Political Animal


May 18, 2011 11:15 AM Gingrich doesn’t want to be quoted

By Steve Benen

Just a few days ago, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich had a rather scathing reaction to the House GOP budget plan. The disgraced former House Speaker not only called the Paul Ryan agenda “radical change” and “too big a jump” for Americans, he also denounced “right-wing social engineering.” Gingrich later said, “I think it would be politically catastrophic to pass the bill in its current form.”

He now says he was tricked by soft-ball questions, but more importantly, Gingrich also says no one should quote his own words. He told Fox News last night:

“Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.”

As Gingrich descends into laughingstock status, this gem may stand out for its unique beauty. Consider how extraordinary this argument really is: if you tell the public that Newt Gingrich said what he actually said, you’re lying.

Even for Newt, that’s remarkable.

My fear is that Gingrich, too humiliated to continue, will wrap up his laughable presidential campaign quickly, and deprive us of months of entertainment. Here’s hoping Gingrich stays right where he is — and keeps talking.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • bignose on May 18, 2011 11:22 AM:

    So not only has that fat-ass liar joined the "Not a factual statement" crowd, he ain't smart enough to spar with reporters.

    Presidential material, indeed.

  • elbrucce on May 18, 2011 11:23 AM:

    No let the buffoons go, and now. Politics is not entertainment, nor an excuse to keep pundits employed. If the fools are gone, perhaps those who write about politics will have no choice but to actually cover policy.

  • Winkandanod on May 18, 2011 11:23 AM:


    (I cheated on on my WIVES, plural.)

  • stormskies on May 18, 2011 11:28 AM:

    This is of course what happens to those who lie: they get caught and then they can only lie so more .. welcome to the REPIGLICAN PARTY ...

  • c u n d gulag on May 18, 2011 11:30 AM:

    “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.”

    Now THAT is an ALL TIME CLASSIC!!!

    POOR little fat Newt.
    A fifty year grift may have been blown due to a moment of misplaced political pandering. Newt, you forgot the one thing NO Conservative politician can EVER do - and that's even semi agree with a Liberal position.
    You can't take it back!
    These people in your base may not know how to count, or tell fact from fiction, or believe in evolution, but they have memories like super-computers when it comes to remembering people who disagree with their chosen Lead Lemmings.

    What does a grifter do when the grift's gone?
    Well, usually come up with a new grift. But I'm not sure Newt's gonna be able to do that this time. After all, he'll be remembered as the man who tried to turn-off Ryan's Hope.
    I suggest Mrs. Newt now pawn the Tiffany's take.
    She and Newt might need the money. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • A Hermit on May 18, 2011 11:30 AM:

    Obviously whatever he says is not intended to be taken as factual statements...

  • Mudge on May 18, 2011 11:31 AM:

    Newt's ego (which, like his income, is in the top 1%) got the best of him; he is not above the party anymore. Newt may be many despicable things, but he is not dumb. His comments to Gregory were savvy, but he now has to undergo a political lobotomy to survive.

  • Xenocrates on May 18, 2011 11:31 AM:

    Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?? What a buffoon this man is...he makes Trump look kind of smart. See ya, Newtie, and take Princess Sparklepony with you! Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • slappy magoo on May 18, 2011 11:31 AM:

    Why limit yourself to Sunday? Just tell anyone any political ad they ever see against you is a lie, then you're always covered...unless of course they're saying you did things you want to take credit for doing, in which case they're not all lies, only the bad stuff, or the stuff they think is bad but you think is good...or...mommy!

  • Danp on May 18, 2011 11:36 AM:

    Follow-up question Fox might have asked: How will we know what you want people to believe if we don't quote you?

    Just pondering here: If Newt says his words constitue falsehoods, is he telling the truth?

  • John R AKA Mr. Serf Man on May 18, 2011 11:36 AM:

    It was almost humorous this morning on Mourning Joe as David (I'm just another village insider) Gregory explained how he ambushed Ol Newtie with quotes from his books and video tapes of things he had said.

    There are no tapes or printed word in the Faux Alt Universe

  • Old School on May 18, 2011 11:43 AM:

    I already assume any Gingrich quote already contains falsehoods.

  • TR on May 18, 2011 11:46 AM:

    Getting outsmarted by David Gregory in an interview is like getting your ass kicked by Stephen Hawking in a street fight.

    On another note, this site's Captcha is getting ridiculous. I just had it ask me to type in a series of Chinese characters. WTF?

  • bdop4 on May 18, 2011 11:47 AM:

    No way Newt can withdraw his campaign. He hasn't even begun to meet his monthly revenue projections on donations and sales of his snake oil products.

    He's got to pick up at least $1-2 million from the unwashed masses before he can leave the campaign race with an acceptable ROI. Then he can take that $250K vacation he promised Wife #3.

    He's just going to have to suck it up for the benefit of the bottom line.

  • Just Guessing on May 18, 2011 11:49 AM:

    Does Comedy Central have a mole pulling the strings in every Rethug campaign because this last week has been golden?

    My only concern is that Dems will sit back when they should be out there continuously pushing the economy and jobs.

  • Gandalf on May 18, 2011 11:52 AM:

    Can you just imagine ole Newt dealing with foreign leaders or international bankers. Newt goes I said that and you beleived me!! Why shame on you as you well know anything I said could be construed as a lie.

    Oh yea captca and the format blows!!!

  • andrew on May 18, 2011 11:53 AM:

    "if you tell the public that Newt Gingrich what he actually said"

    Please, Washington Monthly, a simple scan of posts for typos and poor grammar and sentence construction, would prevent such malformed statements as above.

  • Roger the Cabin Boy on May 18, 2011 11:55 AM:

    Being republican means you never have to take responsibility for anything you say (or do). Because noone in the MSM ever calls them on it anyway. That's in the rules.

    Hmm, my Captcha code was "anaial kelons"

  • Kathryn on May 18, 2011 12:00 PM:

    Newt's real problem is not being able to bamboozle the righties to send him cash for his scams, which is how he and helmet head live so high on the hog. Now that he's pissed off the true believers, he has no way to bring in money, what a conundrum.

  • Joe Friday on May 18, 2011 12:11 PM:

    Gingrich: Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.

    Orwell would be proud.

  • lb22 on May 18, 2011 12:31 PM:

    Shorter Newt, "I lie, if you quote me, you lie too."

  • elbrucce on May 18, 2011 1:50 PM:

    Please, Washington Monthly, a simple scan of posts for typos and poor grammar and sentence construction, would prevent such malformed statements as above.

    Sorry... no room in the infotainment budget for spell/grammar check.

  • JD on May 18, 2011 2:08 PM:

    That's the funniest thing a politician has ever said.

  • SYSPROG on May 18, 2011 2:13 PM:

    'Not intended to be a factual statement' redux?

  • Mel on May 18, 2011 2:44 PM:

    Newt is an achiever! When 30 Rock had their bizarre populist candidate say "Taken out of context, it's exactly what I meant.", they set a very low bar to limbo under.