Newt Gingrich: Obama just doesn’t get Americans

posted at 7:18 pm on April 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Now that Barack Obama has issued the requisite non-apology apology in the usual form — he “deeply regrets” that he offended people not with his sentiments but with his sentence structure — the media will likely let Obama off the hook. Not Newt Gingrich, who makes a rare foray into the presidential campaign from the bleacher seats with a searing analysis that hits a bullseye, and one obvious to anyone who hasn’t just focused on the word “bitter”:

If you go to the most expensive private school in Hawaii and then move on to Columbia University and Harvard Law School, you may not understand normal Americans. Their beliefs are so alien to your leftwing viewpoint that you have to seek some psychological explanation for what seem to be weird ideas.

They can’t really believe in the right to bear arms.

They can’t really believe in traditional marriage.

They can’t really believe in their faith in God.

They can’t really want to enforce the law on immigration.

Therefore, they must be “bitter” and “frustrated.”

This is the closest Senator Obama has come to openly sharing his wife’s view that “America is a mean country”. Not since Governor Dukakis have we seen anyone so out of touch with normal Americans. It makes perfect sense that it was in a fundraiser in San Francisco that he would have shared the views he has so carefully kept hidden for the entire campaign.

This distills the Obama viewpoint about middle America to its essence. He assumes that gun ownership, religious faith, and a desire to enforce border security grows out of a mental defect or simple petulance. He cannot understand any of it as deeply held values or beliefs because they are all so foreign to him. His cure is a huge, whopping dose of government intervention to replace all of it. That’s the hubris, the condescension, and the elitism rolled up into a precise point.

The one sentence wasn’t the only point that offends here. Ben Smith at Politico has a video clip of a portion of this appearance. Ask yourself this: isn’t Obama implying that middle America is, well, racist in this quote? Emphases mine:

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism.

Update: Rick Moran discusses Obama’s Allentown Syndrome, and why it’s a mirage.


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That is curious and I don’t have a reasonable explanation for it, especially since he talks about his Pakistani roommate with the expired tourist visa while at Columbia. Something about that story just doesn’t ring true.

Buy Danish on April 13, 2008 at 12:16 AM

Tut, tut, child. Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 1:25 AM

Just look at the smug jerk, how could someone who hates his fellow citizens so much get so far in this election?

Typhonsentra on April 12, 2008 at 11:50 PM

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 1:32 AM

it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laughter), then that adds another layer of skepticism.

– - Sen. Obama

He failed to say “named Barack Hussein Obama”. Why doesn’t he own his name? He could talk about it once, and put it to rest.

McCain’s full name is John Sidney McCain III, and we should be able to use it, and he should proudly own it.

Both can rename themselves, officially, if they wish. Hillary has had many names, but always let the latest be known.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 1:36 AM

Sigy, it looks like you and your ilk will be very busy this November. You’re probably readying millions of couches. This time you’ll be albe to treat those from the left, and those from the right.

SECOND LOOK AT PSYCHOLOGY/PSYCHIATRY

And we thought that you were long dead.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 1:39 AM

This distills the Obama viewpoint about middle America to its essence. He assumes that gun ownership, religious faith, and a desire to enforce border security grows out of a mental defect or simple petulance. He cannot understand any of it as deeply held values or beliefs because they are all so foreign to him.

This is very true, though many (including myself) would probably take issue with the phrase “mental defect.”

When it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism.

This is also very true, but almost all of the people about which it is true are not running for president.

Yoosaion on April 13, 2008 at 1:44 AM

Hillary has had many names, but always let the latest be known.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 1:36 AM

Oh tell me about it. And to a select few even her past names. Like the time in an earlier life, as she related it to me when I had her under past life transgression hypnosis, when she was at the Alamo in some place called Texas with a General Patton she said his name was, and the two of them had to fight off hordes of Giant Vikings to save North America. I believe she went by the name Annie Oakley then.

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 1:45 AM

And we thought that you were long dead.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 1:39 AM

I am dead my dear, quite dead, but I refuse to be a victim.

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 1:47 AM

I am dead my dear, quite dead, but I refuse to be a victim.

