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. Julia- Idaho Native American

    The ACLU should file a lawsuit against any Federal Agency/Employee/Elective official that participates in the discrimination against the Muslins for building a Mosque on private property. The government may in this instance be establing a Religion, based on the religious beliefs of those that are violating the civil rights of Muslins to build on their property a House of "Worship.

    August 17, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. aunt Bea and Opie

    Newt reminds us of a Skoal luger.

    August 17, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. geecee

    87 comments on here so far and only about 3 appear to favor Republicants. What does that tell you, 3 out-of-touch posters? You have no idea what the American people really think of the Grand Obstructionist Party evidently. And you seriously underestimate our esteem for our President, Barack Obama too! He has accomplished a lot of very postive things in the year and a half he has been President, despite the Party of No trying to stop him at every turn. I really hope he doesn't try to placate the conservative, Repugnants because it will NEVER happen. They hate him much too much. He needs to get on with the business we really care about – fixing Social Security, repealing DADT, ending both Wars, etc. Don't try to appease the whacko right, Obama. Ain't gonna happen!

    August 17, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. informed voter

    To "intune" : your name is an oxymoron based on your out of touch comment. Many progressive, intelligent, educated, and employed people support the hard work being done by our president and those in Congress who have turned this country away from the the ditch that Bush/Cheney had us heading into. The economy has grown 4 quarters in a row. Insurance companies can no longer deny children with illnesses coverage. GM is set to pay back, with interest the money they received. We are drawing down our troops in Iraq. I could go on and on. There is still a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction, and this president has managed to do it all without the help of the Republican party. BTW – No one I know is "firmly latched onto the government payroll teat" so your argument is flimsy and not based in any facts, just talking points!

    August 17, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Julia- Idaho Native American

    The ACLU should file a lawsuit against any Federal Agency/Employee/Elected official that participates in the discrimination against the Muslins for building a Mosque on private property. The government may in this instance be establishing a Religion, based on the religious beliefs of those that are violating the civil rights of Muslins to build on their property a House of "Worship. See 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

    August 17, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. kjetil1979

    wow. Was he really the speaker of the house? wow. Compeare the muslims with the nazis. Compeare a religion with people that made genoside. Does the GOP look at the muslims in US – in the same way as they see nazis? What a shame.

    And this jerk has norwegian forfathers. But that is he proud of. haha. A contry that is runed by socialdemocrats and are the number 1. contry in the world after UN standars. Mostly because the goverment there is the opposite too the extreeme GOP in the US.

    August 17, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Honest American

    Randolph Carter: I see you often on this blog. You obviously never finished kindergarten and have little ambition to educate yourself beyond the status of an amoeba. However, you do humor me with your continual idiotic rants. Have you considered a role on Fox Nudes?

    August 17, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. David3


    CNN...please delete the comment from "DUMocRATS RECORD DEFICITS + TAXES" The comment reads..."Let it be built, then we can FLY drone PLANES full of fuel and crash right into the Mosque. Sounds good to me."

    This message is hate filled and should NOT be tolerated.

    August 17, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Jay

    Gingrich is absurd.

    August 17, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. R Low

    Newt needs to shut his mouth and stop the terrorism of hatred. These people erecting the mosque have not been found guilty of any anti american activity. They own this land. They have approval from the City government. They are not breeding hatred the way this born in America loud mouth moron is. So, now we have the right wing spewing hate against the president when just a few years back, when bush was in office, they blasted anyone who said anything against the president as being anti american. Do they ever have a value or moral that holds more importance to them than just hearing their own voice or getting press coverage?

    August 17, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. John in Florida

    Last time I checked the 1st Amendment stated that "Congress shall make no law..." which, as my reading leads me to believe, means the citizens of New York, through their state and local legislatures, can enact laws that would favor or prohibit certain religious practices. The 1st amendment solely prohibits Congerss. Additionally, the 1st amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and therefore Westboro Baptist and other groups are free to protest outside of the proposed Muslim complex every day and night from here until kingdom come!

    I just wonder if a fundamentalist protestant blew up a Planned Parenthood and 9 years later the Southern Baptist Congress sought to build a worship complex on that site – if the whole debate would be radically different. Your thoughts...

