Yesterday The Hill posted a story about a recent statement by former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Ms. Pelosi told Talking Points Memo:
“One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich. When the time is right. … I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”
Well, Newt responded quickly:
Gingrich reacted to Pelosi’s comments by thanking her for an “early Christmas gift.”
He also said Pelosi would be violating House rules and abusing the ethics process if she disclosed anything from the ethics investigation.
“That is a fundamental violation of the rules of the House,” Gingrich said in New York following a meeting with Donald Trump. “She’s now prepared to totally abuse the ethics process.”
Releasing the material would show the “tainted ethics process the House was engaged in,” Gingrich said.
Ms. Pelosi then had to backtrack–her spokesman stated:
Responding to Gingrich’s comments, a spokesman for Pelosi said the former Speaker was “clearly referring to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware.”
A spokesman for the House Ethics Committee declined to comment on “current rules in the context of allegations concerning past conduct, or hypothetical future conduct governed by past rules.”
I don’t have a favorite among the current top three in the Republican primaries, but this incident indicates how much we need a candidate who not only knows and understands the law, but it willing to respond strongly when smeared. We all know that Newt has baggage. We also know that he was cleared on all but one of the charges brought against him. We also know that the whole ethics controversy was about politics-not eithics.
The other candidates need to take notes on how Newt handled this attack–they may need those notes for future reference.