This weekend, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich upped the ante on his recent history of inflammatory radical right-wing rhetoric. The National Review reported on Saturday that Gingrich said that President Obama only pretends to be “normal,” that he is conning Americans and that he may have a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview. “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”
Today on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough asked incredulously, “What is he doing?” Later he asked former Bush chief of staff Andy Card if he thought Gingrich’s comments are helpful to the GOP. After a series of dodges, Card finally admitted, “I don’t think they help.” Then Scarborough asked if he was disappointed in Gingrich, and again, after dodging, Card said he is disappointed:
SCARBOROUGH: What about Newt Gingrich’s statement. What Newt Gingrich’s statements, are they hurtful for Republicans that are trying to provide strong leadership?
CARD: I don’t think they help. I don’t think that the statements that Newt Gingrich made are helpful, no. […]
SCARBOROUGH: Andy, are you disappointed by Newt Gingrich’s words? [...]
CARD: Yes, I’m disappointed.
Responding to Gingrich’s comments on ABC’s Good Morning America today, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Gingrich is “trying to appeal to the fringe of people who don’t think the president was born in this country.”