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. pahoosier

    Is a shopping mall honoring those that died on 9/11? How about checking to see what all is next to ground zero? Isn't a statue of General Lee . . . a traitor . . . at Gettysburg a slap in the face of all good Americans?

    Our constitution is clear.

    Please be consistent, Republicans.

    August 17, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Pat

    gingrich only makes absurd comments, because, he, himself is absurd , and so is anyone who pays attention to him or supports him.

    August 17, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Discernment


    In recent months it has become a rare event for a staunch conservative to call-out another conservative, especially when the conservative getting called out is absurd, wrong, or just plain ridiculous and deserves to be admonished.

    We need more honest and frank analysis from GOP conservatives regarding the ugly acts and over politicization by its members.

    August 17, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Harold

    Newt, Palin, etc, etc. What a bunch of idiots.

    August 17, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Thersa

    If the troops' mission is to win hearts and minds, Gingrich and his kind are undermining the troops.

    August 17, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. a little sad

    Bill August 17th, 2010 5:00 pm ET
    "Hey there LaCrosse mom.... What I find distrubing is that you don't know all that is happening in NYC. The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodod Church has been trying to re-build for years since the tower collapse destroyed their church. Your president supports the Mosque but is strangely silent on the church.
    The constituion clearly states that religous freedom is for all .. not just the Islamic faith. So if the Mosque is supported by BO then why not the Church?


    Two totally separate issues. St Nicholas turned down the Port Authority's offer after 8 months of negotiations, and any further delay was preventing the whole World Trade Center rebuild project. The church was holding out for a better deal, and is now crying foul. PA stated that the church was entirely welcome to rebuild in their original location.

    The mosque, since it is NOT on the WTC site, has no conflicts with the Port Authority.

    August 17, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Leeta

    Why should people believe what Newt says when his own ex-wife didn't believe him.

    August 17, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. davec

    I never thought I would say this, but Thank You Pat Buchanan. He is exactly right on Gingrich's need to be seen and heard and talked about. Gingrich's objections, like Palin's, are less rooted in moral indignation than they are in a need to out-posture their competitors for the right wing base. (And I don't think it's all political - Newt seems to be a serious attention junkie.) This all merely confirms Newt as the hypocritical scoundrel that he is.
    In regard to the community center near (not at) Ground Zero: to equate all Muslims with the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 is tantamount to equating all Baptists with the people in Kansas who picket service members funerals. Or equating all Irish Catholics with the IRA holdouts who bomb innocent women and children.

    August 17, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Robin Bray

    Playing the hate card for votes. And of course will say I'm sorry later after he gets the media coverage he wants. Same old tactic that these types have used over and over again.

    August 17, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Mark Jeffery Koch

    When a Holocaust denier and anti semite like Pat Buchanan makes a statement like this it is probably to appeal to his supporters in Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran.

    August 17, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Islamic Republic of Europe

    Move along...nothing to see here...

    August 17, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Scott

    Ok, this was probably said already, but when Buchanan says you have gone to far, you clearly have "jumped the shark." Gingrich's comparison to NAZI's putting up a monument was repulsive, dishonest, false in its comparison, and demagoguing in the extreme.

    August 17, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Mark_C

    Why is anyone listening to Newt?
    Isn't he the guy that divorced his wife on her death bed, to marry another woman? After calling for impeachment of Clinton?

    August 17, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Hannah

    The Republicans win again here because they are setting the tone and subject of discussion and it is not about issues.

    August 17, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Cindy

    from Wikipedia regarding the St. Nicholas Church. Looks like it is being rebuilt.:

    The plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center complex include building a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church quite close to the original location.[1] The church will again house a worshipping congregation. A museum will also be built for the projected large influx of visitors that will come to the site.

    August 17, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Karen

    And Pat Buchanan is???????????????????? controversial and riding along on the lousy Morning Joe show.

    August 17, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Doesn't matter what Newt says or how he tries to reconstruct himself....he's just plain not likeable.

    August 17, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |

    Even if they planned to build the Mosque in Brooklyn, these extreme "Right Wingers" would then say – "Well it's only across the River from Ground Zero!"

    August 17, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Julia- Idaho Native American

    Kinda like the U.S. Calvary buildin' a Fort on the Trail of Tears, or Wound Knee, except these Muslims didn't kill anybody, Time for American to clean up it's own door step then they can work on cleanin' up the world's door step

    August 17, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Buchanan and Gingrich...I can't think of any better cast for a sequel to "Grumpy Old Men."

    August 17, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. kokomo

    Newt needs to go back and crawl under the rock with the other salamanders.........he was a deadbeat way back when and hasn't improved. Give us all a rest from you proselitizing.

    August 17, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. GaryB

    Pat's got his number.

    August 17, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. marie

    I have to say that Pat is wrong!!!! I do not think Newt did mispeak at all. The fact that many in the liberal press needs to get really badly is that Islam as we se around the world needs to be addressed. If we allow Sharia law here what sort of America will be talking about? We may not be at war with Islam, but we are at war with a facet of Islam and Islam as a whole refused to cure its own miligancy so it does not surprise me so many do not want a mosque in Downtown NY. Just look at how life is in England right and understand that is where we are headed if the American government does not set some boundries here. This is not a constitutional issue it is a sovergn issue if you ask me. There is 100 mosques in NYC (too many if you ask me) how can one more cure Isalm as they put it? It won't and we need to really open our eyes as Americans about what we wantn to be tolerate about when it put our national security at risk.

    August 17, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. The unsub

    Obama will win again.

    August 17, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Bill F.

    Shame on you mr president, shame on you!! How dare you support the building of a mosque at ground zero?!! I just reviewed the actual news footage of that fateful and unforgettable day. The "first tower" ablaze with smoke and debris clouding the air, a plane approaches the "second tower" and even though I know the horror that is about to happen, I still gasp at the surreal scene of the plane impacting the "second tower" exploding through in a sickening fireball. All the lives lost and all the devastation of that day will haunt us all for a very long time, if not forever. That hallowed ground should never be enshrined by the building of a mosque and to do so is a slap in the face of us, the American people, and a terrible insult to the families that lost loved ones on that day!! SHAME ON YOU mr president, SHAME ON YOU!!!

    August 17, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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