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 1:47 AM

But are you “bitter”, as Mr. Obama would suggest, or are you an elite one?

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 1:52 AM

But are you “bitter”, as Mr. Obama would suggest, or are you an elite one?

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 1:52 AM

Well right now as I have been quite dead for some time, I could probably use a little sugar to cut the bitter oder.

Oh, to your second question, I am truly one of a kind. Does that make me elite?

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 1:58 AM

How does all this “bitterness” match Mr. Obama’s message of “hope”?

12 ways to worry about his statement

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:15 AM

How does all this “bitterness” match Mr. Obama’s message of “hope”?

12 ways to worry about his statement…

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:15 AM

Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is – oh my! He shall never get there at this rate!

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 2:22 AM

The fact that an invited “billionaire for Hillary” operative went to the billionaire row party, had the speech recorded in secret, then gave it to the HuffPoo, normally Obama’s playground, to give Hillary the opportunity to get back on top, at the most critical time, is Shakespearean.

She’s so full of caca, and in the same billionaires’ laps, and might get away with it because Obama’s naivite made him say such stupid things in San Francisco, in the bossom of idealistic, rich, elitist, billionaire filth.

If she does, imagine the wrath, the hell Pelosi, Reid, Richardson, the Kennedys, and a slu of others will pay.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:33 AM

The fact that an invited “billionaire for Hillary” operative went to the billionaire row party, had the speech recorded in secret, then gave it to the HuffPoo, normally Obama’s playground, to give Hillary the opportunity to get back on top, at the most critical time, is Shakespearean.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:33 AM

A complex mind. All great criminals have that.

Holmes on April 13, 2008 at 2:40 AM

Holmes, I wasn’t the “invited billionaire for Hillary” who made the recording. I don’t like her.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:44 AM

Be nice, Ent.

Those “rich, elitist, billionaire filth” do pay for your farm subsidies, tornado clean ups, your war, etc.

alphie on April 13, 2008 at 2:45 AM

You must be kidding alphie. They don’t pay for anything. The middle class in America pays for itself, for that filth, and for the poor.

Don’t take me wrong. I don’t envy anyone who got rich on their own efforts. A pure Capitalist here…

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:49 AM

Those “rich, elitist, billionaire filth” do pay for your farm subsidies, tornado clean ups, your war, etc.

alphie on April 13, 2008 at 2:45 AM

My dear fellow, you shall keep watch in the street. I’ll do the criminal part.

Holmes on April 13, 2008 at 2:49 AM

And alphie, I’m against farm subsidies, those types are against the war, and we all pay for disaster clean-ups.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:51 AM

Holmes, I wasn’t the “invited billionaire for Hillary” who made the recording. I don’t like her.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 2:44 AM

I think that “Holmes” was referring to Hillary as the great criminal with a complex mind.

Murphy9 on April 13, 2008 at 2:55 AM

Well, from his PoV, if he thinks his grandma is racist, why wouldn’t he also think white middle America is racist?

purpleslog on April 13, 2008 at 3:27 AM

Since when do Americans get to choose what their tax dollars are spent on, Ent?

alphie on April 13, 2008 at 4:13 AM

Someone is pulling his strings, someone opposed to Clintons being in charge of the coming social de-evolution (if dems win President and hold Congress).

When he’s on his own, off ‘prompter, he says the most absurd things ever, reinforcing the fact that he has no experience or qualifications for running for president of his gated community board let alone President of the best, most powerful and prosperous country in the history of this planet.

If he or Billary win you will see sweeping social reforms, and anyone who disagrees will be guilty of social treason. How dare you fight back against the elites who want to return the world to serfdom with themselves as the kings/queens?

Neo on April 13, 2008 at 4:35 AM

Right now I think that the End of Days may be our last and best hope. Either that or we are taken over by the Klingon Empire.

MB4 on April 12, 2008 at 11:53 PM

Klingons, definitely. They have a code of honour!

OldEnglish on April 13, 2008 at 4:41 AM

it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism.

So he doesn’t consider himself bi-racial?

