October 27th, 2010
06:27 PM ET

Gingrich at Liberty University: Obama's a secular socialist

From CNN's Dan Gilgoff:

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's mulling a run for the White House, appeared Wednesday at the school founded by Jerry Falwell to address students and to meet with key conservative Christian activists from across the country.

In a speech to students at Liberty University on Wednesday morning, Gingrich said that Americans needed to fight back against secular socialists, including President Barack Obama, at home and against Islamic radicals around the world.

"Imagine a small secular political elite imposing its radical values on a massive majority of worshippers," he said in a passage describing Poland under communism, according to remarks distributed by his spokesman. "You can see how strange Poland was - or maybe you can see how relevant this story is to America today."

"President Obama's secular socialist philosophy is profoundly in conflict with the heart of the American system and is a repudiation of the core lessons of American history," Gingrich told students at the Lynchburg, Virginia, school, according to a copy of his speech provided by spokesman Rick Tyler.

"With God's help," Gingrich continued, "and with our willingness to humble ourselves, to always seek his guidance, and always do his bidding, we will overcome both our radical secular opponents and our radical Islamist enemies."

Gingrich has said he will decide whether to run for president by early next year. He is touring the country in support of Republican candidates.

After his speech, Gingrich was scheduled to meet with some of the most influential Christian conservatives in the country at Liberty, including Tom Minnery, executive vice president of Focus on the Family, Craig Parshall, executive vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters and Jim Garlow, who led pastors in support of California's gay marriage ban in 2008.

Gingrich approached the school with the idea for his visit, according to Brett O'Donnell, a media representative for Liberty.

Gingrich appeared at Liberty in 2007, shortly after Falwell died. The school's current chancellor is Falwell's son, Jerry Falwell Jr.

In recent years, Gingrich has stepped up outreach to religious conservatives.

Last year, he founded a group called Renewing American Leadership, which aims to mobilize conservative evangelicals and Catholics and to strengthen ties between economic and religious conservatives.

In 2007, Gingrich told Christian radio broadcaster James Dobson that he was cheating on his wife at around the same time the House was impeaching President Bill Clinton over his White House affair with Monica Lewinsky, in what was seen as an overture to conservative evangelicals.

On Wednesday, he again appealed to conservative Christians to get more politically involved.

"If every dedicated Christian voted," he told Liberty students, "the elections in most of America would be landslides for our values."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Education • Newt Gingrich • Politics

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Adalbert

    Newt is one of the most power hungry egomaniacs in the republican party. His loyalty to his family, to his many wife’s and to his country is zero. Everything that he does is to promote his huge ambition to be president.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  2. ART

    And you Gingrinch are a hasbeen idiot

    October 28, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  3. John PA

    And Newt, you're an obsolete old crony. I'm old too, don't feel bad. I'd much rather have brains than faith leading this country however. Not impressed by the TeaParty nutcakes that have been presented. What an irresponsible choice they would be, yet I realize that voters are being foolish enough to fall for all their rhetoric because they are angry. No new solutions offered for the GOP either, yet people are willing to vote for them! I was a Republican most of my life, but I hate where this party headed and what it stands for today. I'm also a moderate and of the middle class, so the Dems have my vote.

    October 28, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  4. ConsiderThis, FL

    Newt "Captain Kangaroo" Gingrich loves to throw labels around on people. I have a label for him – LOOSER

    October 28, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  5. Randy Buist

    What conservative values is the Newt talking about? Multiple marriages with a mistress on the side?
    ~ I'm a conservative person who has come to embrace many of the values of the democratic party, but I see no way Newt should be considered a conservative...

    October 28, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  6. some guy in New Hampshire

    Okay, now I've got it: he's a secular Kenyan socialist anti-colonialist. Thanks for clearing that up, Newt.

    October 28, 2010 at 6:30 am |
  7. Marry

    Capitalism is Socialism for the rich!
    “Socialism” (and what the President is doing is not SOCIALISM!”) is a little Capitalism BENEFITTING the middleclass/poor as well!
    When the GOP/TP talk about how they want the future there is only one goal: Profits! Now! For a few!
    When the Democrats imagine the future, they want it a little bit more balanced. Yes, work hard and takes risks then there should be profits. But the whole country should in the end benefit. Profits should not be made by a few (2%) ripping the rest of the country off!

    October 28, 2010 at 5:30 am |
  8. An Independent Viewer

    Why do we get political pandering that is so divisive and regurgitating bias about people's spiritual beliefs.....Mr. Gingrich....go ahead, I guess, spill your bile, your nonsense and your hypocracy.....but I don't expect it to gain much traction when others examine it outside your narrow arena....

