Pelosi: On second thought …

posted at 9:27 am on December 6, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

What a difference a day makes — and a counterthreat. On Friday, Nancy Pelosi bragged to TPM’s Brian Beutler that she had access to “a thousand pages” of investigatory material on Newt Gingrich, implying that she would “talk” later in the campaign if Gingrich won the nomination.  However, after Gingrich blasted her a few hours later and called for an ethics probe into Pelosi’s threat, her office suddenly developed a case of amnesia about those thousand pages:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi now says she is not sitting on a trove of opposition research on former House Speaker-turned-GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. …

Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, suggested that her comments have been misconstrued beyond the leader’s intent.

“Leader Pelosi was clearly referring to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware,” Hammill wrote in a statement.

Er … sure she was.  This is what she told Beutler:

Pelosi didn’t go into detail about Gingrich’s past transgressions, but she tipped her hand. “One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi said. “I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”

How exactly was that “misconstrued”?  The public has been aware of the official committee report for more than a decade, and it got very wide play in the media at the time.  No one doubts that this report will be rehashed again and again if Gingrich wins the nomination.  Part of that conversation, though, will be the IRS’ report clearing Gingrich more than a year later of any wrongdoing, a development that goes a long way to support Gingrich’s contention yesterday that the entire ethics probe was as politicized as Pelosi’s unveiled threat yesterday to reveal sealed records in the probe.  That exoneration didn’t get anywhere near the media coverage that the Ethics Committee report did at the time, either.

Pelosi’s backpedaling shows that she knows that she overplayed her hand, and if Gingrich wins the nomination (which is still a pretty big if, recent polling aside), that line of attack has been compromised by her inability to keep from bragging about her access to it.  As Gingrich said, it’s an early Christmas gift — and more reason why Republicans can make Pelosi a central issue in House races next fall.

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Comment pages: 1 2

SouthernGent on December 6, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Took the words right out of mouth…

PatriotRider on December 6, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Rick Perry.

TheRightMan on December 6, 2011 at 12:09 PM

What’s he gonna do? Drool on them?

lorien1973 on December 6, 2011 at 12:14 PM

One of the things that makes Newt so attractive as a candidate is his willingness to mix it up with the likes of Pelosi. She is way too stupid to match wits with Newt, so it would make for an entertaining 4/8 years. Romney is too much of a wuss and not really too bright beyond his well rehearsed talking points, so she would walk all over him.

stacman on December 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

The name’s Bond Gingrich, Newt Gingrich.

/

Christien on December 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

In what way can you construe Newt appealing to congressional ethic rules as a way of covering up the info on him as him telling Pelosi to pound sand?
TheRightMan on December 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Nice. Exactly the distorted interpretation Pelosi was angling for. “Covering up the info on him”? Are you kidding? The report of the partisan witchhunt against him is public record. Gingrich was cleared on 83 of the 84 charges, and he’s explained the 84th.

For him to point out the violation of House rules and the breach of ethics involved in threatening to release raw data from this or any investigation — which Pelosi knows she cannot do — is his right and duty, the obligation of any American. Would you prefer he said nothing and permitted a second inquiry outside the scope of an orerly process wherein a million pages of disclosures be thrown open to a second fishing expedition for a thousand newspapers to scour and report information out of context? That’s double jeopardy and partisan anarchy.

Gingrich’s response was perfect and justified and had exactly the effect of telling her to pound sand.

rrpjr on December 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Rick Perry.

TheRightMan on December 6, 2011 at 12:09 PM

What’s he gonna do? Drool on them?

lorien1973 on December 6, 2011 at 12:14 PM

No! Perry is going to scream, throw crayons, and then smear his PB&J sammich all over his face in utter disgust at Pelosi. He will then most likely poop and then take a nap.

Punchenko on December 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM

The report of the partisan witchhunt against him is public record. Gingrich was cleared on 83 of the 84 charges, and he’s explained the 84th.

The 84th was investigated by the IRS and found to be nothing. The IRS found no unethical or illegal conduct.

Vince on December 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM

As Gingrich said, it’s an early Christmas gift — and more reason why Republicans can make Pelosi a central issue in House races next fall.

Why we need NEWT now! Name another that can/will take it to the dems! To HE*L with RINO whining…GO NEWT!!!!

winston on December 6, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Karl Rove Has Had It With The Donald Trump Debate: ‘This Is Not A Newsman’

Am I supposed to buy this- the genius that is Karl Rove the architect doesn’t get the point of the Trump debate? Either he’s trying to act as Gate Keeper or he’s manipulating the media to advertise the Trump event, to create some buzz.

