Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk
February 21st, 2012
10:11 AM ET
6 years ago

Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Tuesday stood by comments he made the previous day urging voters to defeat President Barack Obama as a "duty of national security."

Asked what he meant by his remarks, the former House speaker said the president's policies pander to Islamic countries and the federal government refuses to "talk accurately about radical Islam."

CNN LIVE: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"I don't think that's very effective," he said on CBS's "This Morning." "I think it's dangerous to America."

Gingrich downplayed the recent arrest of a Moroccan man who was on his way to the U.S. Capitol with what he thought was an explosive-laden vest but instead was a fake provided by authorities as part of a sting.

But the former speaker referred to the incident as one that "barely" prevented a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

He also chided the president for the country's limited role in the conflict in Egypt last year, arguing the U.S. should have been more involved to prove it stands by its longtime allies.

"This is an administration that no country really trusts," Gingrich said.

On Tuesday, the candidate also hit the president over what he called Obama's "outrageously anti-American energy" policies, pointing to his opposition to the Keystone pipeline and his push for more efficient cars.

"This is a president who routinely only obeys those laws he personally views fit," he said.

Gingrich made the original comments–in which he also blasted Obama as "incapable of defending the United States"– on Monday while speaking at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Gingrich is campaigning in Oklahoma again on Tuesday, two weeks before the Super Tuesday state holds its primary.

- CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Oklahoma • President Obama • Terrorism
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Louise Taylor

    Obama is not a security risk- Gingrich is trying to play on people's fears as a last ditch effort in his quest for glory-he reminds me of the emperor in "The Emperor's New Clothes".

    February 21, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. HappyAtheist

    Wait.. since Osama Bin Landen was a national securty risk.. how is that the guy that got him is also a national security risk? Newtie... whatever you're smoking HAS to be good!

    February 21, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. he said what

    This is Newts way of trying to get the "Obama is really a muslim" vote. He is a bigoted racist and panders to those who are similar minded. For those who really do study history, you will see that he uses the same mind game tactics that Hitler did. He is dangerous and needs to be called out.

    February 21, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. ja

    newt is full of whale manure, he is the real national security risk, jumping form bed to bed, working as a lobbyist under guise as a citizen, the %%^& nerve he has, go back to georgia, stay

    February 21, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. macrasta

    no wonder he and Sarah are friends..

    February 21, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Nevis Mn

    Newt, it didn't work for Joe McCarthy so go away.

    February 21, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. kakaraka

    What a wacoo!

    February 21, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Ryan-MN

    This as "Anti-American" as it gets. The GOP has fallen to new lows and aims to make a mockery of the Presidency.

    February 21, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Mikey

    The lies just don't stop. We are in perhaps the strongest position in more than a decade regarding homeland security and foreign policy. There are significant dangers out there and the Obama Administration has done an excellent job navigating through it all.

    ..but the lies are not limited to foreign policiy issues. Gingrich says he could reduce the price of gas to $2.50, yet he wants to go to war with Iran – which would surely increase the price of oil and gasoline. Santorum says that the President has a false theology not based on the bible, defends his remarks and then tries to say he was taliking about the environment. Then his campaign spokesperson says the President has a "radical islamic" theology (this weekend). And finally, the biggest sereal liar of them all, Mitt Romney, says he will dramatically cut taxes, increase defense spending, protect social security and medicare, AND balance the budget.

    It's an easy call – Obama 2012 !!!

    February 21, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Tony

    Gingrich poses a serious risk to the Republican Party in the 2012 election. He is uncontrollable. The Republican Party wants to be able to control its candidate (which is why most party bigwigs like Romney).

    February 21, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Expat American

    Labeling Spanish as a ‘ghetto language’ does wonders for internal domestic security while describing Palestinians as an ‘invented people’ does equal wonders for national security.

    Neutered Lizard’s burrito is finito; yet Cotton Hill is still jibber-jabbering.

