COMMENTARY | Former New York congressman Guy Molinari has a few things to say about former Speaker of the House and current presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich -- none of them nice. He speaks from experience, having worked with the presidential candidate in the 80s, a few years prior to the Gingrich becoming Speaker of the House. And Molinari bluntly states that Gingrich is "evil" and a liar, according to CNN.
"Evil is a tough word, but frankly I can't think of a better word that describes what he is all about," said Molinari, who now works as an adviser to the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. "He is an evil person. That's the way he is. He'll lie; he'll do anything to get his way."
And there is definitely some truth to that. Take, for instance, Gingrich's complete twisting of the truth to brand the Obama administration as reckless with taxpayer dollars just so he can become the Republican nominee for president. Politifact published a piece on Dec. 1 that parsed a Gingrich claim that not only was President Obama the "best food stamp president in history" but that food stamps could now be used for anything, like trips to Hawaii. Even millionaires were getting food stamps, according to the former Speaker. Politifact labeled Gingrich's claims "Pants On Fire," their worst branding for lies and misleading statements.
And what about his lobbying his fellow Republicans after leaving Congress? He says he wasn't a lobbyist -- because he was never registered as a lobbyist -- but currying favor for corporations and financial institutions like Freddie Mac certainly seems like lobbying by another name.
No one has profited more from being a congressman says the 83-year-old Molinari. " You look at the stories about how much money he's made, lobbying really, he says it wasn't. It sure as hell was lobbying."
Molinari, who admits to holding a grudge against Gingrich from their congressional days together when the then representative from Georgia leveraged him out of his position on the House Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee, added, "Those of us that know him have a duty as Americans to come forward and relate the problems that we experienced ourselves and hope that the people will begin to understand what he's really all about, and then pick somebody else."
But will they? The latest Rasmussen Reports national presidential preference poll placed Gingrich 21 points ahead of Mitt Romney among Republican voters.
The words come in advance of Gingrich's four-day New York visit. One of his stops will be in Staten Island, where Molinari was borough president for 11 years.
"This man is not a good person,... and I just hope that the people in this country recognize that fact and do not vote for him," said Molinari. "I'd like them to vote for Mitt Romney but if not Romney let them vote for somebody else, but heaven's to Betsy not Newt Gingrich."
Also lending credence to Molinari's condemnation of Gingrich was the manner in which Gingrich left office in early 1999. He resigned under a cloud after having orchestrated the congressional gridlock that caused the longest government shutdown in history and after being sanctioned for ethics violations by the House of Representatives, which was then controlled by Republicans. His violation? Lying to the Ethics Committee itself.
Perhaps "evil" and liar aren't such "tough" words after all. Perhaps they're just uncomfortably close to the truth.
- Newt Gingrich
- Mitt Romney