Newt Gingrich declines appearance at 9/11 protest over NYC mosque

A certain Republican mulling over a 2012 presidential run apparently isn’t willing to place all his chips on the debate over a Manhattan mosque.

Last week, Gingrich ratcheted the August discourse to the Hitler level:

“Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.”

But then there’s the following from this morning’s The Hill, a D.C. newspaper and website:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) will not be addressing a protest of the proposed mosque in lower Manhattan on the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The organizers of the rally, Stop Islamization of America and Freedom Defense Initiative, announced Gingrich as one of the event’s confirmed speakers on the Web last weekend.

On Monday, Gingrich launched himself into the spotlight of the debate on national television with controversial comments that brought a slew of criticism from fellow Republicans.

But a spokesman for Gingrich, a possible 2012 presidential candidate, told The Hill that the former leader of the House had never confirmed his appearance. Instead, one of Gingrich’s staff had agreed to send a video message from him to be shown at the Sept. 11 rally.

That has since been canceled.

“The confusion is at least partially our fault,” said Joe DeSantis, a spokesman for Gingrich. “A staff member mistakenly promised a video message, though not an appearance. However, we are not sending a video. We informed them earlier this week.”

DeSantis did not comment on why Gingrich was no longer planning to send a video message to the rally, and attempts to contact the organizers of the rally were unsuccessful.

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92 comments Add your comment

Dates-R-Us

August 21st, 2010
11:21 am

Newt can emphasize “cowardice” on that list of qualifications for Republican presidential candidate.

Aquagirl

August 21st, 2010
11:33 am

Newt can’t even send a video to back up his verbal firebombs? Can’t wait to hear what the “Obama was backtracking on the mosque” crowd has to say about this. Plenty of lame excuses will be offered, I’m sure.

Mr. Dithers

August 21st, 2010
11:40 am

Perhaps Newt is thinking of converting to Islam.

WB

August 21st, 2010
11:42 am

The Internet has a law known as Godwin’s Law which has time and time again proven true. (”As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”) Godwin’s Law also has a corollary which states that when the inevitable comparison to Nazis or Hitler is made, the discussion is over and the person who made the comparison automatically loses the debate.

On the other hand, if politics actually followed the rules of the Internet, Rick Astley would be president, “Never Gonna Give You Up” would be our national anthem, and Lolcatspeak would be taught in schools.

Mr. Bill

August 21st, 2010
11:57 am

1. It was not built to celebrate a Muslim victory. The Cordoba mosque in Spain was built by Christians as the Church of St. Vincent in the 7th Century on the site of a Roman temple. When the Muslims conquered Spain, the church was purchased by Abd ar-Rahman I, and over the next two centuries (784-984) was enlarged and converted to a mosque. In 1236 the Spanish captured Cordoba and returned the mosque to a Christian Church.
2. It is admired for its beautiful architecture, paintings and mosaics.
3. If we deny them the right to build it, Muslims throughout the world will be told, and America will again be presented as the enemy of Islam. Terrorists will use the story to recruit.
4. No money has been raised for the mosque as yet because they just received approval to build it.
5. The Manhattan Mosque already exists 5 blocks from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site.
6. If Saudi Arabia contributes funds to build the mosque, it will be a way to get some of the dollars we spent on oil back into the hands of American construction workers. If they accept funding from Iran, then that is a different story.
7. “And that the imam who’s being branded an extremist has been valued by both Republican and Democratic administrations as a moderate face of the faith. Even so, the project stirs complicated emotions, and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a complex figure who defies easy categorization in the American Muslim world. He’s devoted much of his career to working closely with Christians, Jews and secular leaders to advance interfaith understanding. He’s scolded his own religion for being in some ways in the “Dark Ages.” Yet he’s also accused the U.S. of spilling more innocent blood than al-Qaida, the terrorist network that turned the World Trade Center, part of the Pentagon and four hijacked airplanes to apocalyptic rubble.” (source: National Constitution Center http://constitutioncenter.org/NewsWire.aspx?title=FACT+CHECK%3a+Islam+Already+Lives+Near+Ground+Zero )

mike

August 21st, 2010
12:58 pm

Did you morons expect anything other from Newt? This man’s political actions and many of his ilk have an expert opinion when it comes to scaring up the crowd of white folks out there. However these people had become experts in ducking and dodging situations in which they may be held accountable for their views. It is surprising how some news shows and other so-called fair and balanced news agencies continue to bring these folks out to give statements. Most of these people who all look like Newt are still stuck in the cold war of the 50’s and 60’s. You idiots do realize the US was very friendly to these terrorists countries back then. How about asking ole Newt how things were done back in those days. You know- the CIA, Ollie North and company etc etc etc.

