Future 2012 GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich turned up on FNC’s Hannity tonight to argue against BP having to set up an escrow account for the Gulf oil spill victims, because holding BP accountable has turned the United States into a “Venezuela style country.” Gringrich feels sympathy not for the residents of the Gulf, but for poor BP.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Gingrich said, “Look there’s so many different things wrong right now that it’s hard to put them into one TV show. Well just start with this compensation fund. Is this an effort by BP to avoid potentially lawsuits for much more money? How did they arrive at $20 billion? Was Obama the person that picked $20 billion? How would he know? Should it have been $10 billion or $40 billion? Is the President really going to appoint a political crony to run this compensation fund? Has America degenerated into a Venezuelan style country where the leader gets to pick somebody to hand out $20 billion, and we think that’s not going to be corrupt?”
He went on to claim that the compensation fund is illegal, “All of this is outside the law. We have laws for suits. The Congress could create and the President could sign a bill to have some kind of compensation process, but to have it handled by press release? This is the kind of stuff that is going to convince every major business in the world to avoid the United States, to invest outside the United States because our political class seems to have lost any sense of balance and any sense of the rule of law.”
Gingrich actually suggested in the clip that the people in the Gulf should file lawsuits, and if anyone thinks that this is a good idea, they should ask the people in Alaska who had to sue over the Exxon Valdez how well that worked out for them. The Republican Party has now gone so far to the right that people like Newt Gingrich argue with a straight face that holding BP accountable for causing the worst environmental disaster in the history of the country is akin to socialism.
In essence, Gingrich was claiming that BP was the victim here of Obama’s socialistic rule. Think about that for a second. The victim, according to Newt Gingrich, is not the people of the Gulf Coast whose lives have been altered forever. No, the victim is BP because that mean socialist Barack Obama is trying to make them pay. By the way, that “Obama crony” that Gingrich made reference to is named Kenneth Feinberg, and he was appointed by Bush attorney general John Ashcroft to oversee the 9/11 victims fund. Feinberg has somehow gone from being good enough to be a Bush appointee after 9/11 to now being a corrupt socialist crony of Barack Obama.
Everyone knows that Gingrich is running for the Republican nomination in 2012, and his remarks on Hannity tonight were geared towards GOP primary voters, but the scary thing for the rest of the country is that Gingrich is considered by many to be one of the smartest people in the Republican Party. Newt Gingrich is what passes for an enlightened intellectual in today’s Republican Party. Newt Gingrich is a sterling example of why the GOP should not be trusted to run our government.