Newt Gingrich should be ashamed of himself.
In a desperate effort to revive his floundering campaign, he’s flagrantly playing the race card.
In the Sunday night debate in South Carolina, he repeated his canard against Barack Obama, calling him “the best food stamp president in American history” and claiming he wants to “maximize dependency.”
Here he’s playing off one of the oldest stereotypes in the book, and he knows exactly what he’s doing.
When Juan Williams tried to call Gingrich on it, the former Speaker used the overwhelmingly white audience to his advantage, denying that he was being insulting to black Americans, and the crowd whooped it up.
And then he used the line again about Obama, saying “the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history."
But there’s an obvious answer for the increase in food stamps. We’ve been in the worst economic crisis since the food stamp program began, and the number of people on food stamps started to go up dramatically under George W. Bush.
Yet the atmospherics were all in Gingrich’s favor: Gingrich dressing down a black journalist in South Carolina who dared to question his use of racial code words to go after a black president.
It was a no-win situation for Juan Williams, and a no-win situation for our country.
And it made for one of the uglier moments in this very ugly campaign.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Pundits Slight Ron Paul after Strong NH Showing."
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