Last week, it was Barbara Walters on The View asking Callista Gingrich what she thought about Gen. David Petraeus resigning over his affair. I guess the network decided they hadn't embarrassed themselves enough already, because this Sunday, guess who was the first person asked about the Petraeus affair during the panel segment on This Week. You guessed it -- Newt Gingrich.
Why a professional "scam artist" like Gingrich is a regular guest on these shows in the first place is beyond me, but then, I could say the same thing about most of the guests that are chosen to go on these shows week after week and one George Will who is on this show almost every single week.
Although we did get a break from Will last week. Probably because he didn't want to be asked any questions about his brilliant prediction of a Mitt Romney electoral blowout.
RADDATZ: I think we've made that pretty clear right here. I think we've made that pretty clear. Let's move on to Dave Petraeus. You know he was in these hearings. We have -- we thought this might calm down this week; it has not.
Let me start with you, Speaker Gingrich. Is it a national security risk to have your CIA director involved in an extramarital affair?
GINGRICH: Well, I think Petraeus concluded -- and I think he's probably right -- that he couldn't be effective. I mean, I think what he did is he...
RADDATZ: You don't think it was because he got caught?
GINGRICH: Well, that's what made him ineffective. I mean, I think by definition, if something had remained secret, it would have been secret. He would have had no reason to confront it.
RADDATZ: But the president actually spent 24 hours thinking about it.
GINGRICH: But I think Petraeus, in offering his resignation, was communicating that he didn't think he could lead the CIA, he didn't think he could deal with the Congress, and that he would be consumed -- you're much better off to have people saying, "Gee, he's a great patriot. Isn't it a pity he's gone?", than to have people say, "Let me focus on this, why isn't he gone?"
And I think, from his perspective, he'd have been in a very, very difficult position, if he stayed in office.
KARL: Although he -- he thought he was going to get away with it, it seems to me. I mean, he -- he acknowledged to the FBI the affair and then went to -- on a six-nation tour to the -- to the region, went to Libya, looked at his own Benghazi investigation. He didn't decide to resign until James Clapper asked him to resign.
GINGRICH: Until it became public. I mean, the FBI calls you in, "We know this, you know this, no one else knows this," you're operating on one...
RADDATZ: Congressman Becerra, get in the middle between those guys.
BECERRA: Well, look, it -- there was a personal failing, a deep, severe personal failing. Does it break into the realm of the public world, the responsibilities that the general has?
RADDATZ: But what about judgment? What about judgment?
WILL: Well, that's surely the point.
RADDATZ: Isn't that the bottom line here, his judgment during that period?
WILL: The American people -- the American people are not Pecksniffian moralists about this. They never really gave us their affection for and job approval of Bill Clinton. This is a question of, you want your CIA director to have good judgment. He's not asking too much.
(UNKNOWN): Yes, absolutely.
WILL: And this was obviously a case of bad judgment. There's a -- but I would hope, by the way, that...
RADDATZ: And should it be just the CIA director? Should it be anybody? Where do you draw the line again?
WILL: Well, I don't know where you draw the line, but it starts with the CIA director, certainly.
RADDATZ: That's one of them?
WILL: This might also be a good time for the country to think about the militarization of the CIA. I'm not sure we should have military leaders leading the CIA, people in the military...
RADDATZ: That's been a long debate. That's why they wanted him to retire, correct?
WILL: I mean, they're waging the drone warfare. If the CIA is going to become increasingly a paramilitary operation, we ought to talk about that, because that's a momentous development.
BRAZILE: But just a few months ago, the Gallup poll indicated that our military was the most trusted institution in American life, so this was -- this was a huge blow, at a time when Congress is as popular as a root canal, to have another institution of government have failed so badly.
So, you know, we respect his -- his service to the country, his sense of duty, but this was a failure of judgment. And I thought his resignation had to be accepted. And I know he'll get on with his life at some point.
RADDATZ: Jon, does it harm the military, do you think?
KARL: Well, this isn't the first sex scandal to...
RADDATZ: There've been a lot of them lately. In fact, the Pentagon is investigating why there have been so many scandals lately.
KARL: Yeah. And...
RADDATZ: Is it deployments? Let me -- just quickly on that. Do you think we really do need to look at not only younger soldiers, but generals and what they've been through? Dave Petraeus has been deployed -- was deployed for six years.
KARL: I mean -- I mean, think about how much -- yeah, exactly -- how much time he has -- he's been more time deployed than he has back home. But, you know, I think you want to be very careful about making excuses.
But these -- I think the military is looking not only at this issue, but at kind of the whole culture at the upper -- at the upper ranks. I mean, the -- you know, the -- story the Washington Post has about, you know, how Gates realized that he -- he had to -- you know, living next door to Mullen. Mullen's got people making dinner for him.
RADDATZ: Can't rake his own leaves, right?
KARL: Yeah, so he's sort of blowing his leaves over to Mullen's yard, because he knew he had four people over there to deal with them anyway.
RADDATZ: Admiral Mullen, who was the chairman at the time.