Newt Gingrich: Democrats bear some responsibility for threats, anger over health care

Former peaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich answers questions about the federal health bill during a press conference. (Associated Press)

Former peaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich answers questions about the federal health bill during a press conference. (Associated Press)

At a press conference in Atlanta on Thursday, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich said he was happy to condemn the use of personal threats rising out of the health care debate, but added that Democrats must bear some of the responsibility.

Said Gingrich:

“Just as there was no place for the kind of viciousness against Bush and Cheney, there’s no place for viciousness against Democrats.

“I would condemn any kind of activity that involves that kind of personal threat.

“But look, I think there’s something very disingenuous about the Democratic leaders who attacked the tea party movement, who refused to hold town hall meetings, who refused to go back home, who kept the Congress locked up in Washington, and are now shocked that people are angry.

“I think the Democratic leadership has to take some moral responsibility for having behaved with such arrogance, in such a hostile way, that the American people are deeply upset. So let’s be honest with this. This is a game that they’re playing.

“People should not engage in personal threats. I’m happy to condemn any effort to engage in personal threats. But I think the Democratic leadership has to take some real responsibility for having run a machine that used corrupt tactics, that bought votes, that bullied people, and as a result has enraged much of the American people.”

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138 comments Add your comment

lmno

March 25th, 2010
12:59 pm

Stay Classy Newt.

Ben

March 25th, 2010
12:59 pm

Says the guy who was ordered to pay a $300,000 fine for ethical violations (a first for the House of Reps)….

Benton Arsenic

March 25th, 2010
1:00 pm

“People shouldn’t engage in personal threats even though we all know the Democrats deserve it”? Of all the garbage politicians Georgia has produced, Newt is probably one of the lowest.

Nicole Simpson

March 25th, 2010
1:01 pm

I made OJ do it.

Right

March 25th, 2010
1:05 pm

Because Newt is really one who should be attacking people for using corrupt tactics, buying votes, and bullying people.

Junior Samples

March 25th, 2010
1:08 pm

Wait…. Newt talking about Ethics?

beachmom

March 25th, 2010
1:15 pm

Newt, Newt, Newt.

“You keep blaming me for what you did, but that ain’t all
The way you clean up a wreck is enough to give one pause
Well, you seem to forget just how this all started
I’m reacting to you because you left me broken hearted
See, you can’t just take the effect and make it the cause”

– Jack White

Jon

March 25th, 2010
1:19 pm

Newt probably blames domestic abuse victims for their plight, too…

Brian

March 25th, 2010
1:19 pm

Making it illegal to bar individuals with pre-existing conditions from having health insurance and bending the cost curve on healthcare in such as way as to reduce the federal deficit = behaving in an arrogant and hostile way?????? Hostile and arrogant to whom?

Wow. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2010 Republican Party.

When your party leaders behave in such a manner as to attempt to bar any sort of health reform and theh scare the gun-toting crowd with BS about socialism, totalitarianism, loss of their freedoms, etc, what do you expect in return? Surely not to be taken seriously, right? I guess I can see how when coming from that point of view, any attempt to make serious choices and govern effectively comes across as arrogance or hostility to you.

Your party’s role as Champion of the top 1% of income earners in this country pits you against the other 99% of us, whether or not we have all realized it, and THAT is arrogant and hostile. Convincing working-class Americans that you are on their side is the game YOU are playing.

Shawn

March 25th, 2010
1:19 pm

This man straight said (under all those words…I wanna say something else) it is the Democrats fault that people are threating them??? Give me a BREAK! LIES! LIES! LIES! LIES! LIES! I’m angry at you Newt…but I would NEVER seen you a death threat…why? Because I’m a true Christian and even though we sit on COMPLETE opposite sides of the fence, I would never want anyone to harm you for attempting to do a job. That’s insane! And the fact that you’re blaming those Democrats, especially the ones who were called the N & spat on, for the evil hate & threats they are dealing with… What kind of message are you sending out to the people who are doing this? In his entire message, he didn’t even ask them to stop. We see how you roll Newt…God have mercy on your soul.

Newt 2012

March 25th, 2010
1:24 pm

He’s my guy. He has real free market solutions for this country, supports personal freedom, limited government, and in general just kicks @ss. Not only that, he pisses off the left something fierce. Newt for President in 2012!

The Snark

March 25th, 2010
1:25 pm

This from the guy who sent out a memo to every Republican with a laundry list of insults and generic negative words to use “at every occasion” to describe the other party.

Ryan

March 25th, 2010
1:28 pm

What a scum bag.

Cutty

March 25th, 2010
1:32 pm

What marriage is he on?

Alphar

March 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

Newt,

do you blame your current wife for breaking up with your previous wife?

DannyX

March 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

Tell us. How much crap has Sonny Perdue taken for the state of the state? Things are beyond incompetent at the State level. From made for TV movie sex ethics scandals, to outright hostility to anything Atlanta. To a state budget on the brink of disaster.

Has anyone dressed up in a phone repairman outfit to gain access to Sonny’s office so that he could plant a bug in his phone?

Has Sonny been spat on? Called the N word? Called the F word?

Has Sonny held ONE public meeting about ANYTHING?

Has Sonny had the help of a major cable news channel to spread lies and distort the facts?

Has Sonny or any of the ethically challenged Republican in the Statehouse ever tried to reach across the aisle?

WELL??????

mp

March 25th, 2010
1:40 pm

The current crop of Republican rank and file & leaders (state and federal) are cloned from Gingrich’s stem cells.
Arrogant, self-important, self-serving, hypocritical beyond belief and willing to posture endlessly for facetime.
Newt started the march to Republican nihilism because he doesn’t really believe in anything he preaches. At the core he is a nihilist and contrarian who will do anything to grab the media’s attention, but if you examine his pronouncements over time, he contradicts himself constantly. He can speak out of both sides of his mouth casually and with no guilt. All for facetime.

lmno

March 25th, 2010
1:40 pm

Newt doesn’t think it was the right thing for him to do to cheat on his first wife and then divorce her, but she was at least partly responsible for getting cancer like that.

Newt doesn’t think it was right to cheat on his second wife, but it was mostly her fault for getting older.

Newt didn’t think it was right for him to lie and hide information about his tax situation, but at the same time, it was the House’s fault for asking for the info in the first place.

James

March 25th, 2010
2:02 pm

Same filth was spouted by Cantor this morning as well as a host of right wing pundits. Looks like today’s edition of talking points were delivered on-time.

joed

March 25th, 2010
2:07 pm

Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and their ilk deserve the “credit” for the hostile atmosphere that permeates our nation these days. Throw in Sarah ‘Death Panels” Palin, John “Hell, No, You Can’t” Boehner and the babykiller rep, and you have a sure recipe for violence. And the repubs, who were egging on protesters in the galley in the House on Sunday, turn it around and try to blame the Democrats. Unbelievable. Newt would be considered to be an expert on disingenousness in GA, though.

retiredds

March 25th, 2010
2:10 pm

Newt always blames others because he can’t bring himself to take responsibility for his poor choices in life.

Shark Puncher

March 25th, 2010
2:15 pm

Can we please go back to 1994, when Republican voters were content to express their ire at the polls rather than throw a brick through somebody’s window?

Byron Mathison Kerr

March 25th, 2010
2:24 pm

Newt Gingrich, along with Rep. John Boehner, tries to condemn and understand violent threats all at the same time. I have to wonder about the purity of their motives.

MrAttitude

March 25th, 2010
2:25 pm

Let get this straight. Just because many Democratic leaders did not kowtow to the tea party nuts, they bear responsibility for having bricks thrown through their office windows, having gas lines cut, having black leaders called the N-word and spat upon? Are you kidding me? It’s no wonder why so many people having trouble distinguishing the tea party from the klan.

Please let Newt run. You talk about a polarizing figure.

ipa

March 25th, 2010
2:26 pm

I’m always interested to see how some people will find a way to blame the victim.

