Gingrich: 'Yes we can' is now 'Why we couldn't'
June 15th, 2012
03:16 PM ET
8 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. Mary

    oh shut up Newt!!

    June 15, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. keith

    Gingrich is a complete idiot. Pandering to Romney. Finger always in the air to see if the breeze might be blowing $$ his way.

    June 15, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    I know adelson ismpaying off his debt through the flip floppef but should this gas bag bs spending more time at the gym?

    June 15, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. george_w_tush

    1995 just called. It doesn't want Newt Gingrich back

    Newt Gingrich wishes he thought of sabotaging the economy in 1995 to hurt Clinton. It's tough to realize Boehner is smarter than you

    June 15, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    No, "patriotic duty" is defeating all the Repubs who since 2008 have actively thwarted the will of the people who elected President Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to implement Democratic policies.

    "Patriotic duty" is listening to the will of the people who now want to raise taxes on the rich (as do 62% of American millionaires and billionaires who want to pay more).

    "Patriotic duty" is to overturn Citizens United, which is allowing unlimited, unaccountable (including foreign) money from influencing our elections – including "limitless" contributions pledge by Newtsie's former sugar daddy, Sheldon Adelson.

    June 15, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    this coming from a guy that wanted to start a colony on the MOON for God's sake. Well with gas going down to below 3 dollars a gallon in some areas, maybe Newt was close to getting one thing he promised...not that he nor anybody in the GOP had anything to do with it. But had it kept climbing it would have been Obama's fault completely.

    June 15, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Must be nice to be a Republican who works so hard to harm our country and then complains loudly about the damage they did.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice for our future

    June 15, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. kakaraka

    Yes, thanks to the obstructionism to the GOP, the President wasn't able to accomplish ALL his plans. He will do when the American people vote these yahoo tea baggers GOP from the House and Senate. No more gridlock.

    June 15, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Donkey Party

    First, Gingrich should be arrested and shot for sedition. Second, EVERYONE knows the GOP have obstructed EVERY effort the President has made to move the country forward. The GOP are nothing more than America-hating, treasonous domestic terrorists, and anyone who supports them is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    June 15, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. n

    This clown is of the least patriotic of all the 2012 republican candidates gas bags to date, with, bet you can't find my money Romney because I buried it in the Cayman's, coming in close second. Period.

    June 15, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Niko_in_Richmond

    Yes, this from, "I'm going to be the nominee." LOL. You are the nominee for something, but it's not your party's presidential nomination.

    June 15, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. n

    We remember everything those treasonous unpatriotic sons of hell did and are doing to this great country of ours. To bring down a man they had to raze a nation. Come November, they will pay. The best revenge is a second term of President Barack Obama. How sweet the sound!

    June 15, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Mike

    Why we couldn't: Republican obstructionism of majority Democratic legislation

    June 15, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. V in Chicago

    This bufoon is still on the loose? I thought he was on his way to the moon so he could run for Colony President. The moon people don't know who the REAL Newt Gingrich is. He actually has a shot up there.

    June 15, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. Tony

    Obama couldn't get Republicans to agree with him, even when Obama adopted a Republican idea (individual mandate and cap-and-trade). However, Obama still managed to get the economy moving again (the economy has replaced all private sector jobs lost since Obama became president), with absolutely no help from Republicans.

    Republicans in Congress are useless. If they hate government so much, don't be in it. For people who are interested in moving the country forward rather than giving the rich another tax cuts, so that they can keep the money and not create jobs, yes we can.

    June 15, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Nail 'em Newt... Nail 'em GOOD!!

    June 15, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Expat American

    This was the GOP's only agenda since 2008. They don't even care about the poor people who blindly vote for them.

    June 15, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. sahara

    One thing i can remember about Newt is that he is liar, failure, disaster, adulterer, fornicator, and a big disgrace to the human race, this is a man who have no core, he was crushed by the Romney machine after attacking Mitt, now he flip flopped and said that Mitt is now the better alternative when he actually quoted Mitt to being a Flip Flopper, Edgy sketcher and just name it, Obama has learned his lesson, never wait for the likes of Newt and karl Rove, keep doing what you are doing with or without the GOP, history will definitely remember Obama for his good deeds and we Independents will never forget come NOV of the GOP extremism. Nonsense

    June 15, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Jhonny Boy

    Newt stop it. Your rediculous. Instead of you and the rest I the republican party promising jobs in 2010 tour whole goal was to make Obama a one term president. To me that doesn't sound d like moving the countr forward. More like backwards. You thImk you know it all but all you Are neat is a ow hard who likes to attack and cause problems. Please just disappear n

    June 15, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Matt

    Just go crawl in a hole and never come out Newt, the planet (and the moon too) will be a much better place for it.

    June 15, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Kevin

    The sad thing is that he actually has a valid point....

    June 15, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. JAF

    Well, Newt should know, as his party is the reason Obama couldn't.

    June 15, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. ronb

    Newt, still working to get those bills paid off I see! Too bad everyone knows you're irrelevant.

    June 15, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. chelle

    Funny just a few weeks ago Mitt Romney was going to be a terrible president..... Did he takes lessons in the last little while Newt?

    June 15, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Yes, I Love Mitt Romney

    "I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points, and I think he ought to be candid. I don't think he's being candid and that will be a major issue. From here on out from the rest of this campaign, the country has to decide: Do you really want a Massachusetts moderate who won't level with you to run against Barack Obama who, frankly, will just tear him apart? He will not survive against the Obama machine." Newt Gingrich January 2012

    June 15, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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