Newt Gingrich is known among his peers for the erratic, nutty things he says. Peggy Noonan aptly described him as “a human hand grenade” who walks around with his hand on the pin. Here are six of the nuttiest Newtisms; also known as the guy Republicans think should be president.
1). “I don’t do foreign policy.”
In a July of 1995 appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Newt said the US should recognize Taiwanese independence and undermine China. When asked about this, he claimed he was just acting out a scene from a novel. Later he told the New York Times “I don’t do foreign policy.”
There, don’t you feel better now?
2). “This is petty.”
“This is petty,” Newt said as he explained that he was shutting down government partly as a result of feeling snubbed after being asked to deplane in the rear of Air Force One after a flight with President Clinton to and from Israel for Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral. No, he wasn’t referring to his own actions, but to Clinton’s.
Gingrich was also upset that Clinton wouldn’t talk to him on the plane, but noted being asked to deplane in the rear was petty. He was lampooned for shutting down government over a personal grievance, but had the hubris to suggest that Clinton was the petty one.
Gingrich and Dole had complained earlier about their lack of discussions with Clinton during the 25 hours of flying time. But Gingrich went a step further Wednesday by saying the incident contributed to the government shutdown.
“This is petty,” said Gingrich, indicating his displeasure at the way the two were treated. “You’ve been on the plane for 25 hours and nobody has talked to you and they ask you to get off the plane by the back ramp. … You just wonder, where is their sense of manners? Where is their sense of courtesy?”
Yes, indeed. It is petty to shut down government because you were asked to deplane in the rear of Air Force one. This is a man who understands what is important to Americans and that his job is not all about his ego.
3). “I’m willing to lead but I’m not willing to preside over people who are cannibals.”
After a failed attempt by John Boehner and Bill Paxon to replace Gingrich as Speaker in 1997, Gingrich again faced a rebellion from his own party after being blamed for the party losing seats in the House in the 1998 midterms as a stinging rebuke over Republicans’ attempt to remove Clinton from office, lead by Gingrich. It was the worst midterm loss in 64 years for the party opposing the president’s party.
The New York Times reported the conversation of Newt’s resignation:
MR. GINGRICH — I think for the future of the party, it makes a lot more sense for me not to be a candidate for Speaker. We have to get the bitterness out….
It is clear that as long as I’m around that won’t happen. I have always put the party ahead of my own ambitions.
MR. BARTON — We’re going to need you and your vision. I’m just really saddened by this.
MR. GINGRICH — I’m willing to lead but I’m not willing to preside over people who are cannibals. My only fear would be that if I tried to stay, it would just overshadow whoever my successor is. Frankly, Marianne and I could use a break.
Newt called the members of the House cannibals, which is rather intemperate of him, especially given his own behavior at the time.
4). “My wife owns a small business.”
During the last Republican debate, Gingrich, whose 2010 net worth was listed at 6.7 million, was asked to recall the last time he had struggled financially and had to forgo a necessity. Newt responded that his third wife Callista owned a small business. Apparently “small” is super relative.
Between 2001 and 2010, the companies he and his wife owned in full or part had revenues of almost $100 million. Gingrich also received 1.6 million dollars as a consultant for Freddie Mac. One of Gingrich’s non-profit organizations, Renewing American Leadership, paid Gingrich $200,000 over the past two years. We aren’t even touching his book royalties or speaking fees. Gingrich Productions, the “small business” his wife owns, paid Gingrich more than $2.4 million in 2010.
The LA Times reported:
Gingrich Productions appeared to account for most of Gingrich’s reported worth and income. His share in the company, which “provides talent for audio, video and photographic productions,” is valued at between $500,000 and $1 million. The company paid Gingrich more than $2.4 million in distributions last year.
That’s a heck of a small business, but it’s also not the only business they own and is by far not the only income he is dependent upon, so how has Newt struggled economically because his wife has a small business? This is beyond a bizarre thing to say when most Americans are suffering economically and just shows how out of touch Newt is and how comfortable he is misleading people about who he is.
5). Palestinians are an “invented people” who don’t deserve a state and middle east peace talks are delusional. Also, sharia law!
According to statements Newt Gingrich made to the Jewish Channel, the Palestinians are an “invented people” and the Middle East peace process is “delusional.” These kinds of anti-Islamic sentiments are not new to Newt, as Think Progress reminds us today:
Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute last year, Gingrich told the audience:
It’s time we had a national debate on this. And one of the things I’m going to suggest today is a federal law that says ‘no court, anywhere in the United States, under any circumstances, is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law.’ Period.
Thank goodness we have Newt to fight the ever-encroaching threat of Sharia law in America.
6). “There’s no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
Newt had all of those affairs because he loved his country.
Yesterday Gingrich wrote a pledge of marital fidelity for an Iowa conservative group. But years ago, Gingrich’s campaign treasure said that Newt told him the following about his first wife Jackie Battley: “She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.”
Newt denies ever saying that, but his actions speak for him. Jackie is the same woman he did the following to, according to the LA Times:
The news that Newt Gingrich will receive $4 million from Rupert Murdoch’s publishing house must have been greeted with dismay by his former wife, Jacqueline, down in Carroll County, Ga. Newt had pulled a fast one. It was only nine months ago that she consented to the congressman’s request for an amendment to their divorce decree that bars her from claiming additional funds due to an increase in his earnings.
Jackie accused him of being miserly with child support and told her church “The Devil has taken his heart.” She filed the following with the court:
“Despite repeated notices . . . plaintiff has failed and refused to voluntarily provide reasonable support sufficient to include payment of usual and normal living expenses, including drugs, water, sewage, garbage, gas, electric and telephone service for defendant and the minor children. As a result, many of such accounts are two or three months past due with notices of intent to cut off service . . .. ”
Newt pursued impeaching Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair while he himself was on his second wife and having an affair with a congressional staffer 23 years his junior whom he later married after divorcing his second wife.
That’s a lotta love for his country and not so much for his children.
Sadly, “(I)n his 1974 campaign, he ran on the slogan, ‘Newt’s family is like your family.'”
Let’s hope not.