    August 17, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Sue

    Hey I think the Mexicans are pretty much running the Alamo now and a lot of Mexican stores and people live around the Alamo.......isn't that a slap in the face for all the White people that were killed by the Mexicans (maybe the Republicans want to take that over too and clear out all those Mexicans ....... the GOP is using 9/11 as a political tool just like Bush used it to scare the hell out of Americans........

    August 17, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Duck Fallas

    Bush would never say anything that moronic. What we have coming is going to make Bush look like Hillary.

    August 17, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Conservative Democrat

    Do the Republicans really think that they can win back the Presidency if Newt and Ditz are their 2 best candidates? As far as the mosque goes, who gives a crp. This is the typical garbage that politicians like to argue about. No one's life will change one iota if they build the mosque there. Politicians love this stuff because as long as people are arguing about it, they aren't paying attention to the fact that the politicians aren't working on the important issues. Like the economy. Jobs. Immigration. etc. This has nothing to do with Conservative, Liberal, etc. The fact of the matter is, constitutionally, the government can't do anything about this. So how about moving on to the important stuff.

    August 17, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. LJB

    No news here Newt is an idiot. When they attacked us it was to gain control over us. If they had not attacked us this would not be an issue. final...their mission was accomplished:)

    August 17, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Levi Larrington

    This must have been tough for Buchanan as he weighed his hatred of Muslims against his hatred of Jews.

    August 17, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Michael

    The other part of Newt's comment was a rhetorical question asking whether it would then be OK to put a Mosque outside of the Pentegon. Here's the thing, there already is a Mosque INSIDE the Pentegon.

    August 17, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Brady

    "Newt is a political opportunist." Truer words, truer words.

    August 17, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Ed

    This says more about leadership or the lack of it. Both Sarah and Newt are opportunistic individuals who use public opinion to advance their political careers. They should both be trying to talk people down off the tree of hysteria, but instead they keep telling people to climb higher. It is clear that neither of them truly respect the constitution and it appears that they are happy to let the the terrorist criminals who committed murder on 9/11 win. Remember that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindi, etc and even atheist were killed on 9/11. When we accept that the terrorist represent Islam, which they DO NOT, the terrorist win. When we compromise one of the most fundamental ideals of freedom of religion in our constitution because we are scared or even mourn for our lost friends and love ones then we become the mob and the terrorist win again. This should be the message that Sarah, Newt or anybody else who wants to lead this country should put forward. This should be the message of 9/11 or to use a phrase from the past "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself".

    August 17, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Clwyd

    Repulsive republicans record! De-regulate Big Business, economic decline and lost jobs, De-regulate Wall Street economic problems and lost jobs, De-regulate Big Oil the Gulf disaster and lost jobs. Do we need a Newt to make things worse?

    August 17, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. morgino

    Seriously...Pat is the man. He defintely holds some old school values but the guy isn't a political hack like so many conservatives out there, me being on of those conservatives (that's not a hack)

    August 17, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Jim

    To think that Newt or Sara Palin could be president, and they are trying to out do each other shredding the constitution to play to the ignorance of the American people.

    The lesson here should be that no Republican should be elected until someone shows up that understands what the constitution says.

    August 17, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. haris b.

    By building this mosque, it would have been a great gesture to show the world that America is not like its enemies. It is not against one religion or other. But that is too much to stomach for the right-wing nuts and other religious groups (including ADL)! let's not forget that hundreds of American muslims were killed in the 9/11 attacks as well. We are all Americans regardless of our religions. Ask yourself , how many American muslims fought/fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan? Thousands, i bit!

    August 17, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    What's Sarah Palin got to say about this? She's been quite lately.

    August 17, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Steve in Denver

    @DUMocRATS RECORD DEFICITS + TAXES: You are obviously constitutionally challenged. It may or may not be in bad taste, but it is one of our guiding principles that owners of private property can build religious centers wherever they choose. Read the first amendment, fifth amendment. You, despite your belicose rancor, aren't entitled to tell a land owner that he can't practice his faith, whether on ground zero or in the middle of lake michigan.

    That is what our founding fathers ensured when they wrote that document. To advocate anything different is un-American.

    And, your posting name is somewhat misguided. Obama has lowered taxes on everyone making less than $250k. Yes, he is spending now to keep America working. The former occupant traded in a $250 billion surplus handed to him by a Democrat and turned it into a $450 billion deficit in two years, in times of relative prosperity.

    You are a moron.

    August 17, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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