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. LIB

    Who really listens to this idiot????

    March 17, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. johnRJ08

    Spoken like a true neo-con.

    March 17, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. skarphace

    I wonder how Gingrinch is going to spin his words when the American military gets involved in the NFZ. He and all other Republicans will probably go back to saying what a collossal waste of money our involvement is. Obama did this the right way: got international support, not only from the UN, but also from the AL. Now they will be sharing the burdens of both the military actions and the fiscal responsibility. But to many republicans, Obama is damed if he does and damned if he doesn't. That will not change any time soon.

    March 17, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. gb0423

    "I was Speaker of the House but I was not a Washington insider" anybody really stupid enough to believe the crap that comes out of Newt's mouth?

    March 17, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. David

    With the huge mess the repubs made out of Iraq, Afghanistan, almost losing most of our allies and badly handling incidents like Katrina and overseeing the worst terrorist attack on US soil, they are hardly in a position to even comment on issues related to foreign policy and defence.

    March 17, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. BGS

    I think Newt is talking about himself. President Obama is being bullied by republicans. They would say anything to make him
    look bad. He has undone our bad image to the world. That is what republicans gave us. He changed it to a very positive one and will continue to do so. Remember everything that happened to the stock market because of risky home loans, was in fact done by republicans. He is trying to undo the damage while still helping the middle class and the poor. He has no cronies in Washington or in Bi

    March 17, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. Elizabeth

    Oh for Pete's sake.....fat old has been.....I am so happy we do not have an impulsive cowboy in the White House.....We cannot police the whole world......Libya has been a dictatorship for years...where has Newt been....there are many other dictators....North Korea to name one.....what would Newt have us do......

    March 17, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Roger

    Newt says he's an unusual blend. Indeed he is. A blend of hypocrisy, sleaze, ambition, and gracelessness. Come to think of it, for him and the rest of his right wing ambitious but limited colleagues, he's pretty much a normal blend. I particularly like his excuse of hard work and patriotism to deny (or annul, I suppose) his consistent pattern of adultery.

    March 17, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Newt:

    Please republcs, give this guy the nomination. After he gets the 35 % teahadist party vote, maybe he will get the hint that he's a loser, nothing more (well actually a hipocritical, zenophobic, morally bankrupt, heartless, grifter of a loser, but seriously, nothing more than that).

    March 17, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Oldie in TampaBay

    another GOPer that just loves to hear himself talk .... blah ... blah .. blah.

    March 17, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. Lustful Patriotism

    Newtie talks too much and his hypocritical nature should have him sticking his foot in his mouth. But he knows no shame. Newt Gingrich is a clown that has no chance of being president of a couples therapy group let alone of the US.

    March 17, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. TOMAS

    This man is just another ignorant looking for power for all the wrong reasons there is. A joking contrast! How can he vision himself leading better with little to no respect for the public he's begging for their votes to keep them hidden from truth? Greedy cat!!!

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

    As opposed to you, with your mouth always running,but saying nothing.

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

    If Newt is complaining, that simply means Obama is doing a great job

    March 17, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. lue blacke

    I know people are sick of newt-he will NEVER be president. newt thinks that he is entitled to be president-but that will not be. Go some where & lick your wounds newt-o.k.?

    March 17, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Deborah

    Outsiderdom? Is that word? Trying to paint himself as 'every man' when he has been the most deceptive, underhanded, smarmy and elitist Washington insider is a joke. It may have been a while ago, but many of us won't forget his record in Georgia. The idea that he would be remotely qualitifed to run for the Presidency of the country is laughable...and scary.

    March 17, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  17. Phil74

    So "president Gingrich" would have troublemakers quietly dissapeared, huh? I have no difficulty believing that. Keep talking loudly, swinging your stick around, Newt. Sophomoric tough talk did wonders for McCain's bid too.

    March 17, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  18. ED FL

    What does NEUTERED NEWT have on CNN that he is getting as much space as Pitiful Palin.If we thought that Mccain lost it what is the diagnosis on Newt. Mccain had Palin and Newts new buddy appears to be Santorum. Now that is a foursome that needs attention from the funny farm.

    March 17, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. Johnson

    When has it become the norm for politicians to continuously disrespect the office of the Presidency? President Obama is doing what anyone else would do and more, we forget that starting two wars which we could not afford is like purcasing an expensive sports car only later to find out that you really can't make the payments. Back then there was NO TEA Party or any republican speaking of fiscal responsibility, now somehow the republicans want to find Anything they can on the president even if it is blatant disrespect and dishonesty to WIN the Whitehouse.

    March 17, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  20. Joe, San Diego

    Too much whining about the President- state what you will do in his shoes/solutions not junior high tattletales...

    March 17, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  21. greyhackles

    ""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. "

    Exactly why you're toast, Newt.

    March 17, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. candy23

    Newt you carry nothing but a big mouth you need a rocking chair. You and Palin would distroy this country

    March 17, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. Walken

    Interesting Gingrich. So how exactly would Reagan or Eisenhower fixed the Gadhafi dilemma without using force? "Talk to the CIA" is code for assassination. Good luck future presidential candidate. That's all we need – to go back to the good 'ol imperialism days where we took out one dictator only to replace them with another and set ourselves up for another future war. And since you're criticizing Obama's approach and seem to be considering a run at the presidency, what's your plan for Libya? I'm waiting...

    March 17, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. Reggie from LA

    Caption should read. "Oh, Newt. You are so so smart and witty. Tee Hee". Actually he's arrogant and is currently pandering to donors. Yeah, they all do that, but he can't make his own way. He's buoying himself by trying (as with numerous times before) to discredit the President. Everybody knows that, right? Are you kidding me? Are there those of you out there that don't find his ridiculous, cavalier mannerisms as disingenuous campaign red meat? Oooops. Sorry. Speaking to wrong crowd.

    March 17, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. rusty155

    The Thing Is you Republican all you want to do Is to go to war with every little thing that go wrong In any Foreign Country. America Is Not the World police. President Obama was waiting for the UN backing be for doing any thing. The People of the Middle East hate America now, so President Obama wanted some Middle East Country to back IT to. Newt Gingrich one of these days you may run your big mouth and now what you are taking about. You Republican are cutting the budget and taking thing from the poor and the middle class and nothing from the Rich or Big Business or from the big oil company, so who going to paid for America to help Libyan people. When you Republican keep saying America Is Broke. It seem to me you Republican have two set of standard, One to help the Rich and big oil company and the hell with the poor and middle class of America.

    March 17, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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