Jack

August 21st, 2010
12:59 pm

Hypocritical coward.

roughrider

August 21st, 2010
1:03 pm

Newt could not carry his own district here in Georgia much less the whole nation.

norman m

August 21st, 2010
1:14 pm

i wonder how smart these tea baggers/republican hate baggers are?…they are riled up and heated over this mosque..why because fox news told them to do so..everynight sean hannity talks about sharia and saudi finacning this mosque….well last time i checked the only place with sharia was saudi arabia and (oh by the way saudi owns 11 percent of buildings in wash dc…oh yea i just remembered saudi pays sean hannitys salary…oh but these right wingers would never be able to figure that out

Grandpa Right

August 21st, 2010
1:21 pm

Mr. Bill-

RE # 3, you have a great point- we don’t want those terrorists mad at us, do we?

norman m-

Where did Henry Reid get his viewpont on the mosgue- at a tea party rally or from Fox News?

Do you folks even read what you right before you post? The lack of critical thought, and the need to mock those who disagree with you, is amusing until I realize that you have a vote-

Grandpa Right

August 21st, 2010
1:22 pm

Mosque, not mosgue- what can you expect from an ignorant old right wing not, right?

Think about it....

August 21st, 2010
1:52 pm

So what’s wrong with just weighing in? Why the need to attend a protest? Why criticize if Newt doesn’t want to go? What would that accomplish? He’s had his say and he’s quite right. Besides, after all is said and done its still a local issue. NY will take care of it themselves.

RGB

August 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

The Newt-haters are like roaches when exposed to the daylight and, based on the posted comments, possess the intellectual wherewithal of these despised creatures as well. No substance. No facts. Nothing. They cannot compete with his ideas and intellect on a host of subjects ranging from health care to U.S. competitiveness to tax policy and foreign policy. Newt’s books and his work at the Center for Health Transformation are compelling, leverage his knowledge of history and government, and address urgent problems with cogent, well-conceived solutions.

Dittos to Grandpa Right regarding the “we wouldn’t want to make them mad at us” argument. In short, who cares what they think of us? I don’t and I am in the majority. 70% of Americans don’t want the mosque built at the proposed site. That includes a lot of Democrats.

We have a president who uses U.S. tax dollars to hire this mosque-building Hamas sympathizer to conduct “Muslim outreach.” Oh well, at least he’s consistent. This outreach augments Obama’s goal for NASA which curiously has little to do with space exploration.

Come to think of it, Obama’s jobs program has nothing to do with jobs either. No surprise there.

You people will defend the indefensible. Our country is suffering for it.

Skram30082

August 21st, 2010
2:21 pm

@Grandpa Right:

“Do you folks even read what you right before you post?”

Do YOU read what you WRITE before you post?

WE have lost our way

August 21st, 2010
2:30 pm

Here we go again!! Politics before leadership.This is why we are in the mess were in. Dems and Repubs say one thing and do the opposite. Newt says in the press with his John Wayne attitude one thing and then runs like Pee Wee Herman! STAND UP MAN, BE A MAN. Back up what you said.

Alabama Communist

August 21st, 2010
2:31 pm

LOL……wait until Newt finds out that 9/11 was a inside job by his own government and they will put the blame on him…………

duke

August 21st, 2010
2:32 pm

Newt probably figured he did not need the grief from the pro-Obama news media. He did not compare Muslims to Nazis. He said the Nazis have no right to display a swastika next to the holocaust museum, and Muslims have no right to build a mosque on Ground Zero. You might disagree with that point, but it is a valid point which ought to be addressed on its merits. The pro-Obama news media dares not to engage such arguments on their merits, so Newt figures what’s the use in taking this particular drama any further.

Muslims build mosques on the sites of cathedrals as a symbol of Mulim supremacy. Muslims around the world will see the Ground-Zero mosque as a triumphant symbol of the successful attacks. The Muslim leaders behind the Cordoba project on Ground Zero see Cordoba as a symbol of the good old days of Muslim supremacy, which they regard as a golden age. The 15-story building on Ground Zero will also house the Sharia Project, which aims to gradually establish the principle that Shariah law takes precedence over U.S. law. Newt refers to “radical Muslims”, when in fact these orthodox Muslims are following the commandment of the Koran, jihad, conquer the world for God by the sword. But Newt is aware of the Sharia Project, and has proposed a law that no U.S. court can recognize Sharia law as taking precedence over U.S. law.

I guarantee you that Muslims are not about to let anyone build a synagogue or a cathedral in Mecca. Non-muslims are not even allowed to enter the city. Under Shariah law, non-muslims are second-class citizens whose rights seriously abridged; and that is what Muslims have in mind for America.

We the people

August 21st, 2010
2:58 pm

need to stand up and take the government back for life long political canidates. In no way shape or form was government set up to house lifers in congress and the senate. We also need to hold them responsible for their spending! The people of America should vote on the budget since we pay for it.
We need to right this ship before it’s to late.

Brad Steel

August 21st, 2010
3:10 pm

Will he decline appearance for everything else too? Hope so.

phil

August 21st, 2010
3:41 pm

Once a draft dodger, always a draft dodger!

Skip

August 21st, 2010
3:52 pm

This is all you get for a whole afternoon? Looks like nobody really cares what Newt says.

Judy

August 21st, 2010
4:41 pm

People like Gingrich, Palin and most high-profile right-wingers are arm-chair critics who stir up the pile, mislead the public with distorted information, and incite hatred against Islam due to their ignorance. This type of vermin are cowards when it comes to dealing publicly with the American people.

I am sure 80% of Americans believe that there is a Mosque proposed at Ground Zero or close to, when in fact, no Mosque is going up at ground zero, but an Islamic Cultural Centre is being built 6 blocks from from the site of the north tower. The Islamic Centre would not be visible from ground zero.

I regret the day, which may be now, when Americans adopt the thinking of rigid Middle Eastern countries, like Saudi Arabia, by opposing religious freedom for all cultures – that is the day we cease to be a democracy.

CA

August 21st, 2010
4:52 pm

Christians burned the witches. Christians killed the Natives. Why is it any surprise that anything that is different is presented as negative. First, as Christians, are we really better than Muslims? Is a Muslim better than a Jew? Is a Wiccan better than a Buddhist? We may have different beliefs. My God, and his son, Jesus, would have something to say about the stereotyping of Muslims I believe. That said, I am not in favor of the mosque being built where it is proposed, even if it is five blocks from Ground Zero. Five blocks is only 1/4 mile, and too close for comfort. I think that it will bring too many hard memories. Yet, t I am in favor of freedom to worship a one chooses, as long as it does not hurt another. I am curious, what would Jesus do? Check your own faiths before putting down others.

Response to CA

August 21st, 2010
5:17 pm

CA, I hope your real purpose wasn’t to take a shot at Christians as leftists so often do on these blogs. Yes, these open-minded, progressive, loving individuals…..

If you truly want to know what Jesus would do, then read and study The Bible. It’s not a mystery. Start with the Old Testament and you’ll find how God dealt with certain enemies. He dealt forcefully with violent people who opposed Him. What do Muslims do?

Are Christians better than Muslims? In what respect: strength, height, IQ, contribution to society, musical taste, culinary skills? One difference is that Christians worship the only true God. One need not believe it any more than one should believe the law of gravity. It just is.

Does that make a Christian better than a Muslim? I’d say the Christian will be better off in the long run–if you know what I mean.

When you finish the New Testament, you’ll find one difference between Christianity and the other pagan religions you’ve listed: Christians worship a risen Savior. But you should already know that.

In America people have the right to worship anyone they choose just as Aaron made and worshiped a golden calf. But I wouldn’t recommend it.

Doug

August 21st, 2010
5:19 pm

The repubs mischaracterize the proposed “cultural center” as being a mosque at ground zero. I have a simple question – Would 3 blocks far enough away that repubs would not be demanding that Obama/US government violate the constitution? 4 blocks? 5 blocks? 10 blocks? 1 mile? 2 miles? What?

Politics in this country is just like the Shia’s & the Sunni’s. Politicians have corrupted the government to the point that our government is no better than a third world country.

The single biggest problem this country has is citizens whose god is a political party without regard to the crime, corruption and hypocrisy of the individual running for office. Gingrich, Delay, Richardson, Rangel, etc. are perfect examples of corrupt politicians who continue to be praised and re-elected by the ignorant masses.

CA

August 21st, 2010
5:29 pm

response to CA: I have studied the Old Testament and New Testament a few times, in depth. Of course, it does come down to interpretation, just as the study of any holy / philosophical book does. I apologize if you wanted me to be that leftist that knocks Christians. I am not that person. My point is that Jesus was loving, accepting of all, yes, even tax collectors. A major problem exists when members of a sect within a faith believe themselves to be spiritually better than others. We were all created by One True God. My point, then, is that it is dangerous to stereotype all Muslims as being radical. The members of the three major monotheistic faiths is that we are Abrahamic. Just as you discuss the events that Jesus participated in regarding his opposition to violent people, there are a great number of instances where the words and actions of Jesus promote loving one’s neighbor. As I said, I am not in favor of building the mosque where it is proposed. I am in favor of ending stereotypes. By your posting, i can tell that you are bright enough to know what I am saying. You don’t come across as one of the sheeple.

BLM

August 21st, 2010
5:36 pm

Guess Newt’s lastest mistress may be a Muslim…could that be the reason for the backdown?

Response to CA

August 21st, 2010
5:44 pm

Thanks for your reply. In short, I’m concerned about two things with regard to Muslims. First, the basic tenets of their religion are not accepting toward other faiths. Indeed, they are the opposite. I will resist the imposition of Sharia law on America with my life–or theirs.

Second, when Muslims are polled worldwide, a significant percentage support suicide bombings against civilians, bin Laden, etc.

A Pew survey of Muslims in America found that 55% did not support the war on terrorism. More than one-fourth responded that suicide bombings against civilians are sometimes justified. Only 28% believe Arab Muslims carried out the 9/11 attacks. What’s worse is that Muslims in Arab countries overwhelmingly support violence against civilians.

So where’s the religion of peace that the media regurgitates regularly. And where are the peaceful Muslims who abhor the violence those in the polls advocate? I think they are in the minority.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Truthpaste

August 21st, 2010
5:47 pm

I’m done. The majority of you that regurgitate what you hear on 750 or Fox News, from people who freely admit that they are not reporters, therefore, do no real fact checking. You are free to express your dislike for another religion, people, culture, that is your right. Just be reminded, not all of us look, dress, talk, or even act alike. You can spew your ignorance safely from the anonymity of online or the radio, but you might want to choose your words carefully in public.

CA

August 21st, 2010
5:48 pm

Response to CA: I appreciate the effort you put into your posts. It is refreshing to see someone speak with facts and mind, rather than simply emotion. You have brought a lot to this discussion.

BLM

August 21st, 2010
5:49 pm

Response to CA said: “One difference is that Christians worship the only true God.”

Try learning something about Islam before attacking it. Christians and Muslims share a common God. It’s only the prophet that differs.

Response to CA

August 21st, 2010
6:14 pm

The Qur’an makes it clear that man-made governments (such as a democracy) and free speech (such as criticizing the Qur’an) are an abomination to Allah and must be eliminated. Muslims only submit to Sharia law. Example: Salman Rushdie. A fatwā was issued against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in February 1989. Ever hear of Billy Graham issuing a fatwā against anybody?

Some Muslims quote peaceful passages of the Qur’an, but they also know that passages written later (which are more violent) supersede those written earlier.

The Bible shows that its chief characters willing submitted to government authorities. Joseph submitted to Egyptian authorities; Daniel to Babylonia authorities; Mordecai submitted to Persian authorities; Jesus submitted to the Roman authorities.

The God in my Bible, therefore, is not the same as Allah in the Qur’an–at least as its followers practice it.

Believe what you will but you may do it at your own peril.

And I mean that literally.

And by the way–Jesus is not just a prophet and he is in no way “like Muhammad” the false prophet. Jesus is the Son of God, 100% God and 100% Man–perfect, sinless in every way.

Ali

August 21st, 2010
6:26 pm

In my opinion, Newt ain’t nothing but a big mouth, grandstanding closet klansman. He needs to come clean. Who in their right mind would vote for this creep?

MD

August 21st, 2010
7:04 pm

obama should show up and cut the ribbon.

rod

August 21st, 2010
7:36 pm

jim yur assinine little comments like Hitler level is why I dont subscribe to the urinal constipation anymore as well as about everyone else in te atlanta area (except for folks like Ali)

Dirty Dawg

August 21st, 2010
7:53 pm

Newt probably was told that his characterization of The Cordoba Mosque was idiotic, and wrong, as pointed out by Mr. Bill above, so instead of being called out further, and instead of following his ‘logic’ of saying, ‘by damn, we can be just as religiously oppressive as Saudi Arabia, we’ll show ‘em.’ Plus, he and Palin make their money with appearance and speaking fees, so that whoever’s sponsoring this ‘protest’ must not be paying enough.

Coupla other points…if there are criticisms if Saudi Arabians contribute to the ultimate building of the ‘community center’, seems to me that we’ll find that those same Saudis were among the largest contributors to the Bush(es) libraries.

SIR MAGPIE DE CROW

August 21st, 2010
9:24 pm

For such a video message he could sit in an office for ten minutes while the message could be beamed to the group, and it wouldn’t compromise whatever work schedule he would have on that day. I am going to go out on a limb and say that the “mistaken staff member” excuse is probably not the truth of what happened. His message on this issue is bad enough (I think support for mosque building does not equal Nazism), the fact he doesn’t want to do any legwork on this “important issue” speaks volumes about his character (or lack thereof).

The only thing worse than a demagogue is perhaps a demagogue who is extremely lazy.

Nathan Deal

August 21st, 2010
10:41 pm

Enter your comments here

Allen

August 22nd, 2010
1:10 am

What a fake Newt is and always has been. He fooled me for a while but I see his true colors now.

Bitter EX democrackkk

August 22nd, 2010
7:14 am

Newt is too much like Hitlary Clintonista! NOT to be trusted!

Ron Paul 2012! ‘the CHANGE you WANTED!’

Newt is BAD

August 22nd, 2010
7:15 am

To Rod….if you don’t get the AJC please don’t read it online either. I have a feeling your not reading the AJC paper is based more in your inability to afford it. If it’s so beneath your grandeur then you shouldn’t be reading it online much less commenting in these posts.

Newt is a crooked Politician by trade

August 22nd, 2010
7:20 am

Newt is a washed up has been. He doesn’t come close to the character needed to be President yet he still aspires to the office he squandered over yet another extra-marital affair. Few people are as undeserving as he is for such a position of power. I mean doesn’t it sound scary to think of Newt as being the most powerful man in the world. I shudder to think what he could get us into if elected. Alas, even most GOPers I know are very aware of how bad he really is, he doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in hell of a primary win much less a general election.

Rightwing Troll

August 22nd, 2010
9:00 am

“You people will defend the indefensible.”

And YOU people will gladly return to screaming “HARDER… FASTER…” just like you did when ol Newt was in power, and the years from 2000 to 2008.

What new and original idea has come out of the whole nut sacks movement? Just one? Anything that isn’t an election cycle scare tactic?

You retards will gladly subject the country to more of the same in the name of ideology…

Liberal/Conservative

August 22nd, 2010
9:19 am

Newt is a demigogue. It’s that simple. Part and parcel of being a demigogue is a refusal to recognize the truth, to tell it, and to abide by it.

Don

August 22nd, 2010
9:24 am

It’s not a mosque, and it’s not at ground zero. The right is poisoning the the debate by calling it the ground zero mosque.

tigermike

August 22nd, 2010
9:45 am

Gingrich/Palin 2012! What a laugh!

Road Scholar

August 22nd, 2010
10:02 am

Here is a link to Dick Cavett’s editorial in the N Y Times; it’s right on:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/real-americans-please-stand-up/?src=me&ref=homepage

Mike

August 22nd, 2010
10:15 am

Newt’s one of the few politico’s with any sense. Run Newt Run. Help save America, vote conservative.

Judy

August 22nd, 2010
10:29 am

Voting conservative/republican, is voting for bigotry, for representatives who instill fear and govern with fear, and who count on the ignorance of the American Public to believe their fear-mongering lies. Run, Mike, run -the sky is falling down!!!!

MD

August 22nd, 2010
10:34 am

Its time to shut the government down quit your job monday and send the liberals packing.