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Gingrich: "It's not an insult[ ]" to compare Bush administration critics "to those who enabled Hitler"

Media Matters | September 5 2006

Summary: On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich stated that Donald Rumsfeld's likening of Iraq war critics to Nazi appeasers was "not an insulting comment." Gingrich also repeated the misleading claim that the United States "found over 700 chemical warheads and weapons in Iraq, which supposedly had none, according to our friends on the left."

On the September 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, discussing a speech by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, during which, in the words of an August 29 Associated Press article, Rumsfeld "likened critics of the U.S. war strategy to those who tried to appease the Nazis," Fox News political analyst and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) stated that he agreed with Rumsfeld's comments, adding that the comparison between Iraq war critics and Nazi appeasers was "not an insulting comment."

After Gingrich said he "[e]ssentially" agreed with Rumsfeld's remarks, co-host Alan Colmes challenged Gingrich, asking: "Calling appeasers people who disagree with the Bush policy administration, comparing them to those who enabled Hitler?" Colmes called Rumsfeld's analogy "a very insulting comment ... to most of the American population, which doesn't agree with the Iraq war." Later in the segment, when Colmes challenged Gingrich's characterization of war opponents as "people who want us to cut and run in Iraq," Gingrich responded: "It's accept defeat." Guest co-host and National Review editor Rich Lowry added: "Yeah, that's exactly what it is."

Additionally, Gingrich claimed that the United States "found over 700 chemical warheads and weapons in Iraq, which supposedly had none, according to our friends on the left." As Media Matters for America noted, these weapons were expected to be found and were known to be degraded and ineffective.

From the September 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

COLMES: We were just talking about [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi [CA] and what she wants to do in this effort to perhaps get Rumsfeld removed. He recently made some very controversial comments, basically suggesting that critics of the Iraq war are tantamount to Hitler's appeasers. Do you agree with him on those comments?

GINGRICH: Essentially, sure. I mean, I think you've got to say that --

COLMES: You're calling appeasers people who disagree with the Bush policy administration --

GINGRICH: Look --

COLMES: -- comparing them to those who enabled Hitler?

GINGRICH: Yes.

COLMES: That's an astounding comment --

GINGRICH: GINGRICH: What's your -- what's your -- why? Why is it astounding?

COLMES: -- that's a very insulting comment --

GINGRICH: It's not an insulting comment.

COLMES: -- to most of the American population, which doesn't agree with the Iraq war, for example.

GINGRICH: Look, look, no. First of all, the question is, if you have a North Korea with nuclear weapons threatening us, you have an Iran trying to get nuclear weapons threatening us. We've now found over 700 chemical warheads and weapons in Iraq, which supposedly had none, according to our friends on the left. You have a terrorist organization in Great Britain, a terrorist organization in Canada. My question, Alan, is, for the people who want us to cut and run in Iraq, and let's be clear --

COLMES: It's not cut and run. I don't agree with that.

GINGRICH: It's withdrawal. It's leave. It's accept defeat. I mean --

LOWRY: Yeah, that's exactly what it is.

 


 

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