Protests have been raging in Afghanistan since news surfaced that U.S. troops burned copies of the Quran at Bagram Air Force Base. Last week, President Obama apologized to Afghans and the Afghan government saying the act was “inadvertent.”
But the Republican presidential candidates — who are averse to saying sorry for anything — pounced on the president. Rick Santorum admitted the Quran burning was a “mistake” but said Obama’s apology “shows weakness.” And Newt Gingrich said Obama “surrendered.” “There seems to be nothing that radical Islamists can do to get Barack Obama’s attention in a negative way,” Gingrich said, “and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the United States, period.”
When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Gingrich yesterday if that standard also applies to President Bush (Bush issued an apology to Iraq for a similar incident there in 2008), the former House Speaker didn’t have an answer. “I wasn’t a presidential candidate at that point,” was all he could come up with. Blitzer tried one more time:
BLITZER: So I just want to be precise. I can — I totally understand where you’re coming from as far as President Obama is concerned, apologizing now. But with hindsight, was it wrong for President Bush to apologize back in 2008?
GINGRICH: Look, I think we should always have respect for various religious documents. But I would also ask you, Wolf, why was it OK for the U.S. Army to burn bibles? I mean I don’t understand this one-sided nature that is always apologizing for Islam while it is dissing Christianity. And it was the U.S. Army policy to burn bibles in 2009. It wasn’t the Obama administration.
And I am just — I personally am — one of the reasons that I’m running for president is that I’m tired of the elite view in this country, you can do anything you want to to Judaism and Christianity, but you have to apologize for Islam as often as necessary and you can never stand up and just say that’s baloney.
Watch the clip:
So Gingrich says that Obama surrendered the nation to Afghanistan by apologizing for Quran desecration, yet Bush gets off the hook. The former speaker’s hypocrisy shouldn’t be all that surprising though, as it’s been the hallmark of his presidential campaign.