    February 21, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. LouAz

    " . . . and I have a list of 250 Islamic spys working in the Pentagon right now."
    Yea, yea, yea. McCarthy had his list of Communists. Manchurian Candidate ?
    Marryin' Newt is the Tehran Candidate.

    February 21, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. td40

    Hilarious. Since Obama has become president, it seems like we hear about one high-ranking Al Qaeda member after another being killed or captured every month. Osama bin Laden, terrorist #1, was taken out. Numerous plots have been foiled. It is beyond laughable that Newt would even "go there." This Democratic president probably has the best record of taking out our enemies out of any who have been in office since WWII. If GW Bush was still in office, I feel like we most definitely would have had another successful attack on American soil.

    Newt is so desperate that it's sad to watch.

    February 21, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Me

    Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk he talkin about the guy who got Osama Bin Laden? The guy that toppled a Muslim dictator without putting any American boots on the ground? There has not been a successful terrorist attempt on his watch and all of that puts PRESIDENT OBAMA head and shoulders above the last guy and any guy the GOtP currently has to offer. The greatest risk to our national security.

    February 21, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Keep talking

    The more opinion based claims Gingrich and the Republican candidates say the weaker the party looks in general. Honestly, this Administration probably isn't the best and probably isn't the most liked administration of the United States, but there is no doubt that they are more focused on national security and foreign affairs than the Bush administration ever was.

    February 21, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Susan

    As Gingrich ans Santorum become more UNHINGED in their rhetoric, it is THEY are pose a national security threat. It is not a far reach for a misguided supporter to undertake something drastic in response to their talk about how Pres. Obama is anti-American, anti-religion, engaging in class warfare, weakening our country, driving up gas prices, etc., etc.. These 2 men in particular, but the entire Republican party that subscribes to this fear-mongering hate speech against the President of the United States, are crossing the line every day in their desperation to defeat Pres. Obama and the Democrats. Americans will not buy their apocolyptic vision, which simply denies reality.

    February 21, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Anyone else remember how any criticism of Bush's foreign policy was labeled as weakening us in the eyes of our enemies and treasonous by the Republicans? Last time I looked we're still at war.

    February 21, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. george of the jungle

    nasty newt thinks getting the guy who was going to blow up the capital was no big deal! Whats wrong with this nasty christian?? Apparently God only forgives Adulterers like him. Trying to have diplomatic talks brands you a Islamist? I feel bad for all the good Muslims in this country that get smeared but these repo nut jobs. Leys see now who don't they hate.? The president has been more successuful in attacking terriorist than the last administration but he is also try to use diplomacy when he can. I think thats a good stratgy. If we can save our kids from going into another war why not. The repos seem to want to fight everyone. Bummbling bunch of big mouth buffons. And Newt is number one. So much for his intellect.

    February 21, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Hongli CDA

    All I have to ask Newt Gingrich is -– What happened to Osama Bin Laden ?

    February 21, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. B

    This Has-been pig has nowhere else to go except even more outrageous remarks in a last gasp effort to stay in front of a camera!
    If he wasn’t being funded by the disgusting king of the casino kingdom, he wouldn’t be heard from again.

    February 21, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Wayne

    Finally, one of the presidential candidates has said what they all have been thinking. I think most Americans have the same thoughts. Weather you like Gingrich or not on this subject he has spoken the truth. Let us hope ALL Americans have listened to him.

    February 21, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Steve - Dallas

    Guess the GOP will just have to cut out the middlemen, and get David Koch to run.

    February 21, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Republicans your inmates are running the asylum.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    February 21, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. mk1

    If this comes up twice, sorry.
    No, it is all these Republican idiots who are the security risks. Within months of taking office they will have us at war somewhere, guaranteed. Let's see, Bin Laden dead, 24 of the top 30 top AlQueda figures dead. Extremely tough sanctions on Iran. Diplomacy as a start, not a last resort. I would say President Obama is doing as well as anyone considering the circumstances.

    February 21, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. MTATL67

    Mr. Gingrich is foolish to attack the President in the area that he as more than proven himself. Mr. Gingrich has desperation all around him.

    February 21, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
1 2 3 4