Congressman Peter King slams fellow Republican Newt Gingrich
Head of ‘Friends of Ireland’ lobby predicts that ‘Newt will implode’
"And then, just his style. I thought it was very, not just abrupt, that's the wrong word, because I don't mind guys being tough. It was just a very superior complex—a superiority complex—and I don't think he had that much to be superior about."
In 1996, King, a grandson of Irish immigrants who grew up in Sunnyside Queens, slammed Gingrich stating he has "a Southern, anti-union attitude that appeals to the mentality of hillbillies at revival meetings."
King also commented on the famous row between President Clinton and Gingrich when the then speaker felt he was being snubbed by sitting in the back of Air Force One on the way back from the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, the assassinated Prime Minister of Israel in 1995.
"[Gingrich] said it to a group of reporters, then later on they were saying he was tired or whatever," "But no, the next morning at the Republican conference, he got up and went into this whole detail about how Clinton had snubbed him, had him sit in the back of the plane, get off the back of the plane, didn't talk to him during the trip.
"And he compared it—'Somebody did this to Woodrow Wilson in 1919,' or whatever the hell it was, 1918 [and] 'caused a national uprising.' And once the American people find out that he was treated like this, the country was going to turn on Clinton. I mean, this was all Newt.
"So when he said that to reporters later, this was all that was on his mind. That's what he got out of Rabin's funeral, that's what he got out of the government shutdown, all of this, in Newt's mind, he had focused it all on himself getting off the back of the plane. Of course, as it turned out, they had pictures of him talking to Clinton during the trip. But that's neither here nor there."
King stated bluntly that Gingrich won't be able to capture independent voters.
"President Obama does not have them," he said. "If we have a plausible candidate, we should get them, or we have a very good opportunity to win the independent voters. Newt Gingrich will drive them away. And I think it opens up an opportunity for someone like a Mike Bloomberg, an independent candidate, to come in. Independents who are fed up with Barack Obama but are not going to vote for Newt Gingrich.
"To me, if someone like Mike Bloomberg is looking to make a third party race, that could open it up for him. Which could end up, give the election to Obama. Or maybe elect Mike, I don't know. But as a practical matter, if there is going to be a third-party candidate, there's much more of a chance for that if it's Gingrich, rather than Romney."
"It's only a matter of time before Newt—not implodes, because Newt is quick enough to always recover—but there's always damage done," he said. "He will say something or do something which will hurt himself and the party. Then, he's smart enough to bounce back but you never bounce back all the way. And by the time the campaign is over, you've damaged yourself too much, which is what happened when he was speaker. He won back the House for Republicans and within four years he had to step down."
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