Tag: newt gingrich
Why A Biden 'Impeachment Inquiry' May Make Democrats Secretly Smile

Why A Biden 'Impeachment Inquiry' May Make Democrats Secretly Smile

Impeaching Joe Biden doesn't rank high on the list of political priorities for most Americans — who are far more concerned with economic security, gun violence and crime, health-care costs and whether Republicans and Democrats can work together to address those issues.

While the president's approval ratings languish, most Americans display little interest in the tortuous House investigations targeting him and his son Hunter Biden. A recent Morning Consult poll found that only 30 percent of voters, including less than a quarter of independents, see any urgency in launching a Biden impeachment inquiry.

Yet under intense pressure from their party's loudest voices, including former President Donald Trump, House Republicans may soon embark on the first stage of that process. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy privately told GOP leadership and some members last week that he is "moving closer" to an impeachment inquiry. When he realized that he had encouraged his party's most extreme faction in its mania, he stepped back. "Impeachment inquiry is not impeachment," he assured reporters.

Dim as he is, McCarthy nevertheless should realize that an "inquiry" without an actual impeachment will amount to a public exoneration of Biden. He already may have noticed what his more fanatical members like Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) have not: a distinct absence of proof that Biden has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" that warrant his removal from office.

The most damning piece of evidence uncovered so far by Rep. James Comer, the House Oversight Committee chairman, is a scrap of an interview with an FBI informant who claimed to have heard a Ukrainian businessman say he had paid off Biden during the Obama administration. Unfortunately for Comer, that very same individual had already denied, on tape, that he ever had any contact with Biden.

As Philip Bump noted in The Washington Post, that episode exemplifies the feeble case cobbled together so far by Comer, who has confessed forthrightly that his purpose is political, not forensic. He doesn't care whether he has enough facts to make a persuasive argument for Biden's guilt. The smear is good enough for the chairman and is indeed good enough for many or even most Republicans.

Is such flimsy and contradictory material enough to sustain an impeachment inquiry, however, let alone a vote to oust the president? For those Republicans who still insist that Biden was not duly elected, perhaps it is. For anyone with a functioning brain, including many elected Republicans, it may not be. Before McCarthy starts down the path toward impeachment, he ought to listen to the Republicans who are waving him off. They include Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who publicly warns that impeachment is "a trap," and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), a Freedom Caucus member who mocks "impeachment theater" as a distraction and delusion.

For Buck, Paul and other Republican skeptics, it is unpleasant to recall what happened the last time a leader of their party impeached a Democratic president without respect to public opinion. Driven by an intense hatred for President Bill Clinton (and First Lady Hillary Clinton) among their base, and by the proliferation of far-fetched accusations and conspiracy theories in right-wing media, then-Speaker Newt Gingrich committed an historic blunder.

The ugly spectacle produced by the Republicans dragged them down and elevated Clinton. Despite the president's admitted misbehavior with a former intern — and his perjured testimony to shield that private affair — the American people saw him as a victim of partisan hypocrites and Pharisees. When the dust cleared, Clinton was riding high, the Republicans had unceremoniously booted Gingrich and the Democrats had gained seats in a midterm that should have seen them lose.

None of those rather basic considerations discourage the most zealous figures on the right, who demand Biden's impeachment as vengeance for the two Trump impeachments. It's an obsession that leaves voters cold and alienated. Before the impeachment caucus gets too excited, they ought to ask why that threat makes so many Democrats smirk.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich Warns GOP: Biden Is 'Successful' -- And May Well Win In 2024

President Joe Biden is winning, and the Republican party must “learn to quit underestimating” him if it’s to have any hope for victory in 2024, warns former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich, the brains behind modern-day partisan bouts on the Hill, made the stunning rebuke in a column on his website, blasting his party’s blind aversion to the former president and reluctance to accept its shortcomings.

The Republican — credited for his party’s sweeping 1994 revolution and President Bill Clinton’s impeachment — warned that although he was no Biden supporter, it didn’t take much to “realize how well he is doing by his own definition of success.”

“Like virtually all conservatives and Republicans, I deeply oppose his policies,” Gingrich wrote. “However, conservatives’ hostility to the Biden administration on our terms tends to blind us to just how effective Biden has been on his terms.”

