Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — while criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of the would-be Christmas day jet bomber — showed that he doesn’t exactly know what he’s talking about on the Daily Show Tuesday night.
Gingrich, who repeated a meme employed by Obama critics that authorities undermined the investigation of the Christmas day plot by reading suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla his Miranda rights, said that the so-called “shoe bomber” Richard Reid was an American.
“Richard Reid was an American citizen,” Gingrich remarked.
He is not. Reid is of Jamaican descent and a British citizen.
Abdulmutallab managed to sneak an incendiary device past airport security in Lagos and Amsterdam Christmas day last year.
Abdulmutallab confessed once in custody that he had mixed a syringe full of chemicals with powder taped to his leg to try and blow up the Airbus A330 from Amsterdam.
The Christmas Day attack, which sparked alarm and fear among the 278 passengers aboard the Northwest Airlines flight, had echoes of British-born Richard Reid’s botched “shoe-bomb” attempt almost eight years ago to the day.
Gingrich’s quip comes at about 2:15 and was noted by The Huffington Post.
The Post notes, “Later, when Gingrich acknowledged that part of his job is to reach out to the emotions of the American people, Stewart shot back, ‘I think that’s wise. And don’t let reality get in the way.'”
After the interview, Stewart came back to add, “One quick thing before we go. In the conversation I was having with Mr. Gingrich — always enjoyable — he mentioned how the underwear bomber was different than the shoe bomber because Richard Reid was an American citizen. I thought that doesn’t sound right. Funny thing, it wasn’t. It’s not right. He’s a British citizen, but I’m sure there’s another reason why they are completely different.”