Gingrich Pounces on ABC News, NBC and “Backstabbing” Campaign Staff

Jun 15, 2011 11:39pm

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz reports: Newt Gingrich accused ABC News of doing a “hit piece” and ignoring the facts when it reported on Gingrich using money from his charity to pay one of his for-profit companies.

“That report is so inaccurate,” Gingrich said on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta van Susteren.  “Reverend Jim Garlow of San Diego who’s the head of Renewing American Leadership, sent me a very despairing e-mail yesterday and said he told the facts to the ABC reporter and he was told by the ABC reporter frankly they didn’t care what the facts were and they were going to do a hit piece and they actually literally didn’t care what the facts were.”

“A network who wants to do a hit piece will take what I said, twist it and decide to do with it what they want to because they get to edit it.  I didn’t get an offer from ABC to have an unedited sit down.  I didn’t get an offer to show exactly what I said,” Gingrich said,  “I had no reason to believe that in a network that was out to do a hit piece would be in any way fair with anything I said to them.”

Gingrich also laid into NBC for reports from anonymous sources that his wife, Callista, was the catalyst for the massive departure of his campaign staff last week.

“NBC this morning in a program that had nobody on camera, nobody quoted by name that quoted a reporters talking anonymously about cowardly people who frankly lied about my wife, and I think NBC owes Callista an apology because the fact is my campaign is my campaign.  Yes we make decisions as a couple but in the end I take full responsibility, and I think the program this morning was totally irresponsible and personally reprehensible and the kind of thing that makes it hard to get decent people to run for public office.”

In his harshest comments yet towards the staff that bolted from his campaign last week, Gingrich called the criticism of his wife “backstabbing” and accused the former staffers of not doing their jobs.

“These are supposed to be professionals who we were paying who supposedly had some sense of confidentiality who promptly frankly did some backstabbing in a way that I just found amazing.  After all my years of public life, I don’t mind people attacking me; I’m a big guy I can take it. But to go after anyone’s wife, I think is pretty despicable.”

“We had several people, who quit frankly who had failed totally in their professional duties and who for the last month had not been doing their job.  So I’d be perfectly happy if they wanted to stand up because we would have pointed out chapter and verse about why they were gone and it wasn’t for a very good reason.”

Van Susteren confronted Gingrich about his unwillingness to address the media’s questions head on, and Gingrich agreed that from now on he’ll adopt a different tactic with journalists.

“Maybe we’ll start running our parallel interview and we’ll say great, glad to be interviewed. We’re going to film the interview. You edit it the way you want to. We’re going to put the raw interview up on YouTube, and we’ll let people decide whether or not your networks being fair.”

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