At a campaign event in Golden, Colorado on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich likened the planned trial of 19 Americans in Egypt to the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran, calling it “the Obama hostage crisis.”
“This reminds me exactly of Jimmy Carter and the Iranian hostages. You now have the Obama hostage crisis to resemble the Carter hostage crisis,” Gingrich said.
Egyptian authorities have charged 19 Americans with spending money from nongovernmental organizations that were operating in Egypt without a license. Unlike the situation in Tehran in 1979, the Americans are not in Egyptian custody. But the 19 people are not allowed to leave the country until the trial.
Gingrich said the current Egyptian government was “the latest result of Obama’s belief in an Arab Spring.”
“By the way, the largest voting bloc in the new Egyptian government is the Muslim Brotherhood,” he continued. “The second largest group is more radical than the Muslim Brotherhood. So the Muslim Brotherhood are now the moderates.”
“This is like the 1930s and this is a mindless capitulation to forces that are contrary to our entire civilization,” Gingrich added.
The Muslim Brotherhood won two thirds of seats Egypt’s lower house of parliament through its Freedom and Justice Party. The ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nur party came second with a quarter of the seats, followed by the liberal Wafd party. Elections for parliament’s upper house will end in February.
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Feb. 6, 2012.
With reporting by David Edwards