Gingrich’s comments trailed the GOP’s historically underwhelming mid-term performance — winning only a slim 222-seat House majority and losing a Senate spot under ex-president Trump’s leadership, in what the GOP comically named a “red wave” — a defeat he lamented conservatives were unwilling to take notes from.

“Today there is not nearly enough understanding (or acknowledgement) among leading Republicans that our system and approach failed,” he wrote, torching his party, which, even now, is hosting antisemites and conspiracy theorists, planning baseless partisan investigations, and obsessing over snooze fest “bombshell” reveals.

Gingrich said he believed the right’s rabid attacks on Biden were ineffective, proven, he said, by the Democratic party’s shocking defiance of midterm history in last month’s elections.

“The Biden team had one of the best first term off-year elections in history. They were not repudiated. They did not have to pay for their terrible mismanagement of the economy,” he said.

In light of this, MAGA activists, online contrarians, and far-right provocateurs that comprise today’s GOP have insisted on attacking Biden’s age and supposed speech impediments, Gingrich fumed — attacks that didn’t work before the 2020 election and thereafter.

“We dislike Biden so much, we pettily focus on his speaking difficulties, sometimes strange behavior, clear lapses of memory, and other personal flaws. Our aversion to him and his policies makes us underestimate him and the Democrats,” Gingrich lamented in his column.

The Fox News pundit weighed in on his reasoning to Axios: "I was thinking about football and the clarity of winning and losing. It hit me that, measured by his goals, Biden has been much more successful than we have been willing to credit."

Gingrich likened Biden to former presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, both of whom “preferred to be underestimated” and “wanted people to think of them as pleasant — but not dangerous.”

“They found being underestimated was a major asset. While people laughed at them, they were busy achieving their goals and getting their programs implemented, Gingrich said. “Biden has achieved something similar.”

Although Biden recently turned 80, Democrats, bolstered by their strong midterm showing and string of legislative wins, have coalesced around the president, who, the Washington Post reports, remains the top Democratic candidate for 2024.

Gingrich also had high praise for Biden’s Ukraine foreign policy, which House Republicans have assailed and promised to investigate.

“Biden has carefully and cautiously waged war in Ukraine with no American troops. Although poorly timed and slowly delivered, U.S. weapons and financial aid have helped cripple what most thought would be an easy victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin,” he wrote.

President Biden’s effective leadership allowed his “team [to take] an amazingly narrow four-vote majority in the U.S. House and a 50-50 tie in the Senate and turned it into trillions of dollars in spending,” Gingrich opined.

The ex-speaker warned the Republican party to “rethink from the ground up” if it’s to stand a chance against an “almost inevitable second-time Democrat Presidential Nominee Biden.”

“If Republicans are going to successfully work through the next two years in the Congress – and win the presidency in 2024 – we need to look much more deeply at what worked and what did not work in 2020 and 2022,” he wrote. “This is a much bigger challenge than I would have guessed before the election.”

Inciting Violence Is Now Intrinsic To The Republican Party's Fascist Lexicon

Inciting Violence Is Now Intrinsic To The Republican Party's Fascist Lexicon

There was a saying in Hollywood when I worked out there in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s: To make a motion picture, first you need the written word. It was true. None of the moving images you’ve seen in a movie theater on your television would have been possible unless some writer had sat down in a room, usually alone, and written the screenplay or teleplay that told the story and described the action that would eventually fill screens for you to marvel at.

I should confess my prejudice from the beginning: As a writer, I have always believed in the power of words to inform, to entertain, to inspire, to soothe, to amaze, to stun, to motivate, to carry you away to places you’ve never been and to experience feelings you’ve never felt. Without words, we would be lost. We would not be able to communicate with one another. We would be unable to engage in commerce, to give directions, to express our love for each other or for wonderful things, even to grieve and recover from grief. Words are one of the most important things that make us human. The animal world is without them, although some species such as whales and birds and canines like wolves can “talk” to each other by making sounds that are emitted from vocal cords not unlike our own.

The Oxford English Dictionary estimates that there are currently 171,146 words in use in the English language, not to mention some 47,000 or so that were once used but have become obsolete. I don’t know the numbers for other languages, but with some 7,000-plus languages spoken around the world, there are probably two billion words in use by human beings on this planet.

Certain words are more powerful than others. The word “love” is one of them. It has been the subject of countless poems and books. It is a word found throughout the Bible and the sacred texts of other religions. The word “love” is as universal as the air we breathe. It expresses something seemingly all of us feel or are capable of feeling or want to feel.