But that Karl Rove doesn’t understand the Donald Trump debate format or the reason for the Trump debate is a non starter. Karl Rove, Hey you kids get off my lawn LOL!

Dr Evil on December 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Above O/T but only slightly. Gingrich happily accepted Donald Trumps invitation to debate on the 17th.

Karl Rove I don’t approve SNARK.

Dr Evil on December 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Vince on December 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Thanks for correction/clarification.

rrpjr on December 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Who cares what Karl “Toyko” Rove says?

Amjean on December 6, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Pelosi’s spokesman backdoored the info to the media

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2011/12/06/nancy-pelosi-provides-newt-gingrich-ethics-report/

William Amos on December 6, 2011 at 12:52 PM

elosi’s spokesman backdoored the info to the media

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2011/12/06/nancy-pelosi-provides-newt-gingrich-ethics-report/

William Amos on December 6, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Here’s the 1280 pages of the Ethics Committee report.

In a thumbnail, Congress accepted the committee report, which found that Gingrich used tax exempt contributions for political purposes and then attempted to mislead the Ethics Committee about it. Pelosi sat on the Ethics Committee at the time, so has vivid knowledge of the whole business.

Gingrich was fined $300,000 and reprimanded twice, becoming the only House Speaker in history to be reprimanded by the House.

Is that true? I’ve read in comments here he was cleared …

preallocated on December 6, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Said the woman who’s husband enriched them by millions of dollars based on inside info on credit card legislation. Lord only knows how many other ways they’ve benefited from her position. She truly is despicable and I’m not even a Newt fan.

scalleywag on December 6, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I recall sometime back in about 2004, Nancy on the house floor railing against Federal deficits of George Bush.
How times have changed.
300 billion is bad , but 1.25 trillion is OK.

esblowfeld on December 6, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Why is this editor so slow to responed ?

esblowfeld on December 6, 2011 at 1:12 PM

haha go Newt.

I saw make it even BETTER, have Pelosi investigated TODAY.

orbitalair on December 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Newt Gingrich has too much baggage. Given how the media will protray him unfairly, there is just too much stuff for them to work with. I will be worried about him as the nominee. I also think George Will is right that he is a big government conservative.

RedSoxNation on December 6, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Don’t want mr. Nice Guy

I consider scathing comments by establshment democrats (Pelosi, Biden, Frank et al), republicans (Coburn, Rove, Scarborough et al) and media personalities (Pelly, Todd et al) a glowing endorsement and conrroberation of the correctness of my intention to vote for Newt.

Rea1ityCheck on December 6, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I don’t give a sh*t about this concern: The media will lie about whoever is the Republican candidate. I want someone who will fight back hard against Obama and his media lap-dogs.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 6, 2011 at 2:31 PM

TheRightMan on December 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

He’s not coming back you know. I do admire your spirit.

katy the mean old lady on December 6, 2011 at 3:14 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on December 6, 2011 at 2:31 PM

THIS

I am so sick of the left getting away with setting the narrative. Newt calls them out on the lies and distortions and double standards.

Coulter is shilling for Romney on Hannity’s radio show right now.

karenhasfreedom on December 6, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Coulter is shilling for Romney on Hannity’s radio show right now.

karenhasfreedom on December 6, 2011 at 4:20 PM

At least we know Anne’s true colors now.

Punchenko on December 6, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Why is Vera Baker residing on the Caribbean island of Martinique? Can Larry Sinclair be believed? Manure makes the flowers grow!

ExpressoBold on December 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM

You are obliquely referring to this all over the threads here. Spit it out. Tell us what you know.

karenhasfreedom on December 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Looks like Nancy brought a knife to a gunfight. She’ll be in WAY over her botoxed head if she gets into an exchange with Newt. She’s a target rich environment all by herself.

greasywrench on December 7, 2011 at 2:03 AM

I’m really sick of the Liberals setting the narrative. I hope she does come out with the confidential information and gets thrown out of Congress.

jcmueller on December 7, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I think after the last presidential election, and the results obtained by the respectable John McCain, what we need here is a pitbull with brains, that being Newt Gingrich. Newt has the capacity and the shrewdness to show the American people what a pig Pelosi really is, a fraud Obama is, and a clear way out of the disaster this administration has created. We are all tired of the bullcrap this president spews constantly, I only hope Newt has a shovel ready plan to get through it.

D.Mockracy on December 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM

What’s all this I hear about wasting our Natural Racehorses…..??

Tim_CA on December 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM

My favorite one is Hoof Hearted.
Say that quickly.

Shambhala on December 7, 2011 at 3:30 PM

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