Man calls Obama Muslim, Gingrich doesn't correct
March 21st, 2012
06:18 PM ET
3 years ago

Man calls Obama Muslim, Gingrich doesn't correct

Lake Charles, Louisiana (CNN) – During a question and answer session in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Wednesday, a man stood up and said that, among other things, President Obama "is a Muslim."

"I believe that Obama is not stupid," the man began. "I also believe that, number one, Obama is a Muslim."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Follow Chris Welch on Twitter: @cwelchcnn

The man went on to say he also believes that Obama is a "student of Saul Alinsky," a man known for community organizing and whom Gingrich often calls out for his "radicalism."

The man did not pose a question but wanted a response from the presidential hopeful.

The former Speaker of the House answered the man, but he did not tell the man that Obama is not a Muslim.

"I believe this is a president who prefers power to prosperity and who follows policies that centralize power in the government," Gingrich began. "And if the price of that is that we're poorer and that we have fewer jobs and that we have less energy that's fine with him. It's a price he'll pay."

He added that he "agrees" regarding Alinsky.

"[Obama] is driven by a radicalism to remake America, and he doesn't frankly care what level of pain it causes the rest of us."

CNN later asked Gingrich about the question and the fact that he did not refute the man's premise.

"I believe President Obama is a Christian," Gingrich said. "He says he's a Christian, he went to a Christian church for over 20 years, and I believe him."

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond added that Gingrich "has said several times in the past that he believes President Obama is a Christian."

"We also believe he is an American. We also believe he is a very nice guy."

Pressed by another reporter on the fact that he chose not to say that in front of the audience, Hammond insisted his candidate "has said it in front of audiences multiple times."

This is not the first time a presidential candidate has opted not to correct someone who has incorrectly identified Obama as a Muslim.

Back in January, Rick Santorum was posed a similar statement by a voter in Florida.

Asked why he chose not to correct the woman, Santorum told reporters it was "not his responsibility" as a candidate to correct everyone who make a mistake.

Also see:

Romney can't escape birth control questions in Illinois

Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia

Rubio to headline major South Carolina GOP fundraiser


Filed under: 2012 • Louisiana • Newt Gingrich • President Obama
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Grow up already...

    "I believe this is a president who prefers power to prosperity and who follows policies that centralize power in the government," Gingrich began. "And if the price of that is that we're poorer and that we have fewer jobs and that we have less energy that's fine with him. It's a price he'll pay."

    and I believe that you are PROJECTING, Newt!! The only thing bigger than the foort in your mouth is your ego.

    March 21, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt is a radical McCarthyist and secular Bircher. Like all the republican candidates he will not tell the truth. Just another case from the files of the meth and mountain dew crowd.

    March 21, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt is an alleged historian, but is unaware that the civil war ended in 1865.

    March 21, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Dennis Freeman

    Poor Gingrich – he's a loser whose time has passed. It's time for him to head for Dancing With the Stars.

    March 21, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    Newt has committed audltry 3 times so one shouldn't expect him to correct anyone because he wants everyone in the slime with him and not only just President Obama. The sooner Newt departs the stage maybe he can save himself from any further embarrassment.

    March 21, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. don in albuquerque

    So what if he was Muslim? Or Hindu, or Shinto, or god in heaven an Agnostic? All you folks who still believe this country was founded on the teaching of Jebus and not freedom of religion (including not having any) need to form your own little country and see how long you last. I hear Texas is available

    March 21, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Gingrich is part of the extremist faction that has siezed control of the republican party, and the other three current candidates are just as fanatical. Their mentor, Rush Limbaugh is now the defacto leader of the party and they are quickly becoming the American equivalent of the Taliban.

    March 21, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. michaelam

    Wow! Newt called out Robert DeNiro for making a "white first lady's joke" but says absolutely nothing when some back wood hick states that he believes that President Obama is a Muslim....The BOLD thing to do, Newt, would have been to correct this man in public; not express your feelings AFTER THE FACT to CNN.

    What a pathetic little man!

    March 21, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. Joe The Plumber

    i dont believe Gingrich is a Christian. i believe a Christian would have refuted the Obama hating idiot. Gingrich definitely doesnt have the class of a McCain.

    March 21, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Pete

    Take a read on Saul Alinsky,a Jewish man helping all faiths,all colors to organize in Chicago,years before Barack was born.He helped people organize groups for food,lodging for the poor,helpless ,the elderly.Also the republican idiot spewing crap about Pres.Obama ,being a Muslim is old,wornout,much like the republican idiot on the stage wanting to be the next president,ain't gonna happen hoss,ain't gonna happen.Gingrinch is a legend in his own mind,that's all,its disgusting seeing an old washed up politicians who should be in nursing homes on the campaign trail ,just disgusting...

    March 21, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. rs

    Why would Gingrich correct the man who said Obama was Muslim? Isn't that the messafe the GOP has been putting forward (along with all the "birther" idiocy)?

    March 21, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Me

    Looks like Newt found another verbal doppleganger, these people need to be de-programmed.

    March 21, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Indiana Mike

    Of course Newt didn't correct him, he wouldn't want to tick off the only guy who would vote for him.

    March 21, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. GI Joe.

    Why should they stop lies? They start lies themselves.

    March 21, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    typical of the GOP, Say nothing when it means something, in front of the sheep, but later say "I believe he's Christian"

    March 21, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. RINO Bil

    One must realize that Newt has flipped-flopped on religon so much he probably does not remember what denomination he is, let alone what others are.

    March 21, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. Larry L

    That man accurately represents the hateful, bigoted Christian base of the modern Republican Party. The GOP will see a mass exodus of educated and logical people who have no tolerance for this low-class behavior. Gingrich should just advertise in a way Southerners will understand – "I may not be honest but I'm white and I can pretend to be a Christian!".

    March 21, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    These republican phonies are headed for the ash heap in Nov where they belong, thanks teaparty!!!!

    March 21, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Amazing

    But, Gingrich wants Obama to apologize for DeNiro's comment. Yet, he will not stop the stupidity of people who continue to believe the President is a Muslim. What a HYPOCRITE!

    March 21, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. stars

    The reasnn these two cowards didnt speak up is they plant the racist there in the first place.

    March 21, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Pander Bear

    Newt is a hero to nutjobs like the one who questioned him. Can't wait for his new Fox show which should begin in about 6 weeks after he drops out of the race.

    March 21, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. mk1

    Ah yes, another coward on the Republican side, but should we be surprised? Only John McCain had the courage and integrity to put down a women four years ago who said the same thing. The cowardice of Republicans in the face of ignorance is astounding, well, no not really.

    March 21, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    When will the Republican base wake up to the fact that their party leadership actively lies to them on a daily basis, doing everything it can to scare and manipulate them to once again vote against their own self-interest?

    Or maybe the problem is a lot of Republicans know this but are too ashamed and humiliated to admit they've been played for fools – and instead of having the stones to accept reality, they just keep digging the hole they're in deeper and deeper and deeper ...

    March 21, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  24. maf

    . . . and here is when civility moves right into racism . . .

    To not correct those who don't know better, is to condone the behavior.

    March 21, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. once upon a horse

    to play the devil's advocate "what if he indeed WAS a Muslim?" Of course he is not but the word Muslim has been tied into evil Islamic extremism and another fear card the far right can use to control their base. And thus far I have not seen any Republican figure stand up and correct this error other than John McCain. What would be nice to hear would be the truth....."Sir or Ma'am the president is NOT a Muslim but even if he were that would not make him a bad person nor enemy of our country." Of course I have a better chance of winning the lottery than hearing that from the likes of Santorum or Gingrich.

    March 21, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
1 2 3