But so is the word “hate” powerful. If words can bring us together, join us to one another individually or as a people, so can they drive us apart. Hate is one of those words. If you say you hate someone, you are expressing your apartness from that person. By hating a person or a place or an idea, you are marking it as wrong, as alien, as unlike yourself, as dangerous – a thing to be scorned, even to be destroyed.

And it is here that we enter the world of rhetoric, the art – if you will – of using words to serve the purpose of persuasion. You can persuade, or attempt to persuade, people for various reasons and in various ways. The academy, where rhetoric is studied, will tell you there are three ways to use rhetoric to appeal to an audience: As the Greek philosopher Aristotle observed, you can use “logos,” deploying reason. You can use “ethos,” counting on your own character and credibility to carry the day. And you can use “pathos,” appealing to the audience’s emotions and shared beliefs and values.

Political rhetoric, the use of words to persuade people, let us say, to be on your side rather than that of your opponent, can make use of all three corners of what they call the rhetorical triangle, involving reason, credibility (which we can read here as apparent truthfulness), and emotions. And that’s the way political rhetoric has gone practically since our country’s founding. Here are the reasons my program or policy is better than my opponent’s, and here are the reasons I’m more trustworthy than my opponent. For example, my opponent took campaign contributions from the “X” industry, so how can you trust that he will represent you and not the industry that gave the money? Here is a list of people with whom my opponent identifies, and these are the reasons his closeness to them is not in your interest. Vote for me! I will do the things I say I will do, unlike my opponent, who failed to keep his promises the last time you voted him into office.

Or politicians could decide to just sling mud and lies and hate.

There are plenty of examples of rhetoric visiting the gutter in American politics. In campaign ditties sung by troubadours – an early version of campaign advertising – John Adams accused Thomas Jefferson (accurately, as it turned out) of fathering children by a slave. Invective was slung about in campaign after campaign. Father Charles E. Coughlin, a famous “radio priest” from Detroit, at first supported President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal. But when he turned against him, he hurled anti-Semitic attacks at Roosevelt, accusing him of being in league with “Jewish bankers” who controlled the world, and thus the American economy, to the detriment of ordinary citizens.

In the 1930s and '40s and '50s, right-wing politicians accused their liberal opponents of being communists and socialists. The examples of racism being used in American politics is long and sickening. In recent times, there was the so-called Willie Horton ad used against Michael Dukakis by George H.W. Bush. And the infamous Jesse Helms ad showing a pair of white hands crumbling up a job rejection letter with a black hand clearly shown on the letter and a voiceover explaining that he didn’t get the job because of racial quotas. Helms’ opponent in the Senate race in North Carolina was Harvey Gantt, who was Black.

I’m sure you can come up with examples of your own of what used to be called dirty politics through the years. But except for the vicious rhetoric which preceded the Civil War over slavery, when southern states under the banner of the Democratic Party banded together to attack northern politicians, Lincoln chief among them, the harshest rhetoric in American politics was more or less one-on-one, with individual candidates making nasty accusations against their opponents.

Until 1990, that is, when Newt Gingrich, using GOPAC, a Republican organization put together to help train and fund GOP candidates for office, began his campaign to elect Republicans to Congress who would one day elect him Speaker of the House. In service of that singular cause – Gingrich made it sound like it was about Republican ideas and programs, but it was really all about himself – he released a memo put together with the help of Republican pollster Frank Luntz. The title of the memo was “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.” The memo was written because so many Republican candidates had told GOPAC organizers, “I want to speak like Newt,” who was then making fiery speeches on the House floor, usually to an audience that consisted of the House video cameras and zero members. The speeches made his reputation for using negative words and attack phrases meant to divide, diminish, distract, and destroy political opponents, namely Democrats and the Democratic Party.

The Gingrich memo codified Republican negative attack politics and was notable for language that was at the time called vicious and nasty, not to mention negative and outrageous. From the perspective of the week that Nancy Pelosi’s husband was attacked with a hammer by a right-wing extremist follower of Donald Trump who had posted long diatribes against Jews, the LGBTQ community, Blacks, and immigrants, the Gingrich memo seems to float into view on a pink cloud of lost innocence.

The memo has two lists of words Luntz had tested with focus groups to determine their political efficacy. The first was a list of “Optimistic Positive Governing Words,” meant to “help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!” It included words like building, caring, change, children, courage, crusade, commitment, family, fair, freedom, hard work, incentive, liberty, opportunity, peace, precious, preserve, principle, prosperity, protect, pride, reform, strength, tough, truth, we/us/our.

The second list, entitled, “Contrasting Words,” was meant to “define our opponents” and be applied to Democrats’ “record, proposals, and their party.” Here we go with the attack vocabulary according to Newt Gingrich: abuse of power; anti flag, family, child, jobs; bizarre; cheat; bosses; bureaucracy; corrupt; criminal rights; decay; destroy; destructive; disgrace; greed; failure; incompetent; intolerant; liberal; lie; pathetic; permissive; radical; selfish; self-serving; shallow; shame; sick; steal; taxes; they/them; traitors; unionize, waste; welfare.

The words themselves were not as remarkable as the fact that one of our two political parties made a decision at its highest levels to abandon persuasion in favor, essentially, of name-calling and attacking the other side not just as wrong on the issues, but as a group of “them” who were not as genuinely American as “us.” The fact that it was an organized effort to marshal a way of attacking the other side began to infect everything about the Republican Party.

An activist by the name of Grover Norquist, who ran a Washington D.C. lobbying outfit with the innocuous name of Americans For Tax Reform, began holding Wednesday morning coffee klatches for Republican campaign advisers, staffers, and legislative assistants on Capitol Hill, and he handed out what became known as “talking points” for the week to come. The Republican Party would speak with one voice for the next seven days about tax cuts or deregulation or what they termed “extreme” environmental policies, or whatever Norquist and other Republican organizers came up with. They would pepper their talking points with Gingrich’s attack words, and they would hammer their weekly message home with repetition ad nauseum. You would turn on a political program on television, and every Republican would be mouthing not just the party line in general, but a specific party line. And then next week, the talking points would change, and they would mouth a new one.

The words and the talking points worked. The Republicans took control of the House for the first time in decades and Gingrich was elected Speaker. Throughout the 1990’s and into the 2000’s, you could detect a difference in the way politics was practiced by Republicans as they deployed Gingrich’s attack words to demonize Democrats and label them as against everything “we” stood for. They were supposed to be used to contrast “good” Republicans from “bad” Democrats, and that is exactly what happened.

That is until, over time, the Gingrich list wasn’t nasty enough. Democrats became the enemy, or in the words of Donald Trump, the “enemy of the people.” Democrats are now “evil” and “in league with the Devil,” and not just anti-flag and anti-family, but “anti-God.” Democrats are going to “take your guns,” when no such policy has ever been proposed by any Democrat running for any office. And naturally, Democrats and any person straying from the Trumpian truth and narrow are now labeled as pedophiles, including a fellow Republican, former Arizona Speaker of the House Randy Bowers, who refused to go along with Trump’s charge that the election was stolen in his state. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, after she had been nominated to the Supreme Court, was smeared by Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri as being sympathetic to pedophiles because several prison sentences she had given child abusers were deemed not long enough. A rumor that a Democratic Party pedophile ring was headquartered in the basement of a Washington, D.C, pizza restaurant spread so fast and so far that the inevitable happened: An armed man showed up one day and shot up the place looking for all the pedophiles.

An entire movement, if it can be called that, QAnon, sprang up around the idea that leaders in the Democratic Party are conspiring to kidnap children, abuse them, kill them, and then drink their blood because of its “anti-aging” qualities. This charge has been levied against Nancy Pelosi by Republican candidates for office. Other Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene have labeled Pelosi a “traitor” and called for the “death penalty” for her. One Republican congressman ran an online ad showing him shooting a gun at a firing range with a voiceover calling for “firing” Nancy Pelosi. He was asked in a television interview if it wasn’t true that he was encouraging people who perhaps were not completely in control of themselves to take their guns and actually “fire” them at Nancy Pelosi or other Democrats. It had become so commonplace for guns to be brandished in Republican campaign ads by now that he just shrugged.

And so it has come to pass that this week we’ve got Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter and the world’s most wealthy man, as well as numerous Republican elected officials, gleefully spreading vicious lies that the attack on Paul Pelosi was somehow a gay tryst gone wrong. The garbage right-wing website they linked to just made stuff up. But Republicans linking to the site and Musk himself have become expert at using a kind of code to get across their hateful disinformation. It frequently takes the form of raising an apparently innocent question: I’m just asking, could this be true? Then they cite the lies they want to put across.

In his tweet about the attack on Paul Pelosi, Musk used another common way of spreading extremist lies: He didn’t come right out and endorse the story he linked to, but rather said “there is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye.” It’s the I’m just sayin’ scam writ large. The entire Republican Party has become adept at using the language Trump has employed when he wants to spread a story he knows to be untrue – people are saying, or I’ve heard from people who say. There are half a dozen wordings for the scam, but all serve the same purpose. Neither Trump nor any of the other Republicans who put across lies in this fashion have heard anything of the sort, but once they say it, everyone will hear it. That’s the point. A lie is no good unless it is spread widely, and they’re experts at moving lies around the information ecosystem.

I heard a Fox News host “just asking” why Paul Pelosi’s attacker had been jailed without bail when “lots of people hit other people with hammers,” and they don’t get arrested and held without bail, implying that because the attacker’s victim is the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he is being singled out by prosecutors and discriminated against. The Fox News talking-head didn’t have to tell his viewers what they had been trained to know already: It’s the libs going after a man just because he’s a conservative.

It has become a common refrain from Republicans and their followers on the far right: They call the Trump mob that assaulted the Capitol “patriots” and claim they are being treated more harshly than liberals or Antifa or Black Lives Matter protesters would be treated for committing the same offenses. It’s utter nonsense, of course, but Republicans regularly spew such a miasma of hate and nastiness that it has become normalized, just another day in American politics. Some of the hate and lies are right out there in antisemitic memes and racist tropes and violent imagery like shooting guns. Other Republican rhetoric is coded or put in the form of “innocent” questions, but all of it is toxic, and its growth and volume have turned politics in this country dangerous.

This is how far things have gone: There are armed men in camouflage outfits and bulletproof vests standing watch at ballot drop-off boxes in Arizona. A state court judge recently refused to ban this blatant form of voter intimidation and called it “free speech.”

My friend Charlie Pierce in his Esquire column yesterday referred to the entire phenomenon of the Republicans’ descent not just into violent rhetoric but violence itself as “the prion disease [that] has jumped from one subject population to the general public, and in too many ways, it is creating its own reality in the national mind.”

“We are all lost and mad,” Charlie lamented. I can understand why he feels that way. I could continue this brief history of the descent of Republican political rhetoric into a radical politics that embraces anti-democratic principles and movements and leaders like the ones in Hungary and Italy, but enough is enough. It makes me physically ill to go back through this stuff and write it down for this column.

I would part ways with Charlie Pierce in one way, however. The prion disease infecting the Republican Party is a metaphor derived from mad cow disease that can destroy whole herds if not caught and treated.

But mad cows catch the disease from infectious agents in the wild. Republicans have administered the disease to themselves, beginning with Gingrich’s memo more than 30 years ago, and the virus has mutated and turned deadly. There was a purposeful takeover of the politics of a political party that used to be part of our democratic system but is no longer. It is now a fascist party that is actively spreading a political disease that can kill our democracy and has already killed some United States citizens. The political ravings of Vladimir Putin about Ukraine would be right at home in the Republican Party of today. In fact, they already are.

It has gone beyond rhetoric, folks. To the Republican Party and its leaders, Democrats are not fellow citizens to be persuaded but a people with whom they are at war who must be destroyed. There have been enough guns in enough Republican political ads recently that it’s not just a phenomenon, it’s a fact. Even with all their voter suppression and gerrymandering and threats at ballot drop boxes and lies about Democratic voter fraud, if Republicans can’t beat us at the ballot box, they’ll encourage their loon followers to “be wild” and “fire” us.

After years of hateful and violent rhetoric, they’ll know exactly what to do.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter

Deeply Involved In Coup Plot, Gingrich Is Called By House Select Panel

Deeply Involved In Coup Plot, Gingrich Is Called By House Select Panel

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection sent a letter late last week to Fox contributor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich seeking his testimony. The committee says he advised former President Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election. Gingrich also frequently pushed conspiracy theories about what he described as a “stolen election” during his media appearances, according to a Media Matters review.

