Newt Gingrich Attacks Obama For Caring Too Much About Civil Liberties
Reported by Ellen - January 31, 2009 -
Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich were doing their unlevel-headed best last night (1/30/09) to enact what I have called Republican Plan A (setting the stage to blame Barack Obama for any future terrorism attacks) and Plan B (portray Obama as a socialist). The lead-off segment of Hannity began with Hannity distorting statements by Obama and Joe Biden in order to smear them as “hostile to capitalism.” The segment concluded with Gingrich accusing Obama of caring more about civil liberties than about America. With video.
Hannity began the segment he called, “Capitalist Hostility” with a distortion of Barack Obama's recent statements blasting profiteering on Wall Street. Hannity said, “In a time of financial crisis, the president of the United States does not believe it is a time for profits.”
That was followed by a clip of Obama saying, “We're going to be having conversations as this process moves forward, directly with these folks on Wall Street, to underscore that they have to start acting in a more responsible fashion if we are to together get this economy rolling again. There will be time for them to make profits and there will be time for them to get bonuses. Now's not that time.”
It was obvious that Obama did not mean the banks should not make any profits. With his next statement, Hannity even tacitly acknowledged that he knew what Obama meant. Hannity said, “Now he should choose his words more carefully, considering that he has appointed socialists to his cabinet and is advocating what amounts to a massive redistribution of wealth.”
But for good Obama-is-a-socialist measure, Hannity added, “Maybe Joe the Plumber, maybe he had it right all along.”
Then, Hannity played a clip of Joe Biden saying about the Wall Street executives, “I'd like to throw these guys in the brig.” It was clearly hyperbole, not a threat.
“So CEO's should be locked in a brig,” Hannity said, in another distortion - Biden obviously wasn't talking about all CEO's.
Then Hannity tied Plan B to Plan A, painting Obama as a terrorist enabler. “But we're gonna close down Gitmo and do exactly what with the terrorists who attacked the US?” Another distortion. A National Journal article and a study by Seton Hall Law School show that many detainees are being held with no evidence of having committed hostile acts against the United States or of having ties to Al Qaeda.
The only guest was Cheatin' Chickenhawk Newt Gingrich. (Gingrich later appeared in a different segment with his current wife, #3, the wife he took after he cheated on #2, who was the wife he took after he cheated on wife #1, the one whose divorce he wanted to finalize while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery (you can read the whole story here). With breathtaking hypocrisy, the current Mrs. Gingrich is described as “a devout Catholic” on Gingrich's website.)
Sure enough, Gingrich, who is obviously using FOX News as a farm team for an upcoming presidential bid, jumped on Plan B. Gingrich said, “For President Obama to attack the profit motive (which he obviously did not do), to suggest that businesses shouldn't make a profit and for the vice president to suggest that businessmen ought to be put in jail – if businessmen ought to go to jail, then what about Chris Dodd and Barney Frank? What about Charlie Rangel and David Obey? ...The president had better slow down and realize if he frightens the entire business community and if he punishes every small business with a tax increase, he's going to try to govern with no new jobs.”
Of course, Obama has never said any such thing but Misinformer of 2008 and FOX News host Hannity never corrected the record.
Then it was time for more Plan A.
Hannity prompted Gingrich by saying, “Closing down Gitmo... (Obama spokesman) Robert Gibbs wouldn't use the term 'War on Terror, ' We're not gonna have enhanced interrogations now any longer. We see this letter that's being written to the Holocaust denier, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Are we going back to a pre 9/11 mentality?”
Of course, Gingrich thought so. And he raised it a few to suggest that Obama was un-American to insist on American values. “If this administration which, of course, wants to have as its Attorney General one of the people who was involved in giving pardons to many, many terrorists in the late 90's, Eric Holder (actually, Holder was involved in granting clemency to 16 members of FALN, who had already served many years. Furthermore, Holder has said that he would probably view the case differently post 9/11). If this administration is going back to the Clinton era of terrorists as criminals, this country is going to be in much greater danger in the next two or three years because that policy did not work and it will not work. And I think people have a good reason to be worried about the overall tenor of the way they're trying to move back to 'civil liberties matter more than protecting America.'”