Gingrich: Obama 'talks loudly, has no stick'
March 17th, 2011
06:26 PM ET
11 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 sense… 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. steven harnack

    And for the totality of his life he has been a hypocritical sleeze. He had better be careful what he wishes for.

    March 17, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Martin

    Gingrich: "Talks loudly." Period.

    March 17, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. carrotroot

    Building up a multilateral support under the legitimacy of the UN for a No Fly Zone is a better approach than to jump in with guns a blazing with no plan like Bush did leading up to the Iraq war.

    March 17, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. G D

    And Newt talks loudly and has.... oh yeah, nothing left to offer.

    March 17, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Sean the thinker

    Gingrich asserts that Obama lacks an effective plan of action unlike Reagan and Eisenhower who, according to Gingrich would have utilized the CIA.

    If what he states is true about Reagan and Eisenhower, then the American public would probably be unaware of such a secretive plan. Yet Gingrich assumes that Obama has no such plan, a plan that he would'nt be privy to in the first place.

    This is why the Republicans are so uneffective. They continue to mislead the American people with false and unproven assertions.

    March 17, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. normajean

    This man is the last person in the country who should be commenting on the president. Gingrich has a lousy reputation, thinks nothing of shading the truth or out right lying. This is not a person that we want runniing this country brcause he is not to be trusted. He is a grandstander blowing his own horn and as a Repub, is only interested in what's in it for him!!!!Wake up people.Do a little reading and learn just what is going on dangerously around you.Times awastin'

    March 17, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. sara

    Hehe....this circus clown. He must be talking going to War with Libya

    March 17, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. TheTraveler

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

    The people that I see with the biggest mouths and no substance are people like Gingrich. He's never had to contend with the kind of issues that President Obama has to manage. He's just like the rest of the GOP naysayers ... Nag, nag, nag ... no solutions, no worthwhile insights and no balls ...

    Go away Newt and work on your personal life.

    March 17, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. modmike

    Newt you are a smarty guy, but It would be nice if they would come up with some ideas instead of constant criticism.

    March 17, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Chris

    Attack – criticize – complain – point fingers. That's all Republicans are doing. They ran their election campaing on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – but ever since they gained the majority all they have done is jump head first into the culture wars again. And the rare time they try to put forth a solution it consists of basically turn everything back to the way it was during the Bush years and expecting that – somehow – it will all work out completely different this time.

    March 17, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I would never have thought that Sarah Palin is twice the man that Newt is.

    March 17, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Oily Bob

    President Obama has handled this prefectlly. The GOP would have critized him either way. We need to stay out of it. Someone else needs to step up and police a no fly zone. Which will create another war who ever gets involved will be trying to get out of ten years from now.

    March 17, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. maf

    Is "outsiderdom" even a word?? Oh Newt, please run! You will be run out of the GOP mine field quickly! Can't wait.
    Must be embarrassing to be Republican these days.
    Boehner, where are the jobs????

    March 17, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Ptown

    blah, blah, blah!! keep talking newt.. No ones listening....

    March 17, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. roro

    Does this jackhole mean that Obama should have had Kaddhafi assassinated? Is this the big stick? America now goes around killing world leaders? And we're supposed to believe he's an unusual blend of experience and outsiderdom? Is that even a word? What a crock!!! This creep is creeping back into Washington after being tossed away after his horrendous personal and professional misdeeds. Now we're supposed to forgive and forget his disgusting behavior because he's repented and sought forgiveness from God? If he really repented he would stop spreading lies and falsehoods about his opponents, go home, and volunteer his services to God's poor and forgotten people.

    March 17, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. kayla

    newt, how do you sleep at night? it seems that president obama is in your head am so sorry for you and the rest of the idiots trying to unseat him. cause it won't happen, dream on

    March 17, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    He doesn't even do that.

    March 17, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. sean

    1. The Phrase is "speak softly and carry a big stick"

    2. IKE and Teddy are too liberal for the republican party these days and if we're gonna cite them as examples to follow IKE was the one who cautioned on the over use of military spending, seeing it as something that could cripple the economy

    Teddy was inclined to let the Japenese take over Korea at one point so him interfearing is questionable

    Newt should actually look up the quote before he uses it next time

    March 17, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. lynn

    Look over your shoulder Newt, see Palin standing in the corner with the dunce cap on, go join her. The GOP has many more just like you, so many idiots, so little time.

    March 17, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    So is this bozo going to retract his incredibly stupid words now that President Obama has agreed to imposing a no-fly zone in Libya? Probably not, as the vast majority of the Republicants only know how to criticize anyone who is not on their side. No one except someone who has been president of the U.S. can possibly know how difficult a job it is, and all the factors that have to be weighed before any major policy decision can be made. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback, but much harder to actually run with that ball. I'm not saying that Pres. Obama is perfect, but he got my vote in 2008 and will have it again in 2012. It's wonderful to finally have an intelligent president who makes reasoned, careful decisions.

    March 17, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. roro

    Where are the jobs? Instead of working on getting Americans back to work, the Republicans are having EMERGENCY meetings to defund NPR – the only place to get completely unbiased news. I guess they only want Fox News to spread their lies and misinformation. Where are their priorities? WHERE ARE THE JOBS YOU PROMISED?

    March 17, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. Veteran

    Newt still trying to get the christian zealots who will fall for his cool aid drinking Rhetoric , its the majority of American, New't who still think he is a hypocrital low life.

    March 17, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. JoY

    Newt you are becoming a nuisance now. Where is your moral stick, you have no shame . Stay home pick your toes and nails and murmur at your slimy bahaviour . Cho, tired of your silly rattling

    March 17, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. one voice

    What does this CLOWN want us to do, BOMB and INVADE more Countries with COWBOY DIPLOMACY. BTW SIR, where should we get the money-from the middle class and the poor?

    March 17, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. valwayne

    Unfortunately, former Speaker Gingrich is correct. Obama's latest wierd pronouncement that Gadaffi had to go clearly had no teeth. Obama was just making a gratuitist statement for political advantage when it looked like Gadaffi was on his way out. Obama's foreign policy of bows, apology, and appeasement has already done terrible damage in the world. Our adversaries are moving faster and faster to take advantage, and our allies are dismayed, fearful, and in case of Israel and Britain angry and mistrustful! Obama's statement just furthers the view that he is weak and clueless!

    March 17, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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