by the people and work for the people!!! Have you even considered what even all this scary talk is doing to the American people?NO YOU HAVE NOT!! The American people have to worry today about feeding families above all and that is hard enough to do as it is. Although no-one therecan add well because those on Social Security got a letter saying the cost of living has not gone up so those people did not even get acost of living raise this year, another total lack of knoweledg on your part!! There is not a politian in DC that any American can say theyare proud to have voted for them! WAKE UP! You all are suppossed to be something besides Democrat or Republican
    When did you all lose you humanity????

    April 8, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Nadeem

    Let the leader of the last government shutdown speak on holding people hostage while the Tea Party chants – "Shut it down, shut it down"

    The GOP filibustered the budget passed by the 111th congress, you did not hear Gingrich complain then.

    April 8, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Yanni

    A toxic venom from a Toxic man in American politics

    April 8, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Nick , California

    Politics is the sport of opportunity, which can be a good thing if you actually bring ideas to the table, but Gingrich is all bark and no bite! He is great a pointing fingers until someone points at him! Oh yeah, Gingrich blamed his affairs on his hard work for the American people.. ha ha ha.. if only we could turn this into a reality show at least there would be some revenue!

    April 8, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that there are things attached to the bill that would fund the military paychecks that don't have any relevance to that. The GOP is putting something in the CR that they know that Obama won't sign. With that, they can hammer him over not supporting the troops.

    April 8, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. max

    either ive gotten smarter or newt has gotten shiftier...

    April 8, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. rusty155

    Newt Gingrich once again you are just running your loud month, because It the Republican that are holding the troop 'hostage'. If the Republican was really offing a bill to keep the troop pay they wouldn't had any other condition to It. If there a Government Shut Down It will be the Republican Fault and only there Fault.

    April 8, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. kyle

    The strange part about Gingrich speech is that it's people stupid enough to believe him.

    April 8, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Realistic

    Newt its the republicans that are starving families of the troops by putting another *Contract on America* by holding the troops hostage because of the republicans social agenda and their animosity towards women. Newt knows this, he switches wives more often than trump switches his political stance. Newts *Awakening Conference* will backfire on the republicans because by now, the american people are Awakening to the repubs draconian ideology. Newt talks about religious liberty unless you happen to be a muslim. Newt talks about marriage, he knows about marriages, he has been married often enough. And he also talks about Reaching Minority Communities and telling them what, they are a drag on the country cuz if you are a minority you must be on welfare, unemployed, drug addicts or dealers and fatherless, this is Newts message to the minority and the republicans draconian believes.

    April 8, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. fayse

    Gingrich is a manipulator and twister of the truth. This is nothing new.

    April 8, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. John

    And this is exactly why this philandering hypocrite should never be allowed to hold public office again. The GOP put the gun to the soldiers' heads and named the bill after them. They are the ones using the men and women in uniform as a pawn. This is sad and pathetic.

    April 8, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. California Conservative

    Why is Obama and Reid holding the country hostage over a budget they should of had last year?

    Quit playing games Obama.

    April 8, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Same old Gingrich, spinning the distorting the facts. The wingnuts in the GOP are holding up the budget to the detriment of this country. Guess he can't hear all the shouting by the Tea Party wingnuts about shutting down the government if they don't get their way.

    April 8, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. DJ in TX

    Mr. Gingrich, please go somewhere and hide. Now who's the flip flopper. You DELIBERATELY shut down the government on your watch. BTW – does anybody know the President CAN NOT do anything on the budget? ALL APPROPIATIONS bills come from the House of Representatives. The GOP has placed items in this bidget that they know Democrats won't support. It isn't about money, but pure idealogy. The GOP wants to defund Planned parenthood and the Democrats don't. They only get about $600 million (maybe not even that much), so the money (in government terms) is very small. If that is the case, it boils down to a fight over 84 cents. If the budget were $1000, the amount planned parenthood gets is about 84 cents on a percentage basis. That's really slashing the budget allright. The GOP is stating "their way" or no way. Their way went from 200 billion surplus to a trillion debt. Their way got us into 2 wars. it is time to compromise and BOTH sides stop worrying about the far reaches of their party. I have a lot of family who get retired military pay. Get this deal done.

    April 8, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Mark from IN

    Where were you Newt when the troops fighting your presidents war returned to the Walter Reed Hospital only to find molded walls and non functioning toilets? Where were you Newt when disabled vets have to wait a year to get a physical just so they can get the papers needed for disability pay? Where are you now Newt? On tv with your awful looking hair, talking about nothing! You have a short and selective memory Newt, please go back in the hole from which you came.

    April 8, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Mikey

    When you present a thinly disguised far right wing political hit list as a budget solution, what do you expect. Politics at its worst, and Gingrich knows it – but he's a big bald faced liar and nothing more.

    If the GOP is serious about passing the budget, they will make a reasonable proposal or accept the reasonable proposal that the President has already made. The TP is pressing for either zero compromise or a shutdown. If Boehner and his GOP buddies are too spinless to stand up to the wackos on the right, we'll end up with a shutdown.

    April 8, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Mark Rosoff

    Let's forbid Sharia Law or ANY religion from influencing legislation. Wait, gee, that will make gay civil unions legal. And that other religious issue, abortion, well, as long as it's LEGAL, why can't it be publicly financed?

    April 8, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. vic

    Who can every believe this guy again. He who caused the first shut down

    April 8, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Bob Liechti Jr.

    It is unique that this nation's president puts our young men in harm's way when he promised not to further endanger our nation's already thinly stretched military and now wants to endanger their families' economic fraility. And the latest is because he and the other democrats' spending of taxpayer monies will be cut regarding the endangerment of non-born lives. Sounds sumiliar to those whom our nation is already fighting – an autocratic leadership.

    April 8, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. izzie558

    Obama brought us into a third war in his term? Excuse me, Iraq and Afghanistan belong to Bush. Total transference and flim flam of the republican party.

    April 8, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. V in Chicago

    Someone please shut this big mouth down. Everything that comes out of his mouth is either an outright lie or so distorted that the truth can not be found. This man is delusional and he needs to step away from the microphone and stop his hate spewing.

    Republicans – are you really going to let the nut-job tea partiers cause you any chance in he!! of ever getting re-elected again? If you continue to push their radical agenda on us, you will all be voted out!! Newt is a has-been! And, also a "never will be"!

    April 8, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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