Gingrich: Obama 'talks loudly, has no stick'
March 17th, 2011
06:26 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich: Obama 'talks loudly, has no stick'

(CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich launched another zinger at President Obama on Thursday by channeling President Theodore Roosevelt who famously said "Walk softly and carry a big stick."

Of the president, Gingrich said "Theodore Roosevelt said you have to walk softly and carry a big stick. This is a guy who talks loudly and has no stick."

He was referencing Obama's action, or perceived lack thereof, regarding Libya, during an interview with local affiliate WMUR that followed the possible presidential candidate's appearance at an event in New Hampshire.

Gingrich also made other presidential comparisons to Obama, saying, "You can't imagine a bigger gap in effectiveness between President Obama and Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan."

"President Obama said on March 3, 'Gadhafi has to go. If the leader of the most powerful country in the world says that, then he'd better figure out a way to make it happen."

But claiming that Obama, lacked a plan, Gingrich said, "I think Eisenhower and Reagan would have said you know this is a very serious situation, and then they would have said to the CIA, Gadhafi needs to get out of there and it would have happened quietly, it would not have used military force. It would not have used American troops but somehow he would have left."

When asked about his personal life – particularly his two divorces, Gingrich responded that "total scrutiny" of presidential candidates should be expected, but he should be judged on the totality of his life, a similar response to previous appearances he's made.

"I think people have to look at the totality of my life. On balance is this a person that you think has learned enough and done enough and who understands the mistakes of the past and you can trust him and I think people are going to have to render judgment and they should," he said.

And he admitted to facing his own mistakes, stating, "Whatever I've done in the past that was wrong I have both repented and sought forgiveness and reconciliation with God. And I think people have to decide am I now a person who has learned from all that they can trust."

But when asked about whether he can be seen as an establishment candidate if he decides to run, Gingrich claimed the opposite.

"On the one hand I actually know how Washington works," he began. He then backtracked, saying "I was never a Washington insider in the traditional senseā€¦ I do think in that sense I'm probably an unusual blend of experience and outsiderdom simultaneously."

The potential GOP contender said he plans to make a decision in 4-5 weeks and acknowledged that he'll be returning to the first-in-primary state at the end of the month.

Filed under: New Hampshire • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. jersvette

    I think it is clear here that Newt is projecting his own inadequacies. Wouldn't it be shocking if Newt actually had something of value to say instead of using misdirection in solely attacking his opponent. I know that is asking too much which is why I said wouldn't it be shocking!

    March 17, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. Lenmsith

    Must be in need of money. He is not stupid, just outlived his usefulness.

    March 17, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. Jake

    Gingrich is a fool!

    March 17, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Voice of Reason

    Talk about talking loudly and having nothing to back it up – I give you Mr. Gingrich, the Chief mouthpiece for hypocrisy in America today!

    Is this the same guy who was self-righteously condemning the last democratic president over his affair with an intern – While at THE EXACT SAME TIME having an affair with a congressonal staffer!?!?! That he had the gall to say anything at all at the time is ballsy to say the least. That he tosses criticism today at a president whose moral standing is impeccable – is unbelievable.

    I'll tell you why he's doing it. The GOP has a plan – and it is to send a legion of 2nd-rate also-ran politicians who dont stand a chance in 2012 (Newt, Bachmann, Santorum, Pawlenty, Palin, etc), and have THEM conduct all their character assasinations. Let THEM say all the idiot things that their 'squeaky clean' candidates (Romney, Huck, Huntsman, Etc) cant say in front of a camera. These guys are nothing more than hatchet-men. The 'brute-squad' of the GOP. It used to be Limbaugh, Beck and O'Relly, but they dont get the attention because they arent running for anything.

    All smoke and mirrors, like a vote to de-fund NPR. Like a vote to rollback healthcare. Like posturing over Libya. C'mon GOP whaddya think we're stupid or something?

    March 17, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    it must be great to be able to attack the POTUS when you know he can't answer nor defend himself on it. Heck Sarah Palin does it all the time. Just wait though until one of these jokers come up from the GOP rumble pile to be the nominee...then it's going to be open season on people like Newt. Of course his GOP competitors will get the first shots at him and let see if he can take what he loves to dish out from his own bretheren.

    March 17, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. Erica

    Gingrich? You are the lowest of the low. If you think for one second you would be presidential material, you are delusional.

    March 17, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Voice of Reason

    This is the GOP's daily dose of "Say-something-outrageous-or-stupid-so-I-can-stay-in-the-spotlight". Whose turn is it next? (havent heard from Palin in a while – my official prediction is that she says something about the President being in league with extraterrestrials....)

    March 17, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. Lori

    May I call you Newt, Newt? Actually you are a chameleon – changing colors when convenient. And like all slithery little things you leave a trail of slime. It is so convenient for you to tell us to trust you because you have made peace with your past. We should all be fearful of someone like you whose ego and pompous self image are matched only by your lack of character.

    March 17, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    this is funny because a lot of the people in this picture, especially the two sitting to his left, our right, look EXACTLY like the kind of people I thought would support Newt Gingrich would look like. CLUELESS!!

    March 17, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. The Big J

    How much longer do we have to put up with this loud mouth?

    March 17, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. Bill

    Newt can squeal all he wants; this little piggie has no chance at the White House.

    March 17, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. Ryan NC

    Yawn.... So going back to' the job thingey...

    March 17, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  13. William

    The only "big" things about Newt Gingrich are his ego and his inability to recognize his major mistakes in his life ...... ethics violations, his womanizing, and his lack of empathy for his cancer striken last wife. He is one of those people that you would like to buy at "market price" and sell him for what he thinks that he is worth.

    March 17, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. marty

    Newt takes top honor as someone who talks a lot without saying anything.

    March 17, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. jim2max

    Come on Newt, your are going to have to do better. What are your ideas?

    March 17, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
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