Gingrich’s role, the committee wrote, included providing Trump’s senior advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Miller with “detailed input into television advertisements that repeated and relied upon false claims of fraud.” Those ads ran in the days leading up to December 14, 2020, the day the Electoral College convened. In a December 8, 2020, email obtained by the committee, Gingrich wrote:

The goal is to arouse the country’s anger through new verifiable information the American people have never seen before[.] . . . If we inform the American people in a way they find convincing and it arouses their anger[,] they will then bring pressure on legislators and governors.

The letter further stated: “Information we have obtained also suggests you were involved in the fake elector scheme,” a Trumpist plot to create a dueling slate of electors pledged to the defeated president in states won by Joe Biden.

Gingrich similarly used his media appearances to “arouse the country’s anger” with false claims of voter fraud and to try to encourage Trump supporters to “bring pressure on legislators and governors.”

“I would say to every person in Georgia who favors Donald J. Trump: Go to the governor's mansion, physically. Go to the Capitol, physically,” Gingrich said during a November 18, 2020, interview on Fox host Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show. “Communicate that you're prepared to stand up for America and you're prepared to stand up for an honest election and that you are sick of politicians selling you out.”

On January 5, 2021 — less than 24 hours before a violent mob breached the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election — Gingrich told Hannity’s radio audience that “Biden may at some place get sworn in. But I think for 40 or 45% of the American people, he will never be seen as a legitimate president, because the very process that put him there is so totally corrupted.”

He added, “I think this is the most dangerous assault on the very nature of America, certainly in our lifetime, and maybe since the previous Civil War.”

Gingrich joined Fox as a contributor in 1999 and is known for his demagogic commentary. In recent weeks, he has warned that “a cult of anti-white racism” is attempting to “impose itself on the country” and alleged that the FBI, which “could actually be called the American Stasi,” had “declared war on the American people” by executing a judge-approved search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. A close Trump ally, he was considered for the vice president slot in 2016, and the pair were reportedly working together to craft a GOP platform for the 2022 midterm elections.

Gingrich made at least 24 appearances on Fox weekday programming between Election Day 2020 and January 6, 2021, according to Media Matters' internal database. Fox personalities constantly alleged during that period that the election had been rigged, often promoting conspiracy theories that have led to multiple lawsuits against the network.

The former speaker repeatedly argued that Democrats had used systemic voter fraud to steal several states from Trump.

  • On November 4, 2020, the day after Election Day, Gingrich suggested that Democrats had “a setup to steal the presidency by the Democrats” and specifically may have stolen votes in Pennsylvania and Nevada, which Biden won. He urged Trump to get Senate Republicans to “open up investigations on all these different states” and to “be prepared to file suit in every single state.”
  • That night, he claimed that Democrats “are breaking the law in every possible way. And the correct answer is fine, none of those votes count. If you are going to be corrupt and illegal, we don’t have to count your votes. That means automatically in Pennsylvania, in Michigan, in Wisconsin, in Georgia, that Trump will carry every single state by a surprising margin.” He added that Trump “either has to fight and protect America, or he has to surrender to corrupt forces.”
  • The next night, Gingrich claimed that Democrats are “trying to steal the presidency, and we should not allow them to do that.” He described the situation as a “crisis” comparable to “Washington on Christmas Eve” and “Lincoln at Gettysburg,” and urged then-Attorney General Bill Barr to arrest election workers who he baselessly claimed “are breaking the law.”
  • On November 8, 2020, the day after Fox and other news outlets called the election for Biden, Gingrich claimed Democrats stole “five or six states” in a “corrupt, stolen election.” He added that “these people are thieves” and cited a pollster to claim that “this clearly was a stolen election,” a remark Trump live-tweeted.
  • On December 7, 2020, Gingrich said, “The objective fact is I believe Trump probably did actually carry Georgia,” adding that in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, “Republicans simply have to turn out more votes than Stacey Abrams can steal.”
  • He pushed several conspiracy theories in a second interview the same day, including one in which he suggested voting machines may have been “rigged” because results supposedly “went through Barcelona, Spain, to Frankfurt, Germany to be counted.”

Since the January 6 insurrection, Gingrich has continued to use his Fox platform to allege that elections Republicans lose are implicitly the result of fraud; that the 2020 election in particular was stolen; and that the goal of Democratic voting reform measures is to “steal elections on a grand scale.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.