Gibbs: Gingrich appealing to birther ‘fringe’
The White House press secretary is accusing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of pandering to a minority of people that don’t believe President Barack Obama was born in the US.
Gingrich sparked controversy Saturday when he told National Review that the president had a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” attitude.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that he couldn’t make sense out of the former House Speaker’s comments.
“It is hard to comprehend,” Gibbs told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I don’t even have, quite frankly, George, the slightest idea what he’s talking about.”
“I think Newt Gingrich knows that he’s trying to appeal to the fringe of people that don’t believe the president was born in this country,” said Gibbs. The press secretary was referring to a significant minority of Americans — known as birthers — who believe that Obama may not be a legitimate president because he was born in Kenya.
“You would normally expect better from somebody who has held the position of Speaker of the House. Look, it’s political season and most people will say anything. Newt Gingrich says that generally on a regular basis,” Gibbs concluded.
Gingrich was referring to a recent article in Forbes magazine by Dinesh D’Souza, in which D’Souza asserts that “clearly the anti-colonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. goes a long way to explain the actions and policies of his son in the Oval Office.”
D’Souza describes Obama as “the most anti-business president in a generation, perhaps in American history.”
Jeremy Schulman at MediaMatters described Gingrich’s comments as taking “Republican race-baiting” against Obama “to new levels.” He asserts that D’Souza’s article is “an impressive combination of factual distortions and twisted logic.”
This video is from ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast Sept. 13, 2010.