The Washington Post

Newt Gingrich: master of meanness

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is a master of meanness. He can be blunt. That was his mode at a family-values forum in Iowa on Saturday, when he tongue-lashed the Occupy Wall Street protesters. “Go get a job right after you take a bath,” the man who once had a revolving, interest-free line of credit at Tiffany’s said dismissively.

And Gingrich can be quietly cutting. That was the tack he took in an interview last Tuesday with CBN’s David Brody, who commented, “It seems like you’re the realist up there, someone who is going to just say what needs to be said.”

Gingrich replied:

One of the Republican weaknesses is that we rely too much on consultants and too much on talking points, and we don’t rely enough on actually knowing things. If you’re going to lead the country and change history, you better know a heck of a lot before you start because there’s not much time for learning on the job. As Obama has proven — youth and inexperience are interesting, but they can also be a disaster.

“We don’t rely enough on actually knowing things”? Wow. Herman Cain’s ears must have been burning right about then.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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