Pledge to America

Friday, September 24, 2010

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, followed by Dan Debicella, Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut District 4, react to the Republican "Pledge to America" platform released yesterday.


Dan Debicella and Newt Gingrich

Comments [55]


I agree with all the disappointed people above. You could have been objective while pressing for actual answers. But really, this person has lost credibility with his obviously racist not to mention illogical and absurd assessment of the biologically inherited reasons for the presidents governing philosophy and the media should stop giving him a platform. On a politeness level why did you allow him to refer to the President, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid in that disrespectful way while refering to him as Speaker Gingritch??? He is no longer Speaker and apparently does not feel a need to respect the office if not the person so why do you feel the need to be so polite Brian. Depressing interview. And why didn't you ask for some actual facts that back up the very extreme claim that the president is the most radical in the history of our country. Seriously how can you let that claim lie and call yourself a journalist?

Sep. 27 2010 04:34 AM
Mike from DC

Brian you let me down. I've always respected you as being one of the fairest yet toughest interviewers out there. However, you shouldn't have let Newt get away with the same garbage talking points he does on fox news. The "Pelosi-Reid-Obama economy" is not a phrase you should let on your show go unchallenged.The least you could have done was gotten him to admit that President Obama was born in Hawaii. Very disappointing.

Sep. 24 2010 10:13 PM
Joe from Brooklyn

This Milosevic look-alike is so filled with hubris and self delusion that he doesn't even know he's the extremist radical.

Wimpy interview, by the way.

Sep. 24 2010 05:00 PM
Debra from Riverdale

I have never been so disappointed in you! You let Newt Gingrich spout lies and make racist comments about our president and did not challenge him at all. He basically said Pres. Obama channeled the beliefs of his dead father. Really? Pres. Obama spent about ten days with his father in his whole life! I would compare Gingrich to Lester Maddox or George Wallace in his awful racist viewpoints. .He disrespected our President and you were party to it by not confronting him. Wow!

Sep. 24 2010 02:51 PM
ccdemuth from Connecticut

Accountability Autumn Follows “Recovery” Summer

We are at the end of Recovery Summer and beginning of Accountability Autumn. Our incumbent congressman, Jim Himes, is running for re-election in a tough economic and political climate for incumbents with his voting record. Across the country, incumbents such as Himes are downplaying their votes for the stimulus, Obamacare, and record deficits. While Congressman Himes may be vulnerable this year, the 2010 election may also be a great opportunity for him if he is able to survive. That is because 2010 will be as bad as it gets for Himes in terms of accountability. If he can get a majority of voters to accept the status quo, then he will be practically invulnerable in future elections. Generally, incumbents face their toughest re-election battle after their freshman term. In this case, Himes’ first term ends amidst 10% unemployment. Two out of three voters in his district under the belief that Washington is on the wrong track. If he can overcome those odds, then he can do anything –- set aside his campaign season moderation and vote how he pleases in the future. If Himes can win this election, then Accountability Autumn may become as big a failure as Recovery Summer. So the question before the voters is whether or not the status quo is good enough. Because there may not be another chance at an Accountability Autumn like this one.

Sep. 24 2010 02:48 PM
Marianne from Staten Island

Newt says Krugman is extremely liberal who doesn't know how the market works.

We went with the extreme right market-friendly bunch for the past 8 or so years and see where did that got us? Near financial collapse of extreme proportions.
Do we want to follow these lunatics who supposedly "kow" how the market forks (for only THEM!) for a repeat performnce?

Sep. 24 2010 12:15 PM
dennis milbauer from Brooklyn

Bryan, where's your mojo...or your fact-checker's??
How could you let that Newtcompoop spout his factoids without even a rebuttal? This non-interview was appalling. I cringed when you addressed him "Mr. Speaker". Please spare me!

Sep. 24 2010 11:28 AM

After all the years of listening to Newtie's faux intellectual (to call them pseudo intellectual would be a compliment) and increasingly deranged opinings, I have had it. This guy deserves no more time on the national airways. He has nothing of value to contribute to the national discourse. We have real problems that deserve a reality based discussion -- not his partisan falsehoods and insinuations.

Sep. 24 2010 10:52 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

The best thing for the Dems is for ol' Newtie to keep spouting off. His rhetoric sounds semi-reasonable and rational, but we all know that he is emotionally unstable and has extremist inclinations (just ask his wives:

Let's just hope that Newt and Palin run together in 2012 to show the GOP in the grip of radical right-wing extremists.

Sep. 24 2010 10:46 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

"The Pledge to America" is redolent of Tea Party libertarian dreams.

