Pelosi plans to reveal information about Gingrich ‘when the time is right’ By Alicia M. Cohn – 12/05/11 11:44 AM ET
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is holding back some information on Republican Newt Gingrich that could detract from his presidential campaign, according to a report published Monday.
“One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi told Talking Points Memo. “When the time is right. … I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”
Gingrich, who served as Speaker of the House, worked with Pelosi in Congress from 1987 to 1999. Pelosi also served on the ethics committee that investigated Gingrich for tax cheating and campaign finance violations in the late ’90s.
Gingrich filmed an ad with then-House Speaker Pelosi in 2008 to urge action on climate change, which haunted him early in his presidential bid this year. Gingrich called the ad “probably the dumbest single thing I’ve done in recent years” last month.
Republicans in Congress have been slow to rally around Gingrich’s rise to front-runner status in the polls, with former GOP colleague Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) stating publicly over the weekend he is not “inclined to be a supporter” of Gingrich due to that past experience.
But Democrats such as the soon-to-retire Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) have suggested Gingrich as the GOP nominee would benefit the Democratic Party.
“He would be the best thing to happen to Democrats since Barry Goldwater,” Frank said last week. Goldwater is credited with reviving Republican conservatism in the ’60s.
Pelosi told Talking Points Memo that Frank “spoke for a lot” of Democrats. “I like Barney Frank’s quote the best, where he said ‘I never thought I’d live such a good life that I would see Newt Gingrich be the nominee of the Republican party,’ ” she said.
And Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who also served in Congress with Gingrich and now holds a position of power as assistant minority leader in the House, charged Gingrich on Monday with lacking the temperament to be president.
“He tends to fly off the handle. He will say almost anything in order to get a charge. I’m sure that he’s not serious when he says a lot of these things,” Clyburn said on MSNBC.