– The unemployed don’t actually want to work – They just want to stay on the dole. Unemployment actually prevents people from finding good jobs
– Those blacks wouldn’t have had a problem if they just respected the rules about which end of the bus they were supposed to sit on
– That dancer was asking for it – If she didn’t parade around like that, she wouldn’t have been assaulted
– The Dems brought those threats on themselves – They wouldn’t have this problem if they did the “right” thing in the first place

It’s an obtuse argument that has never held water, but sadly no surprise coming from Newt

Jiggle the Handle

March 25th, 2010
2:27 pm

I can still recall when Newt was a mediocre PoliSci prof at West Georgia. Then he became MY Congressman, but did little to actually represent me. Newt is always good for a sound bite and maintains that professorial, erudite persona, but I’ve watched him for years and know him to be a mile wide and an inch deep.

Alot of folks tend to buy into the tripe he peddles, but I’m not one of them. He would be easy to dismiss if he didn’t wield so much influence, but he’ll be a pundit for the rest of his career. He’s amassing way too much personal wealth now and would never risk running for office where he would have to try to defend all of the professional and personal sleaziness he engaged in since the very beginning.

ATL

March 25th, 2010
2:30 pm

A single word will suffice– ‘hypocrite’

Alexander Hamilton

March 25th, 2010
2:31 pm

Land of liberty
1776 – 2010

RIP

James

March 25th, 2010
2:40 pm

Lighten up Alexis …

lmno

March 25th, 2010
2:43 pm

“Land of liberty
1776 – 2010

RIP”

Please seek professional help. You are sick and delusional. You need to find a doctor and talk to him about your issues.

jj

March 25th, 2010
2:44 pm

IPA—You hit the nail on the head. I second your opinion. It is time to call out all these liars, bigots, and hypocrites. Our country has some serious problems. Some people are trying to fix these problems. While other people are trying everything they can to ensure failure. United we can solve any and all problems. Divided we fail. Who is trying to fix things, who is trying to destroy things. We have to work together. Standing around a hurling insults at each other, calling anyone who disagrees with our viewpoint names, and Bullying others is not helpful. Just saying NO to everything isn’t any more constructive than a three old who holds his breath and stomps his feet. We need to work together to solve these problems.

Jiggle the Handle

March 25th, 2010
2:45 pm

Yeah, let’s see, Alexander Hamilton–early prototype of today’s Republicans– engaged in what may have been the first widely reported political sex scandal through an affair with Maria Lewis. Paid hush money to her husband John so he could continue the affair without interference. Sounds awfully close to John Ensign, doesn’t it. Yep, nothing like those deep-rooted conservative principles. Nice role model, Bozo.

NewtFewt

March 25th, 2010
2:52 pm

Gingrich is a fool. Violence is never justified. He is fanning the flames.

We have got to hold these people who are inciting violence responsible for their words and actions.

Elvis

March 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

On the other hand, the Democrats bear none of the responsibility for Newt making a jackass of himself.

Ward

March 25th, 2010
3:07 pm

“Says the guy who was ordered to pay a $300,000 fine for ethical violations (a first for the House of Reps)….”

…and later, cleared of all charges. After he’d resigned, of course.

RetiredSoldier

March 25th, 2010
3:16 pm

Everyone wants to condem Newt and the republicans for hate speech, etc. People do you read what you are writing? Hate speech is alive and well and it resides on the AJC blog.

Maybe you ought to practice what you preach.

RetiredSoldier

March 25th, 2010
3:18 pm

Come on Jiggle, we can all play that game. Governor(s) of New York and New Jersey. Etc, etc, want me to continue?

Been Around-Done That

March 25th, 2010
3:19 pm

After reading some of the posts on this and other AJC sites, it is painfully obvious that the invention of the computer brought out the worst in a lot of people. Nothing really substantial to offer…just criticism, garbage, and slander. And it can be done under an anonymous name so the mud thrower can hide his or her identity under a rock. Fifty years ago some of you dullards would have to make your comments face to face but then that would take guts! Times are hard enough for a lot of good folks without all the bull crap! How about some solutions for solving the problems that face our state and nation instead of all the carping from your respective hidey holes? But I guess that is asking too much. It was the dumbos you non-thinkers elected on both sides that put us down the toilet and your solutions is throwing the same kind of angry crap the politicians on both sides do in Washington and Atlanta. A pox on all your nasty houses!

