Man calls Obama Muslim, Gingrich doesn't correct
March 21st, 2012
06:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Man calls Obama Muslim, Gingrich doesn't correct

Lake Charles, Louisiana (CNN) - During a question and answer session in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Wednesday, a man stood up and said that, among other things, President Obama "is a Muslim."

"I believe that Obama is not stupid," the man began. "I also believe that, number one, Obama is a Muslim."

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The man went on to say he also believes that Obama is a "student of Saul Alinsky," a man known for community organizing and whom Gingrich often calls out for his "radicalism."

The man did not pose a question but wanted a response from the presidential hopeful.

The former Speaker of the House answered the man, but he did not tell the man that Obama is not a Muslim.

"I believe this is a president who prefers power to prosperity and who follows policies that centralize power in the government," Gingrich began. "And if the price of that is that we're poorer and that we have fewer jobs and that we have less energy that's fine with him. It's a price he'll pay."

He added that he "agrees" regarding Alinsky.

"[Obama] is driven by a radicalism to remake America, and he doesn't frankly care what level of pain it causes the rest of us."

CNN later asked Gingrich about the question and the fact that he did not refute the man's premise.

"I believe President Obama is a Christian," Gingrich said. "He says he's a Christian, he went to a Christian church for over 20 years, and I believe him."

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond added that Gingrich "has said several times in the past that he believes President Obama is a Christian."

"We also believe he is an American. We also believe he is a very nice guy."

Pressed by another reporter on the fact that he chose not to say that in front of the audience, Hammond insisted his candidate "has said it in front of audiences multiple times."

This is not the first time a presidential candidate has opted not to correct someone who has incorrectly identified Obama as a Muslim.

Back in January, Rick Santorum was posed a similar statement by a voter in Florida.

Asked why he chose not to correct the woman, Santorum told reporters it was "not his responsibility" as a candidate to correct everyone who make a mistake.

Also see:

Romney can't escape birth control questions in Illinois

Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia

Rubio to headline major South Carolina GOP fundraiser

Filed under: 2012 • Louisiana • Newt Gingrich • President Obama
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. DB

    so be it, he is who hei is.

    March 21, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. Squigman

    A consumate liar, and shameless opportunist. Newt, will always pander regardless of the validity. If he believes it suits his purpose, that's what he goes with. Ask the first few wives.

    March 21, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. Nobodies Pon

    Newt go home why are you even in the race still. You have no shot at the republican nomination.Go home already

    March 21, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. AKsteve

    Someone still calling Obama a Muslim? Only a GOP supporter believes such conspiracy theories. Wasn't Obama suppose to take away everyones guns by now. Oh , and that's right – he is going to have a war on Christians. Oh and he really wants gas prices to go up to we have to use alternative energy.

    It's a good thing we have such stupid people out there or no one would vote for the GOP.

    March 21, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. ted

    Gingrich is a moron. Sure he has different politics than Obama, but why can't he be a man and a gentleman and reiterate that Obama is a Christian. Why did he not refute? Newt is a moron.

    March 21, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  6. Jane

    He didn't correct the man in front of an audience because he didn't want to lose any votes. He knows he can say nice things about the President after the fact to the media because they're not target voters. Mr. Gingrich is totally devoid of anything resembling courage, integrity, honor, or just plain old human decency....

    March 21, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Gingrich shows how irresponsible he is because he didn't correct that supporter. Hasn't Gingrich acknowledged that Obama is a Christian? If he hasn't, then he might as well be a "birther" and challenge Obama's right to call himself a citizen. I would have hoped that this issue had gone away. This just shows that he is not with the rest of the country.

    March 21, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. Wake up people

    Newt didn't correct the man?? Oh the outrage! Newt must apologize to the President. He didn't correct him because that's exactly what he thinks. Idiots, most of the Muslims that I know, don't like or support the President. But that's the rethugs, born liars.

    March 21, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  9. Emerson

    "[Obama] is driven by a radicalism to remake America, and he doesn't frankly care what level of pain it causes the rest of us."

    As compared to being driven by ego and mass delusions. Say goodbye, Newt.

