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Gingrich: House Leadership Would Have Been Accused Of ‘Gay Bashing’ If They Investigated Foley ‘Overly Aggressively’

By ThinkProgress on October 1, 2006 at 3:18 pm

"Gingrich: House Leadership Would Have Been Accused Of ‘Gay Bashing’ If They Investigated Foley ‘Overly Aggressively’"

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This morning on Fox News Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich excused the House leadership for their apparent cover-up of Mark Foley’s predatory behavior. Gingrich said the emails seen by House leadership were “relatively innocuous, there was nothing sexual in those notes.” Asked if there should be “second thoughts” about the leadership’s conduct, Gingrinch responded:

Well, you could have second thoughts about it, but I think had they overly aggressively reacted to the initial round, they would have also been accused of gay bashing.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/10/newtfoley.320.240.flv]

Full transcript:

WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, did House Republican leaders do all they should have?

GINGRICH: Well, I think if you look at what they actually knew, which was that the family did not want anyone involved, and the actual notes were relatively innocuous, there was nothing sexual in those notes. They had him counseled. They had the head of the page program, Congressman Shimkus, talk to him very directly. And I think they thought it was over. The newest incident only surfaced when ABC News interviewed Foley and he resigned within two hours, or I think the House leaders would have moved to expel him.

WALLACE: But, during all those months, they left Foley in the House Republican leadership. They left him as the head of the congressional caucus dealing with exploited children. No second thoughts about that?

GINGRICH: Well, you could have second thoughts about it, but I think had they overly aggressively reacted to the initial round, they would have also been accused of gay bashing. I mean, the original notes had no sexual innuendo and the parents did not want any action taken.

WALLACE: Well, how would it have been gay bashing?

GINGRICH: Because it was a male-male relationship. And it had no — there was no proof, there was nothing that I know of in that initial round that would have led you to say in a normal circumstance that this is a predatory person.

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