Gingrich rips Obama over oil spill, flirts with ’12

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at this hour sitting at a table in the downtown Des Moines Marriott, signing copies of his new book.  The folks standing in line to get his John Hancock attended this evening’s Polk County Republican Party banquet.  Gingrich was the evening’s keynote speaker, although G.O.P. candidates in the third congressional district spoke, as did the three Republican candidates for governor.

During a news conference before the event started, Gingrich lambasted the Obama Administration’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf.  (Listen here: rips)  Here are a few key quotes:

“The lack of initiative and the lack of using modern technology and the lack of aggressiveness, both by B.P. and by the United States government, is pretty appalling,” Gingrich said.  “…You just go through item after item after item…and you think to yourself, ‘Why did not the president take a commander-in-chief responsibility?  Why has there not been a command post established in a sophisticated way?’

“…This is five weeks into this and the president’s had time to go raise money. He’s had time to go campaign. He’s had time to do a wide range of things except worry about the largest single environmental problem in the United States.”

As for the flirting with a bid for the White House in 2012: 

“Look, Callista and I will decide in February or March of next year.  Obviously, since she went to Luther College in Decorah, she is reasonable familiar with Iowa and she likes being in Iowa and it’s very possible that she’ll spend a lot of time in Iowa…but we’re trying to focus all of  our energy on maximizing the opportunity to win seats (in congress) this fall…We need to focus on winning this year’s elections this year and then we’ll come back and chat with you in February or March of next year.”  

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Hey Newt, yeah good luck on that 2012 wish. Here in Iowa we remember how you treat women.