- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
After Mitt Romney announced his campaign for president, I noted his repeated use of "European" as an epithet to describe Barack Obama’s economic and foreign policies. I surmised that it’s a way of suggesting there’s something not-quite-American about the president without pandering to the lunatic fringe still questioning his birthplace or religion. Though he would probably deny taking cues from Romney, Newt Gingrich appeared to be running with this theme at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans:
"He is a natural secular European socialist," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose campaign imploded last week when his top advisers resigned. "He is the opposite of freedom."
The opposite of freedom? Someone should those Bolshevik sleeper agents over at the Heritage Foundation, whose 2011 Index of Economic Freedom ranks most of the "secular socialist" countries in Western Europe as "free" or "mostly free" rather than the correct designation: "Totalitarian Hellscape."
One other odd thing about the quote: Some versions of the AP story quoted above have Gingrich saying "national secular European socialist," which has very different … er … connotations. I can’t find a video of the speech online. Any readers happen to hear it live?