Gingrich: Obama’s Trayvon Comments “Appalling” and “Disgraceful”

Leave it to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to be on the wrong side of pretty much every controversy.  The latest?  He considers President Barack Obama’s remarks over the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin “disgraceful.”

Earlier this week, in the wake of the public outcry over the apparent murder of Martin, who was shot by a self-proclaimed neighborhood watch captain while the young man was returning home after buying skittles, President Barack Obama personalized the event in his remarks, stating “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

Speaking on the Sean Hannity show, Gingrich made one of his most gigantic leaps yet when it comes to finding a way to criticize the president. “What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period…We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background…Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him. That’s just nonsense dividing this country up.”

Gingrich then went on to call Obama “appalling” and obviously trying to use the event as a racial wedge. “It is a tragedy this young man was  shot. It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban,  or if he had been white, or if he had been Asian-American, or if he’d been a Native American..At some point, we ought to talk about being  Americans. When things go wrong to an American, it is sad for all  Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong.  I really find it appalling.”

It seems that by accusing the President of caring about the victim more because he was African American, it might be Gingrich who is using race to divide, rather than the president.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Lee Witton
4 years ago

I understand Robert and I appreciate your last post but I still must say I do not feel his comment was unfortunate. What I think is unfortunate is how the Republican and Tea Bag factions have made something out of Obama's comment like they always do. We have to stop using every innocent statement as political ammunition when it should have been accepted as it was given; as a conveyance of empathy and concern.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Lee W. - I am not "the Right". I did not mean to imply President Obama had an agenda - other than empathizing - but it IS often received the wrong, or unintended way. And it has. You know the old saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

I'm just tired of racism, and people yelling 'Racist", and the fact that the media almost never fails to describe a person's complexion or their country of origin. I wish we could just turn the page on that. If it doesn't matter, then let's drop it. If we all did it together, it would be over. Peace. Out.

Xil L.
Xil L.4 years ago

Did Gingrich or any other republican representant bother to present their condolences to Trayvon Martins family. or where they too busy preaching hatetalk and egocentricly licking up attention? this is about a nation not a position. finding the racial slur and the attack on women very bad taste and a smokescreen clouding the real republican interest (public sunmission, oil, weapons and war) in these elections. American people arent that easily duped anymore. Obama speaks and the people listen. I think he is the only candidate that can relate to the american majority and does what best he can during his time in power. Americans should worry about any of the other options taking this power over, for their intentions are blurry and serving only a small fraction of the nation. This is why Obama has succeded, people are actualy taking an interest in the politics of their country and Obama is listening to the suggestions made by the people. I hope wisedom wins.

Stephen Brian
Stephen Brian4 years ago

Hi Linda,

Presumably Zimmerman failed to follow the police's instructions not to follow the boy because he was a neighborhood watchman and felt it was his duty to do so. I don't know his motives, but I suspect he dismissed the instructions as just the police seeking a monopoly on even the legal use of force, which is an issue in some places.

As far as I can tell, it was not confirmed who was yelling for help, Martin or Zimmerman. I read that the yells were heard on a recorded 911-call and this video claims to have them:
Zimmerman's story is coming out now for a few reasons: First, he was not seen as a suspect in a crime until the police released the records of the investigation (which they really should have done immediately). Second, the story did come out at the time:
but was generally ignored because there was no case. Third, though this is unconfirmed, I have heard that witnesses speaking for Zimmerman were threatened.

Hillary K.
Hillary K.4 years ago

Our POTUS cannot do or say anything right in the eyes of these horrible people aka the GOP. What he said was true & I think this touched him deeply....those POS's need to keep their damn mouths shut.

Lee Witton
4 years ago

I disagree that Obama's statement was unfortunate and Robert you are doing the same thing you accuse the Professor of doing; framing from the perspective of.... Every time Obama opens his mouth to say anything, it is over-examined, then discussed by the right to see if they can make it into an ordeal. He said nothing wrong yet you are trying to find fault or an agenda behind his words. The only unfortunate thing about what he said is that it could not be embraced with the same kind of empathy as his words were meant to convey.

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

Zimmerman sounds like a would be Rambo. Why did he need a gun (he is not in any law enforcement arena) Many communities have volunteers keeping an eye out, but none had guns. I don't know what happened in the end because the evidence was whisked away. We do know that Zimmerman was the instigator...if someone was following me at night I would be very afraid. The boy had not committed any crime, he didn't have a gun, he wasn't looking in windows, he wasn't skulking around peoples homes, he didn't have a burglary why was the man following him in the first place? And why did he not stop when his superior told him to back off? We can only get the mans side because the boy is dead. We do have his voice on tape which tells us a lot. Why when he was leaving would he turn and attack a larger man with a gun? The police must do a thorough investigation. People can't just go around shooting unarmed citizens.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Zimmerman sounds paranoid and potentially dangerous, but is he? The Police totally dropped the ball... WTF?

And President Obama's comments were unfortunate. Yes, he was empathizing, and that is good. But he also intensified the atmosphere of racism. I wish we could get past this.

On PBS, Harry Connick, Jr. was having his family tree investigated. The Professor leading the investigations took great delight in framing everything from the perspective of, Where were your ancestors during the days of slavery, and how guilty of participation were they? The Professor took such delight in tormenting decent people with the lives of their forebears. I could see his interest, but I wondered, Didn't HALF of this country fight to free the African Americans? And yet ALL of us get tarred and feathered on a regular basis.

That's bullying - it's tiring. TIME TO GROW UP!

Linda McKellar
Past Member 4 years ago

Curious, does Zimmerman have a record of any type?

Linda McKellar
Past Member 4 years ago

Stephen B. If Zimmerman was being beaten to a pulp, where are the photos in his defense? Why was the boy screaming for help if he was the aggressor? Why was the gun not confiscated as evidence? Why did Zimmerman not obey police orders not to follow the boy?