The Koch Bros. and other funders of no regulation, little government, etc. must be delighted. And it's phrased to cater to non-libertarian Tea Partiers. That's why there's no mention of Social Security and Medicare...YET.

And, also, the "Kenyan socialism" president did appoint and stack with deficit hawks his and Pete Peterson's Cat Food Commission. So, perhaps, the Republicans figure Obama will have taken care of cutting Social Security for them by the time he leaves office in 2012. Medicare has always been fair game.

Tea Party Republican candidates want to do away with unemployement insurance. How will the non-libertarians react to that aspect of pre-1900's Republicanism?

What a mess, but the Republicans never stop working on pushing the Overton window ever rightward. Obama comes along and nails it somewhat more rightward, and the following Republican power control will push is farther rightward, with, probabl,y a weakened Democratic Party unable to do too much to stay them. (Thanks a lot, President Obama for not pushing Democratic Party principles - Not.)

It's likely even libertarians may think having Gringrich as a proponent may be the kiss of death.

I realize Newt was booked for a very short time slot, but, really, our Brian let so much just stand there with no questions about, oh, reality? Facts?

I used to say we needed more and better Democrats. Now I realize we needed more and better Dems from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, not these corporatized New Dems. The D's surrounded by a big zero (circle).

Sep. 24 2010 10:44 AM
Natasha from Far Rockaways

Brian, thanks for interviewing Newt Gingrich. He is a walking reminder to American people why we should stick to Obama and his party for the foreseeable future. Defending the same policies that led us into this disaster and pinning them on Obama?! In the broad daylight on public radio?? More tax cuts for the rich so that they would "promise" to hire us back at a fraction of the cost? That is after 30 years of exploiting us and creating unheard of wealth for themselves?? Is there a sane person in America willing to listen to this?

Sep. 24 2010 10:43 AM
Stu from Manhattan

Why did't you challange him when he said "we all know the president's background" You mean he's Kenyon not a real American, would have been a simple thing to say. I don't get you Brian. One day you talk about how horrible the political dailogue is becoming and the next day you invite a major perp on the air and lob softballs at him. Are you angling for Larry King's job?

Sep. 24 2010 10:40 AM
GB from NJ

HOW could Brian just let these two hold forth without challenging at all? Dems didn't "increase" the deficit to a trillion dollars! It was running at a trillion dollars but hidden by budgeting gimmicks under "deficits don't matter" Republicans.

Republican winning formula: Loot the country, create hardship, blame Dems, count on a compliant media.

Sep. 24 2010 10:40 AM
Matt Sullivan from Bergen County

Brian - you just let Newt Gingrich assert the current "welfare economy" is the product of "4 years of Obama, Reid & Pelosi". Last I checked Obama's been in 20 months. Nevermind the 8 years of Bush policies.

Years back you allowed Denny Hastert to assert, also unchallenged, that George Soros earned his money as a drug dealer.

The interviewer must challenge these deliberate lies and distortions. Please!

These Repoublicans are beneath contemt.

Sep. 24 2010 10:40 AM
Lew from Upper West Side

Brian, you didn't do your job ( Unless Newt's publicist did his/hers too well). I agree with the comments about your incredibly soft interview. Not mentioned yet: Without being partisan, you could have pointed out that the lead story on NYC's web page shows that Paladino is still 26 points back. I would rather not hear an interview with anyone, left, or right wing if you can't hold them fully accountable for their statements.

Sep. 24 2010 10:39 AM
LG from Manhattan

Please don't dismiss all of these comments as lefty ranting. The point isn't that Gingrich is a polarizing, far right figure. It's that over the decade he has lost all credibility. Simple litmus test: Don't have guests who don't believe the things they say, or say the things they believe. (Exception: candidates for office.)

Sep. 24 2010 10:29 AM
Edward from NJ

For those asking if it's a good idea to give Gingrich a platform, please see Leah from Brooklyn's comment. Framed that way, I'm hoping everyone in America get's plenty of Newt in the next month or so.

Sep. 24 2010 10:28 AM

Oh please.. this guy is already throwing out so many Republican memes. So glad I missed the Newt interview and just tuned in, now that Newt has released the new Republican lock-in-step platform for others to propagate.

Sep. 24 2010 10:27 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

I guess Gingrich is fully rehabilitated as of now, eh, making it back on WNYC?

Interviewing him is like interviewing a filibuster. He talks forever, says a gazillion words in what passes as logical language, and leaves any listener and most interviewers with nothing except a bad taste in their mouths and a miasma of propagandaistic phrases.

That was disgusting.

And, yes, Gingrich does at least make clear that Republican economics is Magical Thinking. The words "fraud, waste, and abuse" are supposed to cast the spell.

