Gingrich: 'Yes we can' is now 'Why we couldn't'
June 15th, 2012
03:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich: 'Yes we can' is now 'Why we couldn't'

Washington (CNN) - Newt Gingrich resurfaced one of his most controversial lines from the Republican primary season, saying on Friday it was a matter of "patriotic duty" to defeat President Barack Obama in November.

"Barack Obama and the values he represents and the amateurish incompetence he has proven are a direct threat to the survival to America as we know it, and defeating him is a national, patriotic duty," Gingrich said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C.

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In February, Gingrich made headlines after describing the president as a national security risk, hitting him on foreign policy and accusing him of pandering to Islamic countries.

Gingrich, who ended his presidential bid in early May, has since endorsed presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney but largely trains his fire on Obama, rather than boosting the candidate he now supports.

"People ask me the difference between Romney and Obama in terms of the future. I said if you think of the nightmare of an Obama second term, Romney's first term could be a dream by comparison," Gingrich said.

While the former House speaker has appeared at private fund-raising events with Romney, he has yet to join his former foe in a public appearance.

The two candidates, along with super PACs supporting their bids, engaged in aggressive attack strategies earlier this year during the first few nominating contests, creating a multi-million dollar showdown that Gingrich credits for his decline in the polls.

Still showing some resistance to a full-throated embrace of Romney and his platform, Gingrich, who painted himself as the conservative alternative to the former Massachusetts governor, emphasized on Thursday the need to "work with"–but not surrender to–Romney and the Republican Party.

Gingrich said he envisions a country in which the American public is "working with Gov. Romney, working with a Republican House–not abdicating to them–(but) working with them."

However, the former speaker reserved most his criticism for the president, arguing Obama has failed to deliver on his campaign promises.

"You know, he campaigned in 2008 on the slogan, 'Yes We Can.' He's running this fall on the slogan 'Why We Couldn't'."

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Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • President Obama • Washington D.C.
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    I challenge someone to name an Obama administration policy decsion and action that was intended to create jobs.

    You can't. Republicans blocked nearly everything except for tax cuts, and even then tried to block cuts for the middle class and working families.

    June 15, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. rs

    As has often been the case, Newt has it backwards. Just because the GOP has successfully kept anything positive happening (either through nutjob legislation in the House, or record filibusters in the Senate, or blatant lying by GOP Presidential hopefuls) is not a recipe for becoming President. In fact it pight tp cause the GOP to never hold national office again until they grow up.

    June 15, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Romney is not My Hero

    "Why We Couldn't" is almost entirely the fault of CONgress. As someone once said: The opposite of pro is con. That fact is clearly seen, If progress means move forward, then what does Congress mean?


    June 15, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. SCOTO

    crazy name, crazy guy

    June 15, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Bill

    Nothing but a bloated, bombastic, buffoon. Go eat some lobster thermidor and write a book.

    June 15, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. anagram_kid

    I really don’t think it is a good idea for Spkr. Gingrich to ever mention a failure to keep promises.

    June 15, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Shotgun Harvey

    Allow me to say the reason why this country haven't moved toward the goal of succeeding what our country was meant to be like, its because we got people still breathing thats putting our country backwards (repubs) and the ones who are for the middle class and poor (dems) are given the end of the stick by the media and society. Dems are basically the underdogs, so it only makes since the pathetic citizens who votes for Mitt should be hung or shot like what happened when the blacks had no choice but be hunted day in and day out for decades. That should be happening to the republicans right now; Hung for their failures and shot in the face for their injustices to the american people. If there was a law where murder was not a crime, I believe people would probably eliminate the repukes by any means possible because of their loyalty to big business companies and the rich. Its too bad, I would love to unload a few rounds to their faces myself.

    June 15, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Toby McDugan

    Obama is panty waste.

    June 15, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. vote the Tea Party Out in 2012

    bang zoom to the MOON Alice!!

    June 15, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Just add Newt to that group of "bloviating ignoramus" who just got his behind whipped good. Newt go home, nobody is going to help you take Callista shopping at Tiffanys or on a luxury cruise, go home, stay and take her with you.

    June 15, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. California Gary

    So Newt says it is our patriotic duty to vote for the man he spent millions of dollars villainizing during his primary run. I don't think Newt would recognize a patriotic duty if it walked up and slapped him in the face.

    June 15, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. ttbala

    Tucker Carlson calls this guy a veteran reposter, Tucker you used to have some braine when you were on TV shows with your big colorfull Bowties, now you have lost it all and you are working and creating a reg like this why do you repubs stoop so low all the time, you have no self respect, no self worth, anybody with some degree of intelegence wil respect themselves if not the president and not stoop so low like you people, like that congressman like judje Alito shame on you all.

    June 15, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. ttbala

    this man does not know what comes out of his mouth, Romney was a liar according to him on television now he wants us to elect a liar for president

    June 15, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. anagram_kid

    Spkr. Gingrich stated, “You know, he campaigned in 2008 on the slogan, 'Yes We Can.' He's running this fall on the slogan 'Why We Couldn't'."
    OK, so if one opposed the campaign promises, and according to Spkr. Gingrich, President Obama failed on those promises, shouldn’t Spkr. Gingrich be content with the results. In other words Spkr. Gingrich is saying that President Obama is a failure because he has not enacted the changes that Sprk. Gingrich insisted in 2008 would destroy our nation. Republican logic – I hate my enemy for being unsuccessful at the thing that would defeat me.

    Obama 2012 – Because Intelligence Matters

    June 15, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. v_mag

    Makes me wonder who Gingrich owes his allegiance to, if he thinks it's his patriotic duty to defeat the President. The United States of Adelson, maybe?

    June 15, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. anagram_kid

    Toby McDugan wrote – Obama is panty waste.

    Just some life advice Toby, when you want to insult someone correct spelling goes a long way. Otherwise one just looks foolish and ignorant.

    June 15, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Nuihc

    As has often been the case, Newt has it right. Just because the democrats have successfully kept anything positive from happening (either through nutjob legislation in the senate, or blatant lying by the President), is not a recipe for remaining President. In fact it pight tp cause the democrats to never hold national office again until they grow up.

    June 15, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Nuihc

    Obama 2012 – because he has now fit the definition of a facist dictator, along with being a socialist.

    June 15, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Expat American

    Cotton Hill need look no further than his party allegiance to answer the question "Why we couldn't". Maybe if this fat tubby clown ate a little less – some out-of-work Republicans could actually get something to eat for their families.

    June 15, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Barack Obama and the values he represents” Newt
    Who is talking about value is it joke ?
    Open marriage Newt

    June 15, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. RNKN

    why is Newt given any time to speak?
    Does he have soemthing insightful to share? No.
    Does he have an intelligent idea to help lead this country? nope.
    Does he a good question? No.
    Has he twisted facts beyond recognition? yes.
    Is he a self serving idiot? yes.
    Does he care about his country as much as he cares about his own bloated ego? Not a chance!
    Go away Newt. We don't want you anymore. It's time for the grown ups to run things now.

    June 15, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, NOT a third term of BUSH's years of FAILURE

    “There is something so grotesquely hypocritical about the Romney campaign. We’re not going to beat Barack Obama with someone who owns Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts. Mitt Romney should know that we aren’t that stupid and he isn’t that clever. To have his campaign take on a lifetime of lies, frankly I do find infuriating. I think it is one of the most dishonest things I’ve seen in politics.” – Newt Gingrich (01/26/12)

    June 15, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Mark

    As Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid".

    June 15, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Expat American

    Obama is panty waste.

    June 15, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Expat American

    Obama is panty waste.
    What is a ‘panty waste’?

    June 15, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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