Former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich appeared today on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos where he commented on the state of the presidential election and the issue of abortion and rape.
When Stephanopoulos asked the former Speaker of the House about recent polling data, which show the Republican candidate Mitt Romney catching up to or even surpassing the President, Gingrich didn’t seem surprised.
“The bigger issue is whether it’s unemployment or it is what’s happened in Benghazi (…),I think these kind of things all drag down the Obama campaign,” said Gingrich. “You’ll notice [Obama]’s cancelling his trips over the hurricane, he did not cancel his trips over Benghazi. So you have to wonder between Benghazi, the price of gasoline and unemployment, just how much burden the president is gonna carry into last week.”
Gingrich dismissed the notion that Romney might win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College; the Speaker said that from a perspective of a historian, he believes a significant popular vote victory would most certainly translate into an electoral win as well. Gingrich has a Ph.D. in history.
The Speaker also laughed off a commentary from President Obama criticizing Romney’s record.
“Barack Obama would trade job creation of Romney as Governor in a heartbeat,” said Gingrich. “He would trade the unemployment rate of Massachusetts under Romney in a heartbeat, he’d love to have had the bi-partisan ability, Romney worked with an 85 percent democratic legislature, Obama would love to have been able to work with people as well Romney did.”
Gingrich called President Obama’s presidency “remarkably ineffective” pointing to highest unemployment numbers since the Great Depression and the highest gas prices ever.
“[The price of gas] is the most expensive for this time of year in American history, it is still $2 a gallon more than it was when Obama became President,” said Gingrich. “We are learning more and more how many bankruptcies there are in the solar/power industry [President Obama] was taking care of. So you have a President who badly invested your tax money to distort energy policies while making you pay $2 a gallon more. That’s a pretty tough record to go into Ohio or Florida or anywhere and say to folks ‘why don’t you keep voting for $2 more in gasoline because you like Obama so much you don’t mind paying for it.’”
In closing Stephanopoulos asked the Speaker whether he agrees with Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock who recently made controversial comments about rape and abortion – suggesting that even if pregnancy starts in “that horrible situation” the resulting life is still “part of God’s plan.”
“My response is, if you listen to what Mourdock actually said, he said what virtually every Catholic and every fundamentalist in the country believes, life begins at conception,” Gingrich said. “Now, this seems to be fixated by the Democrats, but the radical on abortion is Obama, who as a state senator voted three times in favor of allowing doctors to kill babies in the eighth and ninth month who were born, having survived later-term abortion.”
Gingrich further defended Mourdock pointing out that the Senate hopeful clarified his statements and repeatedly condemned rape.
“Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape. Okay? So why can’t people like Stephanie Cutter get over it? We all condemn rape,” said the Speaker, referring to Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, who criticized Romney for not coming out against Mourdock.
Gingrich, who ran as a candidate from Atlanta, Ga, has been stumping for Romney ever since he dropped out of the Republican primary race in May. Throughout the primary, Gingrich promised to do everything he could to help elect the Republican winner to replace President Obama.