January 5th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich: Obama team favors terrorists' rights over Americans'

Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack

Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack, saying Monday he believes the Justice Department is more concerned with the rights of terrorists than those of Americans.

"I believe what you have is a group of people centered in the Justice Department and the Attorney General, whose law firms all gave pro bono support to terrorism," the former House Speaker told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly Monday. "They start every day with a presumption that the rights of terrorists are more important than the lives of Americans."

An incredulous O'Reilly replied that Gingrich's statement was "impossible to believe" and asked, "Why would any rational person want to extend protections to a terrorist than their own family?"

"You interjected the word 'rational,'" Gingrich responded.

"We are in much greater danger than we were a year ago," he also said. "...We have to confront the fact that this is going to be a much bigger, much harder war than we thought."

In a letter in the conservative magazine Human Events last week, Gingrich said the recent terror attempt highlighted the need "to profile for terrorists and to actively discriminate based on suspicious terrorist information."

"Today, because our elites fear politically incorrect honesty, they believe that it is better to harass the innocent, delay the harmless, and risk the lives of every American than to do the obvious, the effective, and the necessary," Gingrich wrote.

Filed under: Eric Holder • Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Stephen G. Stiles

    Gingrich and Cheney are the ones instilling "terror" in Americans. How is it that at times they can be so right and immediately hurt their credibility with idiotic statements such as this? Exactly what "rights" do "terrorists" have and or are given that are more important than the lives of Americans?

    January 5, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. Michael

    Eventually the republican party is going to have to overcome it's current/former crop of leaders. I mean Cheney and Gingrich aren't going anywhere politicly but they just won't go away publicly. They're free to make headlines and most people assume they speak for the republicans. I don't think they trust that the gop can move forward anymore, it's hamstrung by has-beens with no new ideas and wantabes with tiny/crazy constituencies like DeMint.

    January 5, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Rush

    "They start every day with a presumption that the rights of terrorists are more important than the lives of Americans."

    Hey Newt, that statement is just a glittering generality. Do you have ANY facts to back-up this inflamatory rhetoric?

    Than shut up.

    January 5, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Sgt. USMC

    Nothing gives us the right to violate other's human rights.

    January 5, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. d IN o.b.

    You are wrong Newt! Since when are Americans AFRAID to face the terrorist is court. Do you not believe in our system of government any longer? The concerted effort by you and those who support FEAR is getting tired. I am one American who believes in America, it's values and institutions? I believe that we should not continue to listen to those who live in FEAR and instead buck up as the America of old. Strong, steadfast, consistant, FEARLESS, and is now becoming once again THE world leader it used to be. The GOP is the party of FEAR, allows FEAR to guide their political agenda, and believes that their FEAR based decisions are just that , decisions. Decisions made in FEAR are not decisions, just reactions. I am happy to be a part of the party of strength and bravery.

    January 5, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Obama Mama

    This guy....Unbelievable....Put them all on a slow boat to nowhere

    January 5, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Linda

    What exactly is the "obvious, the effective, and the necessary?" I am so tired of the repugs complaining, pointing fingers and obstructing everything this administration does without ever offering anything constructive. Its as if the only things they want are tax breaks for the rich and continued exploitation of oil fields - as if those policies worked for the good of this country. Sometimes, it comes down to a simple time-worn phrase "if you're not part of the solution you are part of the problem". They should all just shut up until they have something worthwhile to offer.

    January 5, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. rainbowgirl

    Last night on the Bill O'Reilly show, Newt Gingrinch tried to say that Obama had released two terrorists from Gitmo, and even Bill O'Reilly corrected him, saying that President Bush was the President who had released them! Need we know more about Newt?

    January 5, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. MarioNYC

    Ol' 'Grich didn't have the same criticism when the Richard "shoe bomber" Reid was tried, successfully convicted and jailed in our criminal justice system, under GW Bush. A curious case of selective memory, perhaps, or an (ir)rational fear of siding with Obama?

    January 5, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. sandy

    Get a grip Newt. You were never more wrong in your life. you've had your 15 minutes of fame and you screwed it up. Go home,read a book,write a book, do something, but keep your mouth shut.

    January 5, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. gl, From Pittsburgh

    It is time the these GOP be charged with Treason. I am so sick of hearing from these red neck racist fools. We are not safe because of the continue attacks coming from the right wing nuts against our President on a daily basic during war time and the GOP like to say we are still at war. If the GOP TALIBANs were really concerned for this country, they would be speaking with our President in private not on Nationial TV about his foreign policies. The right wing nuts are more of a threat to this country than Al-Qade.

    January 5, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Oh, give me a break, Newt! We are a nation of laws – and President Obama understands that you don't just throw the Constitution under the bus to score political points with dunderheads like you.

    Regarding profiling, Timothy McVeigh was a white male American – and before 9/11, he and Terry Nichols committed the most murderous attack on American soil in our nation's history.

    Security screening must be nuanced – and part of the deal involves inconveniencing some innocent people. I can live with that; why can't you, Newt?