Krychek on April 13, 2008 at 6:40 AM

Newt Gingrich: Obama just doesn’t get Americans

What he doesn’t get is that about 1/2 of us aren’t socialists, and will fight to stop it.

JiangxiDad on April 13, 2008 at 7:50 AM

it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism.

So he doesn’t consider himself bi-racial?

Krychek on April 13, 2008 at 6:40 AM

He subscribes to the racist “one drop rule“.

Jaibones on April 13, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Pull up your little red tutu and deal with it.

Next time McCain or anyone calls me a nativist or racist for wanting to protect my country’s sovereignty, I will likely respond with a long string within which the word “garbage” would be considered nice.

The Race Card on April 13, 2008 at 1:17 AM

Heh. Can’t wait to work backwards and find out what inspired this…

Jaibones on April 13, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Tut, tut, child. Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.

Sigy on April 13, 2008 at 1:25 AM

I’m sure you’ll share your wisdom with us if you ever find your way out of Wonderland.

Buy Danish on April 13, 2008 at 8:36 AM

Lately it seems to just about always be what Obama said.
Maybe http://www.hotair.com should have it’s name changed to http://www.WhatObamaSaid.com

MB4 on April 12, 2008 at 10:17 PM

I’m good with it; almost every day Obama says something idiotic, and I’m perfectly happy to let that lead the news of the day.

Jaibones on April 13, 2008 at 8:44 AM

The thing of it is, what Obama said was true. When things get tight we do turn to God and our guns because that is two things we can always count on in that order.
The problem is Obama doenst believe in either. His preacher (who Obama listened to for twenty years but never heard) preached what Paul called in Galatians another Jesus and another gospel. The Jesus of black liberation theology is not the Jesus of the Gospels. BLT says that if Jesus (or God) is not on the side of the black man then He must be rejected. BLT has their own God and that’s the one that Obama believes in. Paul also says that anybody, man or angel who preaches another Jesus or another gospel are accursed (Galatians 1:6). As far as I’m concerned Wright and his ilk are accursed.
As for guns, Obama doesnt believe in them either. He’s made it pretty plain that there is no right for individuals to possess weapons. He’s flip flopped on this, but being the lying Marxist he is, that’s expected. His solution is of course, more and bigger government. And he knows, you disarm the people you no longer have a free republic but a nation of “subjects.” That’s what the democrats/liberals/socialists/communists/Marxists want. And Obama and Hillary are all of the above.
I’m discouraged that the people of this great country stand ready to put a man such as this in THE leadership position of the country and the world.

abcurtis on April 13, 2008 at 8:52 AM

YES, Ed.
That is exactly what is an implication here, about the racism.
And he is mostly correct, unfortunately…

sashal on April 13, 2008 at 8:54 AM

So, Ed, Michelle and Newt are now anti-American Communist traitors who believe everyone must be equal? The US is a meritocricy where the best people get to attend the best schools and rise to the top.

Consider what a failure McCain is:
-Failed at college (he was second-to-last in his class in the service academy).
-Failed in Vietnam (shot down)
-Failed at his first marriage
-Failed in business (had to marry a woman with family money because he was unable to find a good paying job apparently)
-Failed at running for President in 2000

-Even failed at taking a bribe (Keating Five).

Why would I want to vote for a failure like McCain?

jim m on April 13, 2008 at 10:08 AM

jim m on April 13, 2008 at 10:08 AM

I don’t get your comment. The Obamas are part of an elite, based upon their intelligence, education, wealth, and country of birth. That allows them to try to attain a leadership position. It may even qualify them for one. But to mask over what you are, or condescend to others, is unacceptable to voters.
As for McCain, clearly he’s not a failure. He proves that success comes from not quitting, not from getting it right first time around. Even Hillary Clinton knows that. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, whines that she does what is required every day, but the bar keeps getting raised. In other words, she’s a quitter.

That’s why you should vote for a failure like McCain.

JiangxiDad on April 13, 2008 at 10:24 AM

This guy clearly thinks he’s a whole lot smarter than he really is and that is never a good thing.

Especially given his complete lack of any real world experience.

