Passport

Gingrich calls Obama the E-word

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 ...

552698_newt6.jpg

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?

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?

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

The Taliban delegation leaves the hotel after meeting with representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Qatar in Moscow on March 19.

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U.S. troops are out of the way.

An Afghan security member pours gasoline over a pile of seized drugs and alcoholic drinks

The Taliban Are Breaking Bad

Meth is even more profitable than heroin—and is turbocharging the insurgency.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the U.N. Security Council from her office in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 4, 2020.

Belarus’s Unlikely New Leader

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya didn’t set out to challenge a brutal dictatorship.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid

What the Taliban Takeover Means for India

Kabul’s swift collapse leaves New Delhi with significant security concerns.