Gingrich: Obama to 'extort contributions'
April 4th, 2011
05:01 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich: Obama to 'extort contributions'

(CNN) - Likely 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich reacted to President Obama's reelection announcement Monday, accusing him of trying to "extort contributions" from supporters.

"Here's a president who 18 months before the election is going to use his office to extort contributions on a scale we've never seen before," Gingrich said in New Hampshire where he addressed the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester. "He's in effect trying to create a Chicago style machine for the whole country with a billion dollars."

President Obama launched his official reelection bid with a video Monday using the slogan "It begins with us" and sources told CNN Obama's campaign team hopes their bundlers will raise $500 million, leaving the campaign to raise another $500 million to amass a $1 billion war chest.

"It's not about us, it's about the money and it's about the president's ability to coerce and run over the American people by building a machine so big nobody can challenge him," Gingrich said.

But the former Republican House Speaker said Obama can still be beat.

"I don't believe he can raise enough money to hide from the American people," Gingrich said. "I believe in the end there will be a debate, in the end it will be clear in October of next year how big the difference is and I think frankly he'll be a one-term president."

- CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • President Obama
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Alan

    Extortion? That's rich, coming from a man who once led our country to a government shutdown.

    April 4, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Just Vote

    If you love this Country, are middle class and want any chance to suceed; vote Obama 2012. It's a war on the middle class and the fake-pubs in State and Federal are the generals.

    April 4, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. peace

    I just sent 5 hundred to president obama. and newt I sent you zero.

    April 4, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. JLR

    This man is pathetic.

    April 4, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  5. Corey

    What a crock. This coming from a man who days before we intervened in Libya said that he would impose a no fly zone "tonight" then after our president implemented a no fly zone said that we should not have intervened. And just for the record Bush Jr. announced his reelection bid 17 months before the election. So answer me this. How is one month difference supposed to "extort contributions on a scale we have never seen before"? If you are on the right I can understand having a difference of opinion on policy but can't any of you see the hypocrisy of Gingrich?

    April 4, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Please go away

    Wow, Newt must be right, I got the email from President Obama this morning and within 20 minutes, I made my first donation.

    April 4, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. Ken

    So what are all the other potential candidates doing? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

    April 4, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Johnny Chrome

    Now we see the real reason that none of the GOP hopefuls (hopeless?) haven't announce their candidacy. Wait for the enemy to make a move, then chastise him for that.

    However, this means we can call all political contribution requests "extortion," right? So as soon as one of them decides to nut up to the challenge, we can start saying "extortion through fear." Nice.

    April 4, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. RG

    And the little angel Republicans won't be raising a penny. It's always about the money, either party, let's see how much corporations contribute to both parties, just to cover all bets. Vote Independent!

    April 4, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Roy

    Easy, Newt. Obama is not Al Capone. You Repubs once again resort to fear-mongering rhetoric and innuendo, e.g. "exort." I bet you're really intimidated by a black man who is our President, no?

    April 4, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Harry in Sacramento

    Guess what? I made my donation before I read this statement from Newt. I am stll longing to hear a rational republican speak. I believe they exist, are very few in number, and feel guilty about their party pandering to the extreme right wing. Does Mr. Gingrich still believe that the topic of Intelligent Design has no place in a science class?

    April 4, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. w l jones

    We have a problem here! Do I use my own money to travel around the country ! are do I uses campaign monies? It appears the story of chicken and egg which never end with the Republican.

    April 4, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. newtisstupid

    Hey Newt – Exactly how does Pres. Obama's announcing his candidacy and raising money, amount to "Extortion?" Do you even know the definition of the word? Extortion is a crime, you know – so you are accusing the President of the United States with a crime. Do tell us how his actions are in any way criminal! We'd love to know!

    Maybe you should stop throwing around words that you don't know the meaning of.

    April 4, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. Lynne

    The difference is that Obama's money will come from the PEOPLE where as the GOP candidate's money will come from corporations and that scares the living day lights out of them...."the people involved in politics???? well I never!"

    April 4, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  15. Dee

    Newt is unbelievable how can he complain about the President and fundraising did he forget how the GOP raised funds in the last election and who supported the Governor of Wisconsin.

    April 4, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  16. GonzoinHouston

    Am I the only one who remembers the brutal pressure to raise money that then-Speaker Gingrich put on GOP congressman? He literally auctioned off committee chair positions to the biggest fundraiser. He was also fined $300,000 by the ethics committee for fundraising improprieties. (Bob Dole loaned him the money until he got out of the house and cashed in). Obama is going to raise a huge campaign war chest and the republicans are already running scared.

    Like 4/door said, "2012 can't get here fast enough"!

    April 4, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Bill

    Ok, Newt. Get over it, he will outraise all the GOP clowns.

    April 4, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. TEE

    What a miserable little man, whats worse is that his supporters are the most ignorant, misinformed citizens in this country....yes ignorant, your going to vote a person/ or party that is going against your best interest..The middle class, the elderly, and those in real need are going to vote for someone that is going to vote to take away your financial safety net, and give a tax break to the rich...Maybe ignorant is not the right word, insane may be better..

    April 4, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. kelsey's grammar

    That settles it. Thanks to Newt's words, I'm upping my contribution to Obama' s re-election campaign.

    April 4, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Lew

    hahaha...and this from the man who facing another rebellion in the Republican caucus, he announced on November 6, 1998 that he would not only stand down as Speaker, but would leave the House as well. He had been handily reelected to an 11th term in that election, but declined to take his seat. This from the man who didn't have the BALLS to FINISH what he had started...right!!! and NOW he's thinking about running for the presidency??? Hmmm...I wonder do the gop'ers have ANYONE who HASN'T QUIT! when things got tough???

    April 4, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. GI Joe


    All the republicans want to do is deny us jobs by sending them overseas, then cutting taxes more for the wealthy.

    April 4, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Oregon Calling

    Yeah, like these folks aren't. Fear anyone?!?!

    Peace 🙂

    April 4, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. johnny b obrien

    I can't believe he will spend one billion dollars. that means that the 60 % of Americans that can't stand him will turn off their tv's. This guy is so overexposed, Americans are tired of him, his racist, bigoted attitude, his arrogants, he could have 10 billion and it would make no difference, Those outlets who take his cash for media buys risk people turning the channel everytime this scum bag airs a commercial. I got a question, how does he pay personal income tax with a bogus ss#? I still believe Hillary will step in when gas hits 5 dollars per gallon and hyper inflation consumes us.

    April 4, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Gingrich knows illegal acts better than anyone. He committed many underhanded deals while he was speaker of the house, yet was never censured, only because his party was in power. He did finally resign in disgrace and now feels he is qualified to apply his shady affairs to the Presidency of the United States. What a schmuck!

    April 4, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. Matt

    I hope Newt gets the GOP nomination. Obama will win by another landslide. Newt will not win any votes by accusing Obama supporters of being brainwashed. We know what we're doing. They have no solutions for ANY problem, as is apparent by their voting record.

    April 4, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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