Newt Gingrich: It’s Not Surprising People Think Obama Is A Muslim

With his campaign floundering in third place in the delegate count and the popular vote, and facing the likely probability that he will walk away from today’s Louisiana Primary without picking up a single delegate, Newt Gingirch is blowing the dog whistle:

Newt Gingrich said while he believes President Obama is a Christian, the president conducts himself in a way that would fuel suspicions that he is a Muslim.

Asked by a reporter following a speech on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast Friday if it concerns him so many people in the country believe Obama is Muslim, Gingrich said it was the president’s problem.

“It should bother the president. Why does the president behave the way that people would think that [he is a Muslim]?” Gingrich said. “You have to ask why would they believe that? It’s not because they’re stupid. It’s because they watch the kind of things I just described to you.”

And lest you think this was just a momentary slip of the tongue by the former Speaker, consider what he said on Thursday:

In a radio interview on Thursday, Newt Gingrich accused the “elite media” of failing to cover President Barack Obama’s ties to Islam, reiterating his claim that the president is “consistently apologizing” to Muslims.

While campaigning ahead of Saturday’s primary in Louisiana, Gingrich spoke with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios about the recent Washington Poststory on Rick Santorum’s association with Opus Dei, a devout Catholic group. Rios, who disapproved of the Post‘s story, asked Gingrich if he thought the media would similarly “hold their powder” on Mitt Romney for his Mormonism.

Gingrich said the media, which he believes is “in the tank for Obama,” will “do anything that helps re-elect” the president.

“It is just astonishing to me how pro-Obama they are,” Gingrich told Rios. “Do you think you are going to see two pages on Obama’s Muslim friends? Or two pages on the degree to which Obama is consistently apologizing to Islam while attacking the Catholic church?”

“Do you see anybody in the elite media prepared to say, gee, isn’t this kind of odd that we really worry a lot about the Quran and nothing about the Bible?” Gingrich asked, likely in reference to Obama’s recent apology to Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned the Islamic religious text.

And, before that, on Wednesday:

Newt Gingrich said that he accepts that President Barack Obama is a Christian, but claimed that he’s more sensitive to “radical Islamists” than the Catholic church.

“Let’s accept he’s a Christian in his own light. He went to a Christian church for over 20 years,” said the former House speaker on Fox News Wednesday night. “Why is it he’s more sensitive to radical Islamists who are killing young Americans than he is to the Catholic church, to Baptists, to fundamentalists, to people who are pro-abortion — I mean, who are pro — who are pro-life?”

“I mean, the fact is, this is a very strange presidency,” Gingrich said.

His comments referred to the president’s plan to require most religiously-affiliated employers — but not houses of worship — to provide birth control at no cost to their employees in their health plans.

The remarks came when Gingrich was asked about a National Journal story on how he did not correct a voter who said that Obama, a Christian, is a Muslim in a question-and-answer session.

“You know, that is such total baloney. I was asked by a reporter immediately afterwards. I said of course I accept that he’s a Christian,” Gingrich said. “The guy didn’t ask me a question. The guy got up and stated his opinion. I don’t have an obligation to go around and correct every single voter about every single topic. I also didn’t agree with him.”

But apparently you’re not above pandering to him, Mr. Speaker.

None of this is new for Gingrich, of course, he’s been saying similar things for years and is perhaps best known for his endorsement of the bizarre assertion made by Dinesh D’Souza that the President has a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” worldview. Given the large Catholic population in Louisiana, it’s also not surprising that Gingrich would be bringing up the HHS mandate issue down there. Nonetheless, it’s clearly not helping him in the polls and it seems to be yet another indication that he, like Rick Santorum, is flailing as he slowly comes to realize that his campaign is doomed.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nonetheless, it’s clearly not helping him in the polls and it seems to be yet another indication that he, like Rick Santorum, is flailing as he slowly comes to realize that his campaign is doomed. he is irrelevant.

    FTFY Doug.

  2. Peacewood says:

    Of course it’s not surprising.

    By the way, did you know our president is black?

    He’s Blaaaaaaack!!

  3. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    The Gingrich train wreck had become cringeworthy several weeks ago, but now it’s almost becoming too pitiful even to watch. It’s reached that Ali vs. Holmes level of pitifulness, or the Willie Mays with the Mets level of painfulness.

  4. dennis says:

    Doug, you chided me the other day (not uncalled for) for taking seriously comments at and True, I should dismiss out of hand these comments for what they are. At the same time, I wonder about the attitude, mindset and beliefs of those who make these types of comments. Gingrich may be pandering to a baser community and not really believe what he says; however, I think the baser community believes what he says, and it informs their actions, not just against the president, but against minorities generally and Blacks in particular.

    What disturbs me is that careless statements such as Gingrich’s and the like lead to other things: people becoming apprehensive, or crossing the street when they encounter me. Or shooting a young Black teenager for nothing.

    So, yes, I took your reproof as a check on my own attitude. Concurrently, I fear to what this kind of talk will lead, and what it signifies for our future, President Obama re-elected or not. I think this type of speech has pushed us to a ledge from which it’s going to be difficult to pull back.

  5. Liberal Capitalist says:

    … thought this apropos:

    Reach Not To The Drowning Man

    Reach not to the drowning man for in the desperation to survive his own immediate ordeal, he may pull us under with him. Out of selfish necessity, he cares not for his potential rescuers. Survival is his primary objective, at any cost. We may pay the price, becoming the sacrifice that he is willing to make in order to survive another day.

    Panic has overtaken his perceptions, and biological selfishness his objectivity; he has returned to the primal state of being. He is an animal, and far from civilized or consequential about his actions.

    He flails through life, always caught in life’s undertow. He is without consequences or consideration; his actions motivated by a need to to live through this one day with no interest in learning to swim.

    In reaching out to help him, our reward may be that we ourselves are pulled under and drowned. It’s an inadvertant trap. My advice is to throw him a rope, but don’t tie it around your neck.

  6. DRS says:

    Seriously, he’s certifiable. If his family really cared they’d be staging an intervention right about now.

  7. Andyman says:

    “It’s not because they’re stupid.”

    Yes, yes it is. I strongly suspect that if you took a poll of people who show up at a Gingrich rally, this is one of the less embarrassing beliefs they hold.

  8. Murray says:

    “Given the large Catholic population in Louisiana, it’s also not surprising that Gingrich would be bringing up the HHS mandate issue down there”

    Actually it ls surprising that he brings it up and indicates he doesn’t know how to read polls that show that a majority of Catholics support the mandate.You, as many pundits, are confusing the position of the Church’s hierarchy with that of worshipers.

    It’s not the Catholic vote he’s courting, it’s the evangelical vote.

  9. “The time has come . . . The time is now . . . Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!”