Entries in Newt Gingrich (3)


Gingrich to Afghanistan: 'Live Your Own Miserable Life'

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Monday that the unrest the United States was seeing in Afghanistan was just “the tip of the iceberg.”

“We’re not going to fix Afghanistan. It’s not possible. These are people who have spent several thousand years hating foreigners,” Gingrich said. “And what we’ve done by staying is become the new foreigners. And this is a real problem.”

Gingrich said that in his judgment, the problems the U.S. face in the Middle East are too big and complicated for military solutions.

“There’s some problems where what you have to do is say, ‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life because I’m not here — you clearly don’t want to hear from me how to be unmiserable,’” Gingrich said.

Gingrich was critical of President Obama last week for apologizing to Afghanistan after the burning of copies of the Koran sparked mass protests. Gingrich said the president should not have apologized since two Americans were killed.

On Monday, Gingrich also took a swipe at Afghan president Hamid Zarzai. “My prediction is, the Karzai government is playing us for fools,” Gingrich said. “So my view is that we need to be, we need to have a president who is prepared to tell the truth about who is trying to kill us.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Defends Apology to Afghanistan; Criticism from Gingrich, Palin

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House Thursday defended President Obama’s decision to apologize for the recent incident of Koran burning at a U.S. airbase in Afghanistan, saying it was “wholly appropriate” given the “understandable sensitivities” to the issue.

“The error was inadvertent,” Obama wrote in a letter to his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, according to Karzai’s office. “I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, however, said it was “an outrage” for the president to issue an apology on the same day two U.S. troops were killed by Afghan soldiers.

“It is Hamid Karzai who owes the American people an apology, not the other way around,” Gingrich said in a written statement. “This destructive double standard whereby the United States and its democratic allies refuse to hold accountable leaders who tolerate systematic violence and oppression in their borders must come to an end.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the apology.

“[The president's] primary concern as commander-in-chief is the safety of American men and women in Afghanistan, of our military and civilian personnel there. And it was absolutely the right thing to do,” Carney told reporters.

The improper disposal of the sacred text of Islam have sparked anti-U.S. riots in Afghanistan.

“The actions here, while inadvertent, do not reflect the great respect that our military personnel have for the religious traditions of the Afghan people,” Carney said.

Gingrich was not the only prominent Republican to slam the president’s decision. “Obama apologizes for inadvertent Koran burning; now the U.S. trained & protected Afghan Army can apologize for killing our soldiers yesterday,” 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has not spoken directly about the apology to Karzai, but vowing no apology is a key line of his stump speech.

“Let me make this very clear. As president of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America,” the former Massachusetts governor said in October.

The White House says the president’s apology was conveyed before the U.S. troops were killed Thursday.

Furthermore, the administration notes that the apology, which was included in a lengthy three-page letter from Obama to Karzai on a range of issues, is not unprecedented. In 2008, President Bush apologized to Iraq’s prime minister for an American sniper’s shooting of a Koran.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich ‘Ignorant,’ ‘Racist’ Say Palestinians

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has been slammed by Palestinians for telling a Jewish television channel that they are an “invented” people.

“These are extremely trivial, demeaning and ridiculous remarks,” Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said, according to the Ma’an News Agency . “Even the most extremist settlers of Israel wouldn’t talk in such a ridiculous way.”

“Ignorant” and “despicable” were also used by top Palestinian officials to describe Gingrich’s comments.

“This is the lowest point of thinking anyone can reach,” said lead negotiator Saeb Erekat. The comments only “increase the cycle of violence.”

Gingrich told the Jewish Channel that Palestinians are “invented” because there has been no state of Palestine.

“I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community,” said Gingrich. “And they had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it’s tragic.”

The land of Israel and the Palestinian territories was part of the Ottoman Empire before being taken over by Great Britain. Mandated Palestine, as it was known, was then partitioned by the United Nations in 1947.

Gingrich went on to call the Israeli-Palestinian peace process “delusional” and that President Barack Obama’s treatment of Palestinians is “favoring the terrorists.”

Gingrich’s argument is regularly made and far from new.

In 1969, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”

“This proves that in the hysterical atmosphere of American elections, people lose all touch with reality and make not just irresponsible and dangerous statements, but also very racist comments that betray not just their own ignorance but an unforgivable bias,” said top Palestinian Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio