Newt Gingrich came to Michele Bachmann’s defense during an event at Politico Tuesday morning, insisting that she and the four Congresspeople who have been criticized by other Republicans for implying that a senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, are raising legitimate concerns about the groups’ efforts to infiltrate the American government.
“There weren’t allegations, there was a question,” Gingrich insisted. “The question ought to be asked across the board, what’s the role of the Muslim Brotherhood, what are its various networks and to what degree does it now influence the United States?” Gingrich claimed that senior members of his own party — including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) — have bought into an “elite” culture of “political correctness” that prevents any discussion about radical Islam:
JIM VANDEHEI (POLITICO): So you think the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the American government?
GINGRICH: I think it’s worth knowing and I think it tells you something about the level of hysteria attacking these five members of Congress….I would ask the question, what is it they’re afraid of learning?
The former House Speaker lamented that most Republicans, including the party’s presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have resisted investigating the influence of radical Islam on the government and singled out former primary opponent Rick Santorum as a leader on the issue.