With the release of his latest book, To Save America, former House speaker Newt Gingrich has been on a media tour, arguing that liberals in Congress and the Obama administration are trying to create “a country which no longer resembles America.” In his book, Gingrich claims that “the secular-socialist machine” — by which he means “the Obama-Pelosi-Reid team” — “represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” On Fox News Sunday this past weekend, host Chris Wallace challenged Gingrich on that quote, asking if it was a “wildly over the top” comparison. Gingrich said it wasn’t:
WALLACE: You also write this, and let’s put it up on the screen. “The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” Mr. Speaker, respectfully, isn’t that wildly over the top?
GINGRICH: No, not if by America you mean the historic contract we’ve had which says your rights come from your creator, they’re unalienable, you’re allowed to pursue happiness. I mean, just listen to President Obama’s language.
On her CNN Headline News show last night, Joy Behar asked former GOP congresswoman Susan Molinari — who served in Congress while Gingrich was speaker of the House — if Gingrich was “losing his marbles” by making such comparisons. Molinari replied that Gingrich’s comments were “outrageous” and “crazy”:
BEHAR: Susan, when Bush was called a Nazi, the right wing went berserk on him. And yet, Gingrich just throws the word around as if it’s nothing. What is up with him? What is he, losing his marbles?
MOLINARI: This has always been — let me distance myself from that remark first of all in all seriousness. To compare anything that is going on in this country to the atrocities of Nazi Germany in any way, shape or form is just crazy. And you know that Newt was so smart. He got the Republican majority back in a generation, contract with America. And then, you know, moved quickly into a government shutdown and complained about his seat on President Clinton’s plane.
This is Newt. He can be really smart sometimes and sometimes he can just say some absolutely outrageous things. I would be like to be in that corner of saying that is outrageous.
Later in the show, Molinari tried to change the subject, saying, “let’s just take Newt off the table because that’s just not even worth talking about.” “Let’s put him under the table,” replied Behar. “Right. Exactly. Thank you,” responded Molinari.