    January 5, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. ender


    Why is it the GOP cannot understand that our justice system is set up the way it to protect ALL of us from things like being arrested and detained without warrent or reason? Without lawyer or due process?

    Trying this person in US court is not "giving him the rights of an American". It is bringing a criminal to justice. Pure and simple.

    Why is it the right cannot understand that many of us want JUSTICE? Not a large group of people held indeffinitly in some other nation because the GOP has labeled them Terrorists.

    And lastly.

    Why is it the GOP are avoiding the fact that George W Bush's administration delt with the shoe bomber in -exactly the same way-?

    January 5, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Future expat

    Careful Newt, there's a small, paranoid fringe that actually believes the nonsense you spout.

    January 5, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Keep up the extremist comments, Newt. Your talking points straight from Rush and O"Reilly will keep the Democratics in power.

    January 5, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. nick

    This jerk is a crook, a liar, a cheat, and a blackguard.... why do you soil your network reporting what he says on anything?

    January 5, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Where was all your criticism, Newt, when Bush & Cheney refused to implement the 9/11 Commission security recommendations, citing "inconvenience" and "expense"?

    It's YOUR party, Newt, that has made our country less safe, with its ridiculous military, economic and foreign policy.

    It's YOUR party, Newt, that ignored the warnings about Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda in the lead up to 9/11.

    If YOUR party was less concerned with the almighty Buck and more concerned about the American people – beyond scaring them, lying to them, and in general, using them to vote for you and your failed ideas and policies – our country would be a lot better off.

    January 5, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. sameoldyellowdog

    Dear Newt,
    I realize the terrorists hate us and are at war with us and want to kill us and everything, but what you and your Dick buddy Cheney don't understand is that America is a nation of laws. This is unlike China, Afghanistan, and North Korea. Get it..? If we sacrifice the respect of human rights because we are at war then we become no better than the enemy. The very thing that makes America great is what you and your Dick buddy Cheney don't understand. That is why you and your tea bag buddies are going to be a tiny majority for years and years to come. Sincerely, sameoldyellowdog.

    January 5, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Darren in TX

    FOX News continues to be the Republican Broadcast System. FOX News is like the megaphone held by a crazy old man standing in a park shouting at the rain. It continues to broadcast the messages that are a cancer to this country, making America sicker by the day, dragging America down from the ultimate shining light into a sad shadow of its former self.

    FOX News is doing more damage to America than Islamic Terrorism ever could.

    January 5, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. neocons are the terrorists...

    The repubs clearly hate America. Why else would they attack the constitution the way they do, and why do they have so little faith in our way of life that they think our pillar institutions are so corrupt they'll give a free pass to terrorists? I think they are a bigger threat than the muslim extremists. We've lost more lives following their lead than we have to terrorism itself. Our economy has been nearly destroyed by these people with no apology or acknowledgement of their role in its destruction. I fear the neocons more than I do the terrorists thats for sure.

    January 5, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. single mom

    Despite Secretary Napolitano's assertion that the system 'worked', it didn't. It failed spectacularly. The only reason hundreds, if not thousands, of people were not killed is because passengers acted.
    The FBI came on board to apprehend the man, turned him over to the police who read him his Miranda rights!! GOOD GRIEF!!!
    Don't these people understand the situation? We might not consider ourselves at war with Islamic extremists, but they are most certainly at war with us. They have been for decades. The sooner we face that one unassailable fact, the safer we will be.
    Gingrich was right – this administration puts a terrorist's rights before the safety and security of Americans.

    January 5, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Russ

    What a moron!! I guess you should expect this from someone named after a lizard. And Repbulicans are more concerned about lining their pockets with Pharmacutical and Health Care money than protecting the wellfare of American people. Which is worse? Terrorist don't sound so bad after all. We have our own in Congress. My co-pay on a necessary prescription drug went from $30 to $200 this month. But, hey we don't need to give competition to the big health care companies. They will be fair with costs to the public without a public option.....my ass. Now I will have to go through a Canadian Pharmacy and hope I still get the same quality drugs. Thanks alot you moron obstructionists Repubicants.

    January 5, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. white female

    It is because of BIG MOUTH people like this one (Newt Gingrich) and other losers of the Repub's party, that cause other country to hate us in the USA so much. I wish they would just shut up go away, and let this President do his Job, of which he has been doing a great job.

    I wish him all the good will and knowledge to keep us safe, and keep working around the world for some kind of world peace.

    Keep up the good work President Obama, don't listen to all the naysayers, they are losers and jealous of you and your Admin, because you'll have so much class and understanding, fear not, if they would stop being so mean to others, they wouldn't be so affraid.

    January 5, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. aos

    This kind of political gamesmanship is disgusting. To suggest that our president favors the rights of terrorists over Americans is the same kind of rhetoric that the far right used against thinking people in the McCarthy period. If you are not for us, you are against us. I would take Obama's thoughtful responses over Cheney and Gingrich's bellicose action any day.

    January 5, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. AJ

    Thats the way to keep the right wing wack jobs stirred up Newtie! What a loathsome man...

    January 5, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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