August 17th, 2010
04:27 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich went too far, says Buchanan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, left, is being criticized by conservative stalwart Pat Buchanan."]

(CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's latest comments regarding the controversial Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack are being called "absurd" - from no less a conservative stalwart than Pat Buchanan.

Speaking on MSNBC on Tuesday, the former presidential candidate and conservative commentator said recent comments from Gingrich likening the proposed project to the hanging of a Nazi symbol outside the Holocaust Museum were merely part of the former Speaker's efforts to appear more controversial than Sarah Palin.

"Newt is a political opportunist," Buchanan said. "What Newt is doing is he's trying to get out and be more flamboyant and more charismatic, if you will, and more controversial than Sarah Palin, who is his primary challenger, if he gets into Iowa and New Hampshire. She will take all his oxygen and a lot of his support."

Both Palin, the former vice presidential nominee, and Gingrich are thought to be among the leading Republicans considering a presidential bid next year.

Gingrich's original comments came Monday, when in an apperance on Fox News he targeted President Obama for appearing to support the proposed controversial construction near ground zero.

"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington," Gingrich said, adding, "We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor."

"I think bringing the Nazis into the argument is always absurd in American politics, because there is no valid comparison there," Buchanan said. "And secondly, you know, you bring that in, and that's all we start talking about. So I think Newt went too far with that comment. But I know why he's doing it."

Buchanan is no stranger to controversial statements - he's perhaps best known for his 1992 Republican National Convention speech that, among other things, derided abortion rights and the homosexual rights movement.

Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Pat Buchanan
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    that is why I like Pat Buchanan, at list He is honest. He speak up His mind, He is not running fro office. I am not Republican but Independent!!!
    Thank You Mr.Buchanan!!!

    August 17, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. RR

    To aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob:

    What planet are you dialing in from? You are obviously completely out of touch with what is going on in this country. Maybe you should try to educate yourself because you just sound like a clueless idiot.

    August 17, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Jack

    Why haven't we seen any moderate, articulate Muslims invited to speak on ANY of these talking head shows. It's just a bunch of old, white, presumably Christian, men. There are hundreds of articulate Muslims waiting for the invite to one of these endless discussions on the Islamic Center near Ground Zero. Why haven't Fox, CNN, MSNBC etc etc invited any to weigh in? C'mon guys, you can do better than this.

    August 17, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Vic of New York

    All this would be entertaining – if it wasn't for the fact that the "FOX" wacko's out there actually take this stuff seriously.

    For some mental or genetic deficiency, they can't recognize the difference between the snake oil elixir their leaders are feeding them and reality!

    August 17, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. JV

    They're all political opportunist!! Newt, Pawlenty, and the rest of the crazies on the right wouldn't do, or say, anything different if they were in office than what Obama has said. Why? Because, Constitutionally, there's something called freedom of religion.

    Isn't that what a President suppose to uphold?

    August 17, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. fidogump

    Republican gibberish. There is a mosque two blocks or so further away from the conttroversial site that has been there for many years. I guess that doesn't bother republicans. What is the definition of "too close.?

    August 17, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Blkman this had nothing to do with the fact that he is yet another RACIST conservative white man right? I mean that just doesn't enter into this at all? WTFE.

    August 17, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. haris b.

    Gingrich and Palin.... Now there is a choice for all those who think Obama is no good!!

    August 17, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. aunt Bea and Opie

    The Mayans mave have been on to something.At this rate it could be over soon.

    August 17, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Laurie

    These Repub leaders are doing a great job of scarying off moderate Republicans and Independents...don't they realize how ridiculous they are sounding? Where do they think they are going to get votes once they lose the moderates, the hispanics, the blacks...there are only so many conservative white men around and female grizzlies. The Tea Party and Republicans are eating their own, it is getting interesting to watch that is for sure.

    August 17, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |

    Hey conservatives......I'll see you at the polls in November........the Recovery isn't pretty, but no recovery is........Obama took over the Bush economy last January.....America was bleeding 1million jobs per month.......LOST and gone.....Only a idiot, a real dreamer would think that unemployment would be low, and job loss would be hiring at 500,000 to 1 million per month..........NO! The free market was ravaged by the free market, and bailed out by Americans.........Brighter days lay ahead......Soon all these slash and burn conservatives WILL EAT CROW!!!!! When the recovery is evident and felt by Americans, again the GOP will lose!!!
    See you in November and beyond, suckers!!!!
    Obama 2012, period......:-), hi haters.

    August 17, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. johnRJ08

    Ya' think, Pat? Gingrich equated one of the world's largest religions with Nazism.

    August 17, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. geecee

    Amazing how all the Republicans simply have no credibility politically because they continue to spew their hatred and venom towards just about everyone who isn't white or a teabagging conservative. Who will vote for them if they keep alienating just about everyone? They sure are a divisive bunch of characters. Don't they have anything to say that would bring this nation together for our (and their) own good? Guess Not!! I suppose their strategy is "Divide and Conquer". Don't think it's working too well. Maybe it should just be "Sit Down and Shut UP". They might get further with that strategy.

    August 17, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Scott O' Canada

    When someone suggests changes to the 2nd Amendment (the right to bear arms), the same people who are opposing the location of this mosque (which is an afront to the 14th Amendment) jump up and down and shout bad things. YOUR Constitution protects the right of those who wish to build this mosque. As good, bad or ugly as it may seem. Newt is trying to make the front page. Unfortunately, common sense isn't his strongest suite. Just imagine him as your next POTUS. A scary prospect.