Remember how the left endlessly ridiculed Dan Quayle?

Quayle had boatloads of experience compared to this clown.

Only complete fools would even think of putting Obama into the White House. He doesn’t even belong in the Senate.

NoDonkey on April 13, 2008 at 11:05 AM

“…isn’t Obama implying that middle America is, well, racist in this quote?”

Absolutely

But, he’s right about one thing…If it’s coming out of the mouth of Obama, I AM skeptical…Just not for the reason he implies.

franksalterego on April 13, 2008 at 11:07 AM

“-Even failed at taking a bribe (Keating Five).” – jim m

So, not taking a bribe is a “failure”. Jim, do you write for McCafferty?

forest on April 13, 2008 at 11:10 AM

YES, Ed.
That is exactly what is an implication here, about the racism.
And he is mostly correct, unfortunately…
–sashal on April 13, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Unfortunately, we can’t legislate respect.

On the other hand, you don’t GET respect, by DIS-respecting someone else.

franksalterego on April 13, 2008 at 11:22 AM

jim m on April 13, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Succeeded in graduating the Service Academy.
Succeeded in completing 22 combat missions.
Succeeded in surviving a punch out at 500 knots.
Succeeded in surviving five and a half years in the Hanoi Hilton.
Succeeded in extricating himself from a loveless marriage.
Succeeded in landing a rather attractive well off wife.
Succeeded in winning the New Hampshire, Arizona and Michigan primaries in 2000.
Succeeded in maintaining his integrity in the Keating affair.

You should hope to be such failure.

ronsfi on April 13, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Now if Obama had said that there are some people bitter, envious, and jealous of their neighbors he would have been correct. Especially if he had also said that mostly these people are immature juveniles, whatever their calendar age, and most are liberal, he would have nailed it.

Where he went wrong was saying that because they are bitter, and jealous they find comfort in the idea of getting a gun, and getting even.

Unless he was talking about the people he knows from his church and his neighborhood.

rockhauler on April 12, 2008 at 10:20 PM

funky chicken on April 13, 2008 at 11:57 AM

abcurtis, “The thing of it is, what Obama said was true. When things get tight we do turn to God and our guns because that is two things we can always count on in that order.”

Not so. Obama said, when frustated and bitter, these people CLING to…and then came the liberal laundry list of all things “bad” in the eyes of Democrats…including religion, guns, etc etc.

This is exactly the kind of spin I expected from the Democratic Party.

Lockstein13 on April 13, 2008 at 11:57 AM

Let’s not forget

Succeeded in becoming a US Congressman and Senator.

ronsfi on April 13, 2008 at 11:58 AM

How did the “Bard” put it?

Holy J,M and J…!
“Much ado about [absolutely] nothing.”

J_Gocht on April 13, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Succeeded in extricating himself from a loveless marriage.

Is that what they call it now?

Grayson on April 13, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Since when do Americans get to choose what their tax dollars are spent on, Ent?

alphie on April 13, 2008 at 4:13 AM

They don’t, and their so-called representatives don’t represent them either, while they live the lives of kings, on our dole. Still, we are at fault for reelecting them, on both sides of the isle.

On topic, two of the smartest operatives on the Left have been Messrs Gore and Edwards. They are the two who held out from the ‘Obama-orgasm’ and stand to reap the rewards if her highness becomes inevitable again.

What melodrama, because a good percentage of the Obama love-fest contingent will never vote for her. It’s hardly conceivable that Obama could take the VP slot, without being perceived as the Black second fiddle to the vicious white woman, who “stole the slot” from what was deservedly his.

Entelechy on April 13, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Grayson on April 13, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Call what?

ronsfi on April 13, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Call what?

ronsfi on April 13, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Adultery.

Grayson on April 13, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Suggestion for an enterprising reporter: At Obama’s next press conference, ask him if he also thinks devout Muslims are “bitter people who cling to their religion in the face of hard times.” If not, why are Christians so much more vulnerable to bitterness and despair than Muslims?

Doctor Zero on April 13, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Yeah, that’s what they call it now.

ronsfi on April 13, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Newt understands Americans.

