‘I Understand You Have a Panel,’ Gingrich Tells a Panel-Less AIPAC

Mar 6, 2012 2:19pm

This post has been updated since first posting.

Newt Gingrich apparently has been so busy campaigning all around Georgia that he hasn’t had time to sleep, or even write a speech for the AIPAC crowd.

Moments before he was set to video-stream live to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Gingrich was caught on camera dozing off, perhaps dreaming about what it would be like to be president or live on the moon  or both.

At one point, he woke up in the midst of a speech by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who addressed the conference before Gingrich.

Someone off-camera, probably referring that Gingrich appeared to be nodding off, said it was “probably the most relaxed moment you had today.”

“Listening to Panetta is not a relaxing experience,” Gingrich said, before slipping away into nap time again.

He woke up before he was  introduced for his speech and gave a short opening statement in which he promised, if elected president, to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, along with several other points.  Gingrich then opened up the floor to questions.

“I understand you have a panel. I look forward to any questions.”

Then 12 seemingly eternal seconds of silence followed. Gingrich stared blankly into the camera, and the audience stared back.

Finally the AIPAC introducer had to cut the awkward void.

“Mr. Speaker, there is not a panel,” he said. “Please do continue, sir.”

Gingrich, always the improviser, moved right along.

“Let me just say – I say this pretty briefly, I think,” Gingrich riffed. “We need a fundamental reassessment of our entire understanding of the threat of radical Islam.”

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