    March 21, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. Logic N LA

    In 2009 we were told that we needed to strengthen the country by saving more and living within our means. We have done this. This automatically meant fewer jobs for quite awhile since deman was down for goods.. We asked for smaller government, yet with 600.000 jobs cut from the government payroll since 2009, we complain the government isn't doing enough to fight the deficit and create jobs.
    It makes me laugh at Republicans that say Obama has not done his job. The people they should blame is corpporate America for sitting on money that could go into developement and jobs instead of stockholders pockets.

    March 21, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  11. Niko_in_Richmond

    Newt Gingrich is desperate, so what do you expect. Correcting the man would have only upset him, and he probably wouldn't vote for Gingrich. Since he knows that this man's vote may be one of the few remaining votes he will get, why would he say anything, even if it would be the right thing to do??

    March 21, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  12. Strategic Bob

    why would Gingrich correct an obvious lie told by someone else? he never corrects any of the numerous lies he tells...

    March 22, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. stevetall

    None of this is surprising. Gingrich is a pathetic excuse for an American, a Christian, and a human being. Why would he somehow be a serious candidate for anything with credentials like that?

    March 22, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  14. jake

    Really? A muslim? These idiots are still at this? You know it suprises me not that this is still on the minds(loosely said) of republicans. They have nothing left to honestly complain about. The economy is getting better, the dow is back up to almost record levels, auto industry is thriving, people are positive again about the nation and it's direction. President Obama was handed a country decimated by the ultimate failure of bush. He's worked very hard to right the many many many wrongs bush had done to this once proud and great nation. Going back to the destructive track record of the republicans (just take a look at the house for example) would devastate this country and crash it into another recession that would take us decades to recover from. No No No, the republicans had 8 years and look what they did. It's Obama's time for anothe term. Let him be the great President he is and let him fix this mess that was left for us by the republicans.

    March 22, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  15. aaron

    The redheaded she the latest mistress of the Christian but doesn't act like a Christian Newtie Mac?

    March 22, 2012 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  16. Alameda, Ca

    Gingrich didn't want to correct the guy (idiot) because he doesn't do/say what is correct. He says what people want to hear. And many people are smarted than Gingrich thinks. That is why he got such low GOP support. Obama/Biden 2012

    March 22, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  17. Marry

    One can and should discuss different policies! But how the GOP and their candidates behave is without class, integrity, or standing on their own accomplishments. No surprise because the GOP has not shown any class, integrity or positive achievements for years! Vote the bums out!

    March 22, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  18. Matt

    Don't sign a contract then you can say pretty much what you want, pretty much. None of this is a surprise to me, the Australian Defense White Paper 2008 military build up, declining America. Be prepared to go it alone because after 8 years you do not know what condition America will be in. As it stands with maintaining increased commitments to contain a nuclear Iran, downsizing the military there are not going to be enough assets to deploy in the Asia Pacific. Forewarned is for armed. After all that is why both Russia and the PRC support Iran it diverts US assets and spreads the US thin.

    March 22, 2012 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  19. a little sad

    Gingrich can't be expected to show the class that McCain did – he just doesn't have it.

    March 22, 2012 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  20. GaryB

    I bekieve that Newt Gingrich couldn't tell the truth for 30 seconds straight if his life depended on it.

    March 22, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  21. Josaphat Daniels

    What did you expect from gingrinch that he will do the right thing, if you thought santorum was ignorant in not correcting that
    woman and didn't think gingrinch would do the same you were wrong. Right now gingrinch is remaining in the race because
    of his ego and because of his anger and fury that nobody wants him, he is still in the race to ruin it for romney or santorum.
    This fool thinks that america will vote for someone that has an "if I can't have the nomination no one else will' mentality now he is trying to use voters hatred of the president to win. How disgusting.

    March 22, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  22. Marie MD

    Poor newterman, still trying.
    I also believe that I could care less what our President's religion is just as long as he doesn't want to shove it down my throat because it's his religion and century old beliefs.
    You are a coward. At least mcnasty stood up for what he knew was right!

    March 22, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  23. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The GOBP has for years benefited from fanning the flames of fear, hate and ignorance with lies and propaganda. This year the chickens come home to roost.

    March 22, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
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