    October 28, 2010 at 3:40 am |
  9. Outsource Me

    And you are a Nazi-lover fascist. Your own party candidate dresses up in Death Squad SS Nazi uniforms and claims his militia qualifies him for military service.

    October 28, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Outsource Me

      Say wut...?

      October 28, 2010 at 3:40 am |
  10. Atteckus

    Wow, may Satan rest Jerry Falwell's buring soul. Surely, the criminal Newt, convicted and censured by his own peers, who also abandoned his dying wife to sow seeds with a mistrress, will soon join him. That, and Newt is bereft of any new ideas, except the ones that have failed miserably over the last 3 decades.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  11. E.J.Mohammed

    People like Gingrinch are such hypocrites hiding behind the crutch of Christianity when he's got major baggage in his own closet.
    I use to be a devoted Republican from Utah but after this shameful display the party has shown the past 2 years Obama has been President I will never vote for a Republican again. They are a bigoted bunch of hypocrites who show no respect for our Christian President!
    I am now a Christian liberal who's is passionate about this country and the current President!
    If you are Republican please have a brain and a mind of your own!
    E.J. in Tacoma

    October 28, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  12. Thomas

    This guy is " Newt Gingrich" is the worst Historian of Spin. If Obama is a socialist , then Newt is a Fascist !
    Why would people pay money to hear a looser like Newt , this guy is acting like a comfy Nazi after an all you can eat Buffet !

    October 28, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  13. Reality

    And Newt's moral compass? Bill Clinton!!!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:00 am |
  14. David

    Now why in the world would anyone listen to Newt. He's a pompous hypocrite and a serial lair.

    October 27, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  15. mayatesnomas

    I am amazed at the prevalence of the ad hominem tu quoque fallacy that so many on the left consistently retreat to. Its use in relation to this topic is especially striking. It doesn't matter. In 6 days, change will be coming to America. To see these leftists squirming at such a thought is joy enough. :0)

    October 27, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Thank you for causing me to look up ad hominum tu quoque fallacy. Me thinks you have thrown around a little latin to deflect attention from Newt's inconsistent statements and behaviours. You don't seem to think these are important, nor are you concerned that he's probably a hypocrite. Interesting set of values and behaviours you are willing to tolerate in your leaders.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • Peace2All


      YOU SAID:

      "I am amazed at the prevalence of the ad hominem tu quoque fallacy that so many on the left consistently retreat to. Its use in relation to this topic is especially striking. It doesn't matter. In 6 days, change will be coming to America. To see these leftists squirming at such a thought is joy enough. :0)"

      ME-– Yes, as Ace pointed out, i as well got a chance to look up.."ad hominem tu quoque fallacy."–Thanks for that.

      However, that just deflects the issues regarding Newt's assertions. Put aside any 'ad hominem' attacks. Newt has provided absolutely -0- truth or facts behind his statements.

      Seems to me that it was all rhetoric to speak to the religious right.

      Free Speech is an incredible gift in this country. However, I think those, especially the ones in or have been in public office, should speak truthfully, and... back it up with facts... if you are going to make outrageous and unfounded assertions.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:03 am |
    • Peace2All

      *"back it up with facts, otherwise do not make outrageous and unfounded assertions."

      October 28, 2010 at 2:04 am |
  16. American

    This guy was cheating on his wife when Clinton was having an affair with Monica? Guess that's OK for a family value. So much for morality at Liberty University. But, he's talking to the choir, or rather the minor demons. All the fascist minions who thing Obama is a Socialist. Socialism has never been accepted in the US. Even when they ran PRESIDENTIAL candidates.
    Fascists have been. Look at what Bush got into office.

    October 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  17. Disgusted Republican

    Newt addressing a Christian audience? How many times has the Lizzard violated the 7th Commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery"? We know of at least two and maybe he is cheating on his current wife by now. Why would a "Christian" want to listen to this miscreant?

    October 27, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Disgusted Republican

      Why would 'anyone' want to listen to him...?

      October 28, 2010 at 3:36 am |
  18. Seam

    Wow, now we are asking God to do favors that will support one political viewpoint over another. And, to put Obama in the same sentence as Islamic extremists is way out of line. I am so sure God will NOT answer your prayers. This Newt guy needs some serious help. What a low life. Some Christian faithful he is. How about praying to God that we can all work together and find common solutions to benefit all? Somehow that doesn't fit the Republican mold, especially since they want to take their country back. I'm still not sure who took it????

    October 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  19. InlandEmperor

    Why does anyone bother to report on what this clown says...or does. It's hard to imagine that any thinking American gives a hoot as to what he thinks...or says.

    October 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  20. Bob (Illinois)

    More Gingrich garbage!

    October 27, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.