Sep. 24 2010 10:27 AM
ml from nyc

the pledge to america is another advertising slogan that doesn't resolve anything. NG talked about how the republicans balanced the budget in the 90's. Well, we weren't supporting two bush-cheney wars and giving large tax breaks to the very wealthy. I don't really believe the average american gives one hoot about a balanced budget. all they care about is jobs, jobs, jobs!

Sep. 24 2010 10:26 AM
John from UES

How can you give Newt Gingrich a forum to say whatever he wants without challenging him at all. He tosses out "Obama economy" and accuses Pelosi/Reid of "killing the economy" as if the current crisis happened on their watch and not during Bush 2... what type of economy, budget and surplus did W. inherit and what did he pass on after 8 years of obsession with tax cuts, global misadventure, catering to the super-rich...

Sep. 24 2010 10:26 AM

Not satistified with outsourcing blue and white collar jobs, here we have new hate and bigoted inspired right wing intellectual outsourced book from india

Sep. 24 2010 10:25 AM
Inwoodita from NYC

Listening to this guy is giving me such a stomachache! Is he dreaming or just insulting my intelligence deliberately? What is with this dream that cutting rich people's taxes will save the economy? Excuse me, but rich people are the ones who got us into this recession in the first place! Someone has to pay for it! For goodness sakes! Someone has to just say hey: would it kill you to pay higher taxes for a couple years to save your country's economy? Why is it that poor people are willing to sacrifice their flesh and blood for the country but rich people can't seem to spare a few thousand?

Sep. 24 2010 10:25 AM
moo from manhattan

small businesses like Koch Industries?

Sep. 24 2010 10:24 AM
Paul from Brooklyn

That was astonishing. It's like he was racing to see how many howlers he could tell in one interview. And Brian just let him carry on.

I was so amazed I couldn't even react, until he called Dinesh D'Souza a "serious scholar." Then I burst into laughter.

Sep. 24 2010 10:24 AM
Phoebe from NJ

This is the reason we should all get energized and get out there to make sure the current know-nothing crop of Teabaggers gets nowhere near the house. Newt is disgusting.

Sep. 24 2010 10:23 AM
Dickey Fuller from Washington, DC

Boo! Newt Gingrich is spewing hateful speech that is fomenting societal unrest.

He ought to be ashamed of himself and I question the wisdom of WNYC giving this man a platform and thus validating him.

EVERYTHING that the Repubs say is a LIE. They are trying to destroy the Obama administration for pure political gain. It is so depressing that they are getting anywhere with this current batch of lies.


Sep. 24 2010 10:23 AM
whoindatgarden from Brooklyn

What I am appalled by Mr. Leherer show is their inability to hold the Gingrich's of the world accountable for their vitriolic speaking. If a Democrat or progressive policy minded person was invited to a Limbaugh show, he/she would be trashed and chewed by Limbaugh's of the world.
If you want to be nice that is nice but you have to get the gloves off and be willing to state facts.
I dislike the "make everyone feel good " philosophy you and other progressives have, lets fight the hypocrisy and call the spade a spade, don't try and say it has a Teflon coated rubber handle.

Sep. 24 2010 10:23 AM

Please do not give Gingrich a forum. We can hear his propaganda unadulterated on Fox.

Also, please, if you do have him on, question him repeatedly on his hypocrisy and falsehoods. Saying the "Obama-Pelosi 9.6% unemployment" should be immediately countered with, "But according to economists unemployment would be over 15% without the actions they took."

His claim of balancing the budget while he was Speaker should have been countered with reminding him that, "Yes, when Clinton and the Democrats raised income taxes slightly in 1993, it was very successful."

Sep. 24 2010 10:22 AM
Steven from Brooklyn

His first comment is about how D'Souza is a frikkin Indian? Man, I hate this guy. Typical GOP bs. D'Souza's Indian, so how can he be racist?

Sorry, but D'Souza's piece in Forbes is the biggest piece of race baiting trash you will find in ANY publication. And being Indian does not make you exempt from being labeled as a racist. Unless you're at a Tea Party rally

Sep. 24 2010 10:22 AM
dg from the bronx from Bronx

That was a huge waste of time listening to Newt.
I am surprised that he was giving such a soft interview and was able to tell his lies. Why not ask him about how income inequality is at highs since the great depression. Ask him how the Bush Tax cuts helped our country and the deficit Obama was handed. Terrible interview...

Sep. 24 2010 10:21 AM
JB from New York City

Isn't it anybody in this country to interview on this subject, but a disgusting human being like Newt Gingrich? Does anybody remember his biography? And why he was forced out of leadership and ultimately the Congress?

Is it fairness that the Brian Lehrer Show invites him?