    August 17, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Douglas in NYC

    When Pat Buchanan starts to make sense and sound like a reasonable person, this country is in real trouble.

    As for Newt, he lost all credibility not only when he went after Clinton showing true republican double standards, but also shut down the federal government when he was mad because he had to sit in the back of Air Force One on a return trip from Isreal......Poor poor baby Newt.....unlike the character in Monty Pythons Holy Grail, He didn't get better.

    August 17, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "I am surprised all these anti-God people have not been asking why there are any mosques, synagogues or churches in America in the first place."

    You're confused. People arguing that god has no place in our laws or Constitution are not anti-God...they are for freedom of religion. In order for there to be freedom of religion, religion must be kept out of our government and our government must be kept out of religion. It's a two way street.

    The only people who have been yammering about "why are there any mosques in America in the first place?" are people like Bryan Fischer of the American Families Association (yeah, can you tell where they're going with it just from the name?), who is a prominent social conservative who will be speaking at several prominent conservatives' campaign rallies and the Values Voter Summit, which features myriad high-level GOPers as speakers as well. Just last week Fischer declared that there should be no more mosques in America because they are all potential terrorist recruitment centers that wish to overthrow our government and institute sharia law. He claimed David Paterson wants to institute sharia law. He claimed that Hitler's elite forces were all gay because only homosexuals would be willing to act so brutal...and he has called for legal sanctions against gay/lesbian behavior. Tom Price, Mike Pence and Michele Bachman like to appear in public with him. But you know...CNN just refuses to report any of it because it is too blatant, too crazy, too destructive and to racist, xenophobic and fascist. There's no gray area with the kinds of things he's apologizing for it...and therefore, it cannot be reported because it does too much damage by association to those who listen to him and give credence to his vitriol. That kind of damage must be avoided at all costs lest the media lose the ability to equivaocate and pretend that both sides are equal in every debate.

    August 17, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. don in albuquerque

    Newt is just another step in the GOPs race for the bottom of the barrel.
    Freedom of religion, huh, we even grant it too Satanist, and Wicca. Come on folks, people should be allowed to worship whatever fairy tale they want too.

    August 17, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. rea

    Iagree with you Billy nyc you are so right.

    August 17, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. saftgek

    Our country continues to reward misconduct. Former Speaker Gingrich, driven from Congress in shame, continues to stand in the limelight.

    Why? What is it with people in our country who make folk heroes out of those who've chosen unwisely in life? Mr. Gingrich's ego is almost as huge as Buchanan, Limbaugh, Hannity, ad nauseum. He should be relegated to the Hall of Shame, then cast from the memory banks of everyone.

    God help us all if the uninformed, reactionary, extremist Right Wingers actually create a groundswell for this failed "public servant."

    And, don't even get me started on the Queen of Shantytown, Alaska!

    August 17, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Nurse Lisa

    Well isn't this the pot calling the kettle black!? Pat is nutty, but Newt manages to be both more dumb, more creepy and more reptilian.

    August 17, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |

    First, Newt is right.

    But I see bleeding heart liberals want to give these MOSQUE fools their rights, even if it is in very bad taste.

    OK, llet them build it. I'm all over their rights under the constitution.

    Let it be built, then we can FLY drone PLANES full of fuel and crash right into the Mosque. Sounds good to me.

    August 17, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Lisa P

    It seems to me that Pat Buchanan is condemning Newt Gingrich for his distorted rhetoric alone, not for his distorted facts or his distorted view of the Constitution.

    Nazis do in fact have the right to hang a sign next to the Holocaust Museum if they could convince one of the neighboring property holders to rent them space and they obeyed the relevant laws. Or they could buy a neighboring building. Or they could have a picket if no one would sell or rent space to them, as long as the public order is preserved.

    By the same token, had Newt's fantasy "Victory Mosque," fifteen stories high with minarets, somehow won approval to fill a whole block adjacent to the WTC site itself then really all anyone could do about it would be to express disapproval (because we do have Freedom of Speech as long as no one gets hurt, public order is preserved, etc.)

    The thing is that Newt's fantasy "Victory Mosque" is just that: Newt's fantasy. I suspect his view of Cordoba and Islam in general is also pretty warped - people shouldn't take anything he says as reliable. The man's a proven hypocrite and liar.

    The fact is that all this hot air is being wasted over a medium-sized social, recreation and arts center being proposed by an American Sufi imam who has worked and preached in the neighborhood for years. It's sited mid-block; far from towering over anything the buildings that are currently there will tower over it. The imam hopes to serve his congregation, which includes Senegalese street vendors working downtown, as well as the neighborhood residents. He hopes it will be an ecumenical space, with people of many different religions using the building. Neighborhood leaders, knowing the imam and the need for this sort of facility (or any positive development after the destruction 9/11 caused the area) have embraced this project. So should we.

    Use your Right of Free Speech to protest something that really needs fixing. Rights include responsibilities. Protesting fantasy "outrages" just leaves you with egg on your face.

    August 17, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Blkman

    I'm confused................................why on earth are sooooooooooooo many white males just showing how RED their necks really are and nothing is being said about that in our media outlets? WHY oh please tell me why sooooooooooooooooooo many white people are just plan RACIST and they are the only ones in the media calling everyone else reverse racists......................."reverse racists" right, guess no one is aware of the meaning of the word RACISTS.

    August 17, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |

    Build the mosque, fill it with liberals, and then fly planes into it.

    August 17, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Katherine

    To quote a comment I read recently;

    "That's the right for you. They claim they love Jesus and they love America, and then they defecate on everything they stand for."

    August 17, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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