Palin-Gingrich ‘Death Panel’ Charge Becomes Grist for House Dems

Aug 12, 2009 5:05pm

My colleague Teddy Davis reports this latest development that flows out of my interview last Sunday with Republican Newt Gingrich:

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's unsubstantiated "death panel" charge – that the Democrats’ health care reform proposal would include government forced euthanasia on seniors or the disasbled — has been seized on by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as a way to raise money for House Democrats.

In an email to Democratic supporters, DCCC executive director Jon Vogel writes: "The Republican strategy to defeat health insurance reform is simple: poison the debate with lies and then drown us out by yelling and screaming as loud as they can."

"Now, Sarah Palin is outrageously claiming that Americans 'would have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' " to receive care. While Palin's attack is a complete fabrication, the GOP is closing ranks to defend these outright lies. Over the weekend, former Speaker Newt Gingrich stood by Palin's bizarre 'death panel' accusation on national TV," writes the DCCC's Vogel.

Gingrich defended Palin's comments while appearing Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." The former Alaska governor initially made her ‘death panel’ charge in a Friday message posted to her page on Facebook.

"You're asking us to trust the government," said Gingrich on ABC. "Now, I'm not talking about the Obama administration. I'm talking about the government. You're asking us to decide that we believe that the government is to be trusted."

"We know people who have said routinely, well, you're going to have to make decisions. You're going to have to decide. Communal standards historically is a very dangerous concept."

Told that there is no ‘death panel’ in the bill, Gingrich stood by his position.

"The bill's 1,000 pages of setting up mechanisms," said Gingrich. "It sets up 45 different agencies. It has all sorts of panels. You're asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there clearly are people in America who believe in — in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards.

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