I can't listen to this skunk.

Sep. 24 2010 10:20 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

Shouldn't he be off having an affair somewhere? What a hateful, self-serving, privilege-hoarding hypocrite. He just made me remember why I voted for Obama.

Sep. 24 2010 10:19 AM
CL from New York

Lehrer's kid gloves treatment of NG is appalling. To legitimate Gingrich's standing and his support of demagoguery is very distressing. And Krugman "has no concept of how the market works"?????? He is a Nobel Prize winner in economics and a highly regarded faculty member at Princeton University. Gingrich isn't fit to carry his briefcase.

Sep. 24 2010 10:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

I wonder how racists like newt identify their ancestry? Who do they think they are?

Sep. 24 2010 10:19 AM
Mitchell from Queens

Mr GingRich wrote the Contract with America which contained a clause requiring no increase to existing welfare recipients' budgets for the birth of additional children. One state put this procedure into practice and it helped to reduce the welfare rolls but it also increased the abortion rate. Suddenly this clause was removed from the Contract as it offended the religious write. Too bad Republicans don't have the courage of their convictions.

Sep. 24 2010 10:19 AM
Marielle from Brooklyn

This reminds me of a right-wing email I received at one point, which claimed that Obama is "not culturally an American" - not racist? Please.

Sep. 24 2010 10:18 AM
Norman from NYC

Interesting punt.

You ask him a question, he sends you off to read a book.

Sep. 24 2010 10:18 AM
wtk from Manhattan

Why are you giving this irrelevant blow hard a platform? He has no credible place here.

Sep. 24 2010 10:18 AM
ralph from ct

Bill Clinton is the only president in my lifetime who was able to have a balanced budget. I would like to see President Clinton be involved in balancing the budget. It seams to me he has the experience.

Sep. 24 2010 10:18 AM

Newt --

I am a first generation American -- my dad was from Ireland. Do you think I hang out with leprechans and brush my teeth with Jameson?

Sep. 24 2010 10:18 AM
sherod luscombe from brooklyn

"you can't have an honest discussion during an election because you know that your opponent will lie about what you say!"
Who can believe anything this man says.

Sep. 24 2010 10:18 AM

Newt Gingrich is a disgusting, hateful, hypocrite. They had 10 years to do what they wanted under Bush. They've had their massive tax cuts for 10 years. They've destroyed the economy, military, and civility in politics---he's a useless, bomb throwing, xenophobe.

Sep. 24 2010 10:17 AM
Marielle from Brooklyn

Mozo, your comment made me laugh out loud.

Sep. 24 2010 10:17 AM
Michael from inwood

This can not pass as conversation this is simply a platform for a ego to press his ideas. Please no more of these kind of guests!!

Sep. 24 2010 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

You didn't prepare, Brian, you're not calling him on his lies. Why do you not stop him in his tracks? Why do you let him spew his lies and so people who listen think what he's saying might be true? Why?

Sep. 24 2010 10:17 AM
moo from manhattan

yeah, we ARE in a new era, where trickle down (super low corporate and rich taxes) has been proven NOT to work.

these people are all about corporate and wealthy wealth!

things were fine pre the bush tax cuts.

Sep. 24 2010 10:16 AM

When you hand your megaphone to such an outrageous and irresponsible person, you are just as irresponsible.

Sep. 24 2010 10:16 AM

nice. the economy implodes and deficit explodes under the bush non regulation/2 war system and magically is renamed the "obama economy" two years later.

Sep. 24 2010 10:16 AM

The Republicans are clownshoes.

Sep. 24 2010 10:15 AM
Merez NYC from NJ

Newt Gingrich talking NY politics? I find it laughable that a politician from Georgia thinks he knows the nuance of NY politics just because he's got delusions of grandeur about the presidency.

This Contract on America is nothing but a carrot which precedes a very big stick. The current GOP is all about the rich getting richer and the middle class evaporating.

Sep. 24 2010 10:13 AM
RLewis from bowery

Don't we have more people living in this country every year? Please ask him if rolling back the budget back to 2008 means that more folks have to get by with less than they did in '08?

Sep. 24 2010 10:13 AM

the actions of the american people can only be explained by some kind of national insanity

Sep. 24 2010 10:10 AM
Jim from Brooklyn

The Pledge philosophy would work to end the government's regulation of anything.
"requiring congressional approval of any new federal regulation that may add to our deficit and make it harder to create jobs."

Our economy imploded and we dumped oil on our ocean because of lack of oversight.

Are you really talking about ending all regulation?

Sep. 24 2010 10:05 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Disgusting this hypocrite is given such a platform to spread his hate.

Sep. 24 2010 10:02 AM

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