Gingrich: French video a laughing matter
January 13th, 2012
09:48 PM ET
8 years ago

Gingrich: French video a laughing matter

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich defended on Friday a now-viral campaign ad mocking GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney over his French language skills.

"Nothing is wrong with it. Let me quote Herman Cain: Sometimes it's good to have a sense of humor," the former House speaker said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

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Cain, who ended his presidential bid in December, frequently said America needed to lighten up after he was pressed over controversial comments and web videos put out by his campaign.

The Gingrich video at issue surfaced online Thursday and shows footage of Romney speaking French, a language he learned while living in France as a Mormon missionary during his college years.

The video, titled "The French Connection," also poked fun at another Massachusetts politician and former White House hopeful, Democratic Sen. John Kerry, for his use of the language. Republicans targeted Kerry in his presidential campaign for being "too French" at a time with notable anti-French sentiment.

Since its release Thursday, the video has made waves and collected more than 1,200 "dislikes" on YouTube, compared to only 233 "likes" as of Friday night.

But Gingrich, who has a PhD in European history, said Thursday the video was all in good fun.

"That particular ad has gone viral, because it's funny. It wasn't anti-French. We happen to have a clip of Kerry speaking French,” Gingrich said, adding that he was simply trying to show that Massachusetts politicians tend to be "similar."

"Don't over-think it," he said. "This was supposed to be like 'The Tonight Show,' not some PBS documentary."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    newter leroy since you are in Florida. Do the Cubans down there know that you called their language (and that of so many other countries) ghetto language?
    While I agree that if you live in the US you should learn the language I don't think Hispanics would be too happy with you about calling their language ghetto language.

    January 13, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Jason

    Is he serious?? Attacking a guy for speaking a foreign language? What's next attacking Ron Paul for having math skills.
    This guy is losing it fast. Newt buddy wake up don't let your grand kids run your campaign hire a professional.

    January 13, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  3. Kbutler

    All I can say is do you see it now. OBAMA 2012!!!

    January 13, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. DENNA

    "Nothing is wrong with it. Let me quote Herman Cain: Sometimes it's good to have a sense of humor," the former House speaker said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
    Yes Newt, it is good to have a sense of humor. What you are lacking is common sense. Please, please stop running for president. Most of us can' stand you and you will NEVER be president.

    January 13, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. westward

    Personally, I can overlook Mitt's years living the socialist lifestyle in Europe during his formative years. Personally, I can overlook his socialist past as governor of Massachusetts. But what I can't get over is his lying about not only his past, but his recent future. He cannot tell the truth. I don't trust him as far as I can throw him.

    January 13, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  6. alkarrk

    C'est absurde. Pardon my French.

    January 13, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. Conrack

    This is a very seriously flawed individual.

    January 13, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. JT

    Didn't Gingrich learn French when he lived over there? What a complete waste of time, the add and Gingrich.

    January 13, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  9. c s saenz

    Newt is slamming Romney only to try to recover himself from the hole he has in the past dug for himself, in which he is now drowning and can't even tread water.

    January 13, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  10. Kevin Lanigan

    I'm sure the french think it's hysterical.

    January 13, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  11. Dan J

    Either Newt Gingrich easily has the weirdest sense of humor on the planet, or he is lying through his teeth. That ad was not intended to be funny, and Gingrich broke his biggest campaign promise.

    January 13, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. Fire0bama

    When Gov. Romney speaks French, it actually sounded very nice. This video will not hurt Gov. Romney at all. Speaker Gingrich is having fun with teasing Gov. Romney these days. 🙂 I am sure that once the primary is over, these two great Republicans will support each other to beat 0bama!

    January 13, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. GH

    If saying something stupid can be easily dismissed as a "joke, the GOP must be a comedy troupe.

    January 13, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  14. Hewisheshecoulreadmeinkampfintheoriginallanguage

    What he's really frustrated about is not being able to read Mein Kampf in the original language, his German teachers knew this, so they persuaded him to study French instead, so he studied French and was a failure at that, too. As a result, he feels completely outclassed by foreigners, so he compensates by making a lot of threats about what he would to foreign countries he doesn't like with American military power.

    January 14, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  15. Nevis Mn

    Newt is just angry because nobody can understand his gibberish, (probably Latin).

    January 14, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. Shelby

    Nice photo of you newt with your fat tummy holding your tie out in the air. Our country does not want a fat old man with rabid tendencies as president.

    January 14, 2012 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  17. Maikeru Ronin

    "Don't over-think it." That should be Newt Gingrich's campaign slogan.

    January 14, 2012 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  18. kenny

    I am not a Romney supporter by a long shot, however, to be critical of him because he can speak a second language is about as dumb as one can get. While we as a nation should be encouraging our young people to get as much education as they can and to do things like learnig foreign laungueges, no fool, especially some ignorant fool that considers himself a historian should be making fun of another that has learned a second language.

    January 14, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  19. Jeff

    If Gingrich were to become president (his chances are slim and none) and he proceeded to transform the United States into a third-world country would he they say, "Nothing is wrong with it. Let me quote Herman Cain: Sometimes it's good to have a sense of humor," ?

    January 14, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  20. Mike

    Newt Gingrich's recent actions coupled with his actions as house speaker truly show his vindictive, back stabbing and self serving ways.
    Where is my GOP? Why are we letting another "rich angry whiteman" bash another Conservative over the free market values we hold dear?
    this is proof Newt IS ONLY for Newt.
    This whole thing disgusts me.....he is giving nothing but fodder for Obama and the DNC..

    DROP OUT NEWT WE DONT WANT YOU!! you preach conservative family values yet your on your third wife and you have admitted infidelity.

    January 14, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  21. Mary Angeline

    Amazing how this fat adulterer thinks he can say anything he wants, but gets outraged when questioned about his past political and personal behaviors. Maybe it's because I am a Northeast Independent voter, but I truly can't imagine who would actually cast a vote for this guy for President. Guess this is why I live here instead of SC, AL, GA, MS, or TX. Here in MA we may vote for Republicans, but we don't vote for the absurd, ridiculous and slimey ones. Gingrich is so slimey my skin crawls just thinking of him.

    January 14, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. vic , nashville ,tn

    That was good commercials simple Mitt Romney is liberal

    January 14, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. jean sebastien marineau

    Again Americans look stupid abroad. I am Canadian and FRENCH speaking Mr Gingrich. I know for sure why you wont be the next Republican candidate for the White House... No tolerance, no acceptance of diversity. When you will understand that you are not alone in that world USA will be a great nation again. People like you make that country look so bad. I speak english, german, and French and I am proud of it.

    January 14, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |