Newt Gingrich fumbles discussion of Trayvon Martin

Over the weekend, nobody fumbled the Trayvon Martin issue like Newt Gingrich.

President Barack Obama was the first to dip in on Friday morning, with a declaration of empathy. “I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids,” Obama said. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

Rick Santorum had this to say: “There’s a difference between ‘Stand Your Ground’ and doing what he did. And it’s a horrible case. It’s chilling to hear what happened, and of course the fact that law enforcement didn’t immediately go after and prosecute this case is another chilling example of horrible decisions made by people in this process.”

Likewise, Romney declared the killing of the 17-year-old, unarmed black youth a tragedy: “Our hearts go out to his family, his loved ones, his friends. This shouldn’t have happened.”

And then there was Newt, who actually may have been the first to weigh in — quite sensibly. On CNN on Thursday night:

“The district attorney has the ability to step in and say, ‘wait a minute, let’s look at this again.’ They’re clearly doing that. The police chief himself has been suspended. And I think that Americans can recognize that while this is a tragedy — and it is a tragedy — that we are going to relentlessly seek justice and I think that’s the right thing to do.”

If he had stopped there, Gingrich would have been fine. But on Friday, the former U.S. House speaker turned his focus to Obama – declaring that the president’s reaction as a black man was inappropriate. From a radio interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity:

“Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him? That’s just nonsense, dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot. It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban or if he had been white or if he had been Asian American of if he’d been a Native American.

“At some point, we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American, it is sad for all Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. I really find it appalling.”

Santorum, in softer language, also later accused the president of politicizing the issue. Which gave David Plouffe, who managed Obama’s 2008 campaign, a chance to put “reprehensible” and “circus” and Republican in the same sound bite:

The Gingrich campaign as much as conceded the misstep in a 3 p.m. Sunday press release over the name of campaign strategist Kiron Skinner, who was specifically identified as an African-American:

“Many Americans are rightly saddened by the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin, and they demand justice. Speaker Newt Gingrich condemns the killing as well and has called for a grand jury probe. His firm commitment to the rule of law, even in the most inflammatory cases, is one more reason why I have endorsed Speaker Gingrich’s presidential campaign.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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211 comments Add your comment

clyde

March 26th, 2012
9:35 am

Trayvon Martin ,in death,has become a political football.A sad ending for a young man.His shooting was senseless and what is going to transpire now will be even more senseless.

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
9:42 am

Sick of hearing about this story.

Marlboro Man

March 26th, 2012
9:45 am

You can’t kill someone for stealing your lawnmower. Guns change a person’s mindset, unless you are the law one should not pursue people while armed.

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
9:45 am

Marlboro….Guns do not change a mindset other than to not be the victim.

John

March 26th, 2012
9:50 am

OJ butchers a white woman and a Jewish guy and all I heard from “African-American leaders” was crickets — except for the cheerleading.

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
9:52 am

John….Amen, they are all media puppets.

Roach

March 26th, 2012
9:58 am

Yes, people in the majority are tired of hearing about how minorities face discrimination in today’s America, up to and including losing their lives. The minority should just shut up and take it. That’s what good Americans do in the face of injustice, right?

Centrist

March 26th, 2012
9:59 am

Only Republicans can be called by the likes of the AJC to “fumble” this incident. Obama and other black “leaders” weighing in with a media trial, and omitting certain facts is fair inside the liberal MSM.

Let’s just forget the Tawana Brawley incident where Al Sharpton knee jerked before: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawana_Brawley

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
10:00 am

Roach, you do realize that a “minority” killed that kid, right?

Marlboro Man

March 26th, 2012
10:00 am

UGA, could I interest you in a pack of Marlboro Lights ?

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
10:00 am

I wonder if Obama will invite Zimmerman to the White House for a beer?

Aquagirl

March 26th, 2012
10:04 am

Sick of hearing about this story.

It’s because of people like you that we’re hearing this story over and over.

Hope you enjoy a side of irony with that cheese and whine.

Real American

March 26th, 2012
10:06 am

Oh of course UGA…now you want George Zimmerman to be Jorge Zimmerman…aren’t you the same one that loves to tell everybody just how white President Obama is? Now I guess you back to that one drop rule huh?

And Centrist…please…that’s the best ya got? Going back 30 years. How pathetic…you soulless demons are mad that the death of a black teen by some crazed vigilante, then shot again by the Sanford Police Dept – is getting international attention. It drives you bonkers to see an injustice get a spotlight. Here you come with the “how come” deflections because it pains you to see this one case get the attention it deserves the victim doesn’t look like the thug gangsta you want him too, he looks like he could be the son of the POTUS – and its driving you crazy. Go back to your hole and fester some more.

Dr. Pangloss

March 26th, 2012
10:08 am

Newt got it wrong because Newt has no understanding of normal human feelings and no regard for them. He gets his version of reality from pulp science fiction.

Real American

March 26th, 2012
10:08 am

Aquagirl, its not even ironic for them to be this hypocritical anymore. Its just sad. Obviously though its a reflection of their upbringing.

JL

March 26th, 2012
10:11 am

Don’t compare this case to O.J. or any other murder. In the O.J. investigation, the police did an investigation and, ultimately, a jury somehow acquitted him. In this case, the police did nothing to find out why an unarmed black teenager was gunned down. People are allowed to be racist. It’s not a nice thing to be, but it is allowed. But police departments cannot be. Otherwise we get injustices, like in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

td

March 26th, 2012
10:13 am

The more I read about the story the more I understand why there has been no charges filed. Looks like this Martin kid and Zimmerman were in a fight and Martin was beating the crap out of Zimmerman when he was killed according to a witness and the injuries suffered by Zimmerman. If this is the case then there is no case to be brought.

We should allow the investigators to do their job and race pimps like Al and Jesse should be sent packing.

Newtewt.

March 26th, 2012
10:15 am

Studies have shown that if you carry a gun, you’re more likely to think the person you encounter is also carrying a gun.

bob

March 26th, 2012
10:16 am

Roach, if minorities were concerned then we would here more about minority on minority violence. In this case it was minority on minority but the likes of CNN and others need a race issue so they are calling the hispanic guy a white guy to push their agenda. Haze a band member and kill him, no white guy to blame so the story receives little attention. Hispanic kills black, call the hispanic white and call in the races pimps.

Aquagirl

March 26th, 2012
10:16 am

Obviously though its a reflection of their upbringing.

They’re pining for the good ‘ol days, when black men stayed in their proper place: the sports section.

MD

March 26th, 2012
10:18 am

How many times has a black killed a white man or woman and you see this much outrage.You goons can go and stick your head back in the sand now.

Don't Tread

March 26th, 2012
10:19 am

And now we have people like Chuck Schumer and Eric Holder (who should be rotting in a jail cell himself, but gets a free pass) investigating states’ “stand your ground” laws. The purpose of “stand your ground” laws is to put the law on the side of the victim and not the criminal, but of course Democrats are adamantly opposed to the right of self-defense.

liberalefty

March 26th, 2012
10:19 am

i see the CHICKENHAWK and JOCKSNIFFER are celebrating the fact that an AMERICAN citizen was stalked and murdered…

Michael #1

March 26th, 2012
10:19 am

As usual, Centrist is unable to stay on topic. What is scary is that they DON”T GET IT. But they never have to worry about doing anything in life that is of importance.

DannyX

March 26th, 2012
10:20 am

“Let’s just forget the Tawana Brawley incident where Al Sharpton knee jerked before:”

How about we don’t forget about it! It was just plain wrong.

Now, what in the world does that have to do with the Trayvon Martin case? What is your point? Is there some sort of a “centrist” angle to your deflection that I’m missing?

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
10:20 am

This is hilarious!

Look before I leap...

March 26th, 2012
10:22 am

UGA:

I disagree with your statement about the mindset being altered by Zimmerman’s possession of a sidearm. I think it highly unlikely that he makes the decision to exit his vehicle and chase after Martin absent a gun.

I don’t think Zimmerman’s original intent was to shoot the kid. But it it easy to believe that he intended to confront and force a situation where he becomes the neighborhood “hero” and that mindset and subsequent actions are completely consistent with the sense of invulnerability that some feel when carrying a weapon.

td

March 26th, 2012
10:22 am

Newtewt.

March 26th, 2012
10:15 am

Can you please link some of those studies so that we may all get some education on the issue?

GET REAL

March 26th, 2012
10:24 am

UGA 1999 — Once again, you show your stupidity. You need a brain transplant. So, George Zimmerman is another “minority”? How, do you know? You’re clueless.

liberalefty

March 26th, 2012
10:27 am

Zimmerman was a fat cowardly slob who is probaly intimidated by black men{like a lot of white/non black men are}, thats probaly why he butchered this boy…

liberalefty

March 26th, 2012
10:28 am

JOCK SNIFFER and CHICKENHAWK having a go time celebrating this boys death

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
10:29 am

Look before….Not a bad arguement. I agree. However if someone is capable of shooting or harming someone else, then having a gun will not impact that persons mindset.

td

March 26th, 2012
10:29 am

Look before I leap…

March 26th, 2012
10:22 am

And what about these new reports out that says Zimmerman had a broken nose and injuries on the back of his head? There is also a report from a witness that says Zimmerman was on the ground screaming before the gun shot. One could look at this evidence and say that Zimmerman did not draw his gun until after he was attached and was just defending himself.

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
10:29 am

Get Real….Dude he is latin. You are a joke.

td

March 26th, 2012
10:29 am

That should be attacked instead of attached.

td

March 26th, 2012
10:32 am

liberalefty

March 26th, 2012
10:28 am

You along with the other race pimp agitators need to shut up until all the facts are out.

Aquagirl

March 26th, 2012
10:34 am

Studies have shown that if you carry a gun, you’re more likely to think the person you encounter is also carrying a gun.

Studies have shown that if you call the cops nearly 50 times for various crap (including potholes) responsible adults should take your gun.

Look before I leap...

March 26th, 2012
10:34 am

“We should allow the investigators to do their job and race pimps like Al and Jesse should be sent packing.”

While I am no fan of either Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, in this particular case, the investigators had NOT done their job originally. They had all but closed the case before the kid’s body had even been taken to the morgue. Whether or not there was racial bias by the cops is open to debate, but there is ample precedent to support such a claim.

Real American

March 26th, 2012
10:35 am

UGA still trying to make George Zimmerman into Jose Zimmerman I see! This is the same guy that didn’t believe in that one drop rule last week! Guess he changed his mind.

td, if you had any common sense – well…you don’t. You are justifying Zimmerman following somebody and confronting them – as if he had any right whatsoever to do so. I guess you would tell your child that if a total stranger follows them, they should turn around and ask politely ” how can I help you sir?” – yeah, that’s what you would tell your child.

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
10:36 am

Real American

March 26th, 2012
10:36 am

td, what “new reports” about Zimmerman’s “broken nose”? You mean from the police report? The police photos? The medical report from his trip to the emergency room that same night? Those new reports?

Please link to those reports.

td

March 26th, 2012
10:40 am

Look before I leap…

March 26th, 2012
10:34 am

According to some of the evidence coming out this weekend from the police and the injuries suffered by Zimmerman and what the witness saw right before the shooting then not charging Zimmerman with a crime could have been the correct decision. I will still reserve judgement until we hear the outcome of this new investigation from the state.

liberalefty

March 26th, 2012
10:43 am

the CHICKENHAWK is mad that people are upset that an innocent unarmed AMERICAN CITIZEN was stalked and butchered

liberalefty

March 26th, 2012
10:43 am

td

u mean the racist police would never lie would they…lol

Real American

March 26th, 2012
10:44 am

td could you please link to the police report or police photos of Zimmerman’s injuries, or the part of the police report where Zimmerman was transported to the local emergency room for that “broken nose”?

Aquagirl

March 26th, 2012
10:45 am

Dude he is latin.[sic]

The only time I believe UGA 1999 is when he claims to have been a jock. Lord knows Athens has unleashed some boxes ‘o rocks upon the world via sports scholarships.

I guess embarrassing posts like that one are the price they pay for keeping up in the SEC.

Look before I leap...

March 26th, 2012
10:47 am

That Martin physically engaged Zimmerman is not in question.
Whether or not Zimmerman had his weapon out when he began to chase after Martin on foot is less clear to me. But, I am having a bit of trouble imagining the scenario where Zimmerman unholsters his weapon, AFTER being tackled, while Martin sits on his chest raining blows on Zimmerman’s head.

It is possible and even likely that Martin acted out of fear and a sense of self-preservation after being stalked and then pursued on foot and rather than risk a bullet in the back while fleeing, decided that his best chance was to attack.

Regardless, NONE of the above occurs if ZImmerman remains in his vehicle. Why he decided to get out and pursue is relevant to whether or not “Stand Your Ground” actually applies here.

td

March 26th, 2012
10:47 am

First off this is an ongoing investigation so there is no way you will see police reports or medical reports. There is a story out by ABC news looking at some alternative views then what the race pimps put out.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimmermans-attorney-friend-speak-trayvon-martin-incident/story?id=15999256#.T3CAztmqAxo

UGA 1999

March 26th, 2012
10:48 am

Aquagirl….You make me laugh. Thank you.

liberalefty

March 26th, 2012
10:49 am

@real american

td wouldnt make up sheit to fit his rightwing agenda would he? hes a rootin tootin christian