That’s why he is the front-runner in the race for President, not Obama.

B26354 on April 13, 2008 at 2:51 PM

A true Americcan treasure. Thank you and may God BLESS. Hand salute and ” HuuuuAAAH ! “

oldelpasoan on April 13, 2008 at 2:56 PM

1. His joke about “another layer of skepticism” was actually a funny bit of self-deprecting humor.

2. I don’t think the average Democratic primary voter in Pennsylvania would be so racist as to vote against Obama merely because of his race.

3. I think, however, that some Democrats have convinced themselves “America isn’t ready for a black president,” i.e., that other voters are too racist to accept Obama.

Ali-Bubba on April 13, 2008 at 4:16 PM

Somebody needs to keep track of how many times Obama refers to himself in the third person. Once upon a time, that used to be regarded as a character defect.

Mark V. on April 13, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Four months ago, the powers that be in the black community were yelling this guy is not”black enough.”
A few weeks later, he’s God Almighty. What happened??

lizzee on April 13, 2008 at 6:40 PM

jim m on April 13, 2008 at 10:08 AM

ronsfi on April 13, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Two spins, one set of data.

OldEnglish on April 13, 2008 at 7:06 PM

You can’t afford not to be cynical about government.

Capitana on April 13, 2008 at 7:16 PM

Newt understands Americans.

That’s why he is the front-runner in the race for President, not Obama.

B26354 on April 13, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Clever. But that’s because Barry excels at hoodwinking the easily led. It’s only too bad he has a general election to win. He won’t be the front-runner. He will merely be the lastest in a string of fatally-flawed candidates the Dems have tried to cram down the throats of Americans, starting with McGovern.

JiangxiDad on April 13, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Just for your consideration, my best Super liberal type college prof PHD friend took B O’s remark that the government should be trusted to take care of everyone so that no one needs a personal faith or a gun anymore,to be very scary. Evan the overeducated public radio crowd are afraid of true Marxism. Also by the way, my friends from India who are committed Dems because they see them as the party who helps immigrants in america the most, are all convinced that B O is a moslem. These are smart people. So lets support the wild-warrior McCain and expect a victory over B O, with our thanks to him for exposing Hillary.

jimw on April 13, 2008 at 8:55 PM

This all boils down to that fact that all the Presidential Candidates and modern politicians in general care nothing about The Constitution of the United States and belive that people that do, are below, naive and can not be involved in American discourse.

americaslaststand on April 13, 2008 at 9:26 PM

The only thing funnier than Hillary beating up on Obama for his knucklehead condescension to middle America was her moving tribute to gun rights, saying her daddy taught her to shoot. I suppose her devotion to the Second Ammendment would bring a tear of appreciation to my eye if I didn’t know she was lying. However, I do love Hillary beating up on Obama for being an elitist. Oh, the irony!

When the Democrats are beating each other up so effectively, what’s a conservative to do? I kinda feel like my job as a critic has been outsourced to the Dems.

Tantor on April 14, 2008 at 12:35 AM

I find it a bit frustrating that there is so little real understanding of the liberal mindset. What Obama says-feels-thinks should be no surprise to anyone – the only surprise is the extent to which he (unintentionally, for the most part) exposes what liberals usually try to keep hidden. His “bitter” paragraph wasn’t a gaffe – it was the tip of an iceberg.

Those of us who’ve been on the Left and lived to regret it know just how much hatred and self-loathing and reality denial underpin every syllable Obama speaks. His achievement so far has been the extent to which he’s managed to disguise it and sell it as a reasonable political choice. The essence of being Left is the compulsion to choose wrong over right and bad over good – they cannot help themselves, since their worldview demands the total rejection of critical thought. Though they sometimes let the mask slip, both Hillary and Obama have been pretty good, I think, at playing the usual charade needed for liberals to win.

Halley on April 14, 2008 at 6:00 AM

Newt for VP!

pecan pie on April 14, 2008 at 7:35 AM

And Obama was speaking in San Fransico, the whitest city in America.

srhoades on April 14, 2008 at 9:45 AM

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