Gingrich Tells NBC's Gregory 'You Just Managed to Precisely Repeat the Obama Administration's Line'

February 5th, 2012 12:32 PM

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, told host David Gregory, "You just managed to precisely repeat the Obama administration's line."

The subject being discussed was the new edict from the Department of Health and Human Services requiring religious organizations to provide contraception to their employees (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):

NEWT GINGRICH: Furthermore, you know, he's--he has declared what--it's not just an economic election, you know, he's basically declared war on the Catholic Church, and that's the language of Archbishop Dolan of New York. And I think you're going to see a very severe reaction to the idea of a radical Obama administration...

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Well, let's--explain what you're talking about.

GINGRICH: ...imposing secular rules on religion.

GREGORY: This is for insurance to be provided, including contraception, for employees around the country.


GREGORY: And--but religious institutions would be exempted. How is this a war against religion...


GREGORY: Well, religious institutions, churches and the like, would be exempted, and there are states that have very similar rules to ensure the health and safety of, of women that they get covered in their workplace, whether it be a Catholic hospital or other kind of institution.

GINGRICH: Well, I mean, you, you just managed to precisely repeat the Obama administration's line, which is also the American Civil Liberties Union line. The fact is what you're saying is there cannot be a genuinely Catholic university, there cannot be a genuinely Catholic hospital, that in fact it will have to be subordinated to the rules of a secular government. I mean, I happen to oppose rules that, that have, for example, forced Catholic Adoption Services to be closed because they're only willing to have adoptions for marriages between a man and a woman. There are states that now close that. I think that is a tremendous infringement of religious liberty. And I think you're saying the same thing. You're saying basically, "Oh, you can have the name on it, but you can't actually be a Catholic institution. You can't actually be an evangelical Christian institution. You can't actually be an orthodox Jewish institution because we the secular government are going to impose on you." I think that's--I think this is a very profound moment for Americans to decide...

GREGORY: And you predict a political cost for the president.

GINGRICH: you really want to have a government impose on them?

GREGORY: Do you predict a political cost for the president because of this?

GINGRICH: What? Very substantial, yes. Because, because every American who cares about religious liberty, and I've been talking, for example, with evangelicals here in Nevada, every American who cares about religious liberty recognizes that from, from, from judges who say you, you can't say a prayer in high school, you can't--the New York City decision recently--you, you can't rent an empty school building on Sunday morning--every time you turn around, secular government is closing in on and shrinking the right of religious liberty in America, and I think there are millions of people who are very disturbed by it.

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