RetiredSoldier

March 25th, 2010
3:20 pm

Bulling JJ? Talk to democratic congreemen about bulling and Nancy P. Heck she even admitted it. When you are in the miniority, it’s very hard to “bully”.

Cheryl

March 25th, 2010
3:22 pm

Eric Cantor today, held a press conference to announce his Richmond Office had been shot at. Later it was revealed it was not his office, but the office of one of his political consultants, again, not his office, and it cannot be confirmed that the hole in the window was actually from a bullet, or when the incident actually happened, yesterday, or days ago. He then condemned the violence and then, like Newt, he blamed the Democrats for fanning the flames……. John Boehener also gave a similar statement today. Yesterday, they shut down all Senate hearings, even one with the Armed Forces regarding North Korea with two commanders having come all the way from Korea & Hawaii to testify. How bout that for doing the People’s business.

RetiredSoldier

March 25th, 2010
3:24 pm

Cheryl-

If a republican says it, it’s a lie. If a democrat says it’s true. Sad.

TskTskTsk!!

March 25th, 2010
3:26 pm

Sanity and civility have left the building in Georgia. If I have to have car insurance to drive a car and I don’t want it, never been in an accident, no one ever made a claim against me, but I still have to buy it, right? If you can pay dollars to take a life in a war, why not spend a dollar to save a life in America and spend it on Americans? It’s so sad that an African-American president is bringing out the worst of America. Now the whole world knows how and who we are REALLY. America, your actions speak louder than your words. This is unconscionable. Bully. Hate. Fear. War Mongering. Intimidation. This is no way to run a country.

dave

March 25th, 2010
3:27 pm

mp – having an ombamabot calling Republican leaders “Arrogant, self-important, self-serving, hypocritical beyond belief…” is like being call ugly by a frog.

dave

March 25th, 2010
3:29 pm

NewtFewt – If you the Newt is fanning the flames, you need to read Ms. Tuckers column, now there’s fanning the flames.

Dagnabbit

March 25th, 2010
3:32 pm

The hostile atmosphere that permeates our nation these days can also be attributed to the lack of the morals and ethics of our elected leaders. True, Glen Beck et al add to it but sometimes they hit the nail on the head. Sometimes that is an inconvinient truth.

RetiredSoldier

March 25th, 2010
3:38 pm

Tsk-
1. The requirement to buy car insurance by the state does not violate the state constitution, the requirement to buy health insurance by the feds violates the U.S. constitution.

2. have no problem spending dollars for those that can’t help themself, have a big problem spending dollars for those that won’t help themself.

3. Don’t oppose BO because he is black, I oppose his liberal policies. Just I did Kerry, Gore, etc. Just because you don’t oppose BO doesn’t mean you are racist.

4. Questions?

jj

March 25th, 2010
3:43 pm

RetiredSoldier. By Bullying, I didn’t mention minority or majority. A bully is someone who tries to impose his/her will over someone else by threats of violence, intimidation, or name calling. Bullying has no place in an honest debate.

Dagnabbit

March 25th, 2010
3:45 pm

Arrogant, self-important, self-serving…..if that refers to sonny, ox and deal then I agree. Baker is getting a lot of prime time thanks to sonny. Best thing yet that the Dems have going for them. GO SONNY

RetiredSoldier

March 25th, 2010
3:45 pm

JJ- Then I give you Nancy P., code Pink and Act Up. You see it happens on both sides. It doesn’t make it right, just factual.

kimmer

March 25th, 2010
3:50 pm

I’m sorry some of you don’t like the messenger but the message is true. The democrats did do all of the things he pointed out and anyone with half a brain can see how that would enrage a lot of people. I also might point out that its the democrats that started this by trying to put this at the republicans door.

These threats will soon subside but there is a political day of reckoning coming in November and the democrats are going to pay an unprecedented political price.