July 25, 2010

Newt Gingrich made the mistake of calling Shirley Sherrod "viciously racist" but the White House is at fault, the former House Speaker said Sunday.

The Obama administration called for Sherrod to resign from her position at the USDA after a selectively edited video clip of her allegedly admitting racism appeared on the internet. The administration apologized after the NAACP released the unedited video showing Sherrod actually explaining how she overcame her racist tendencies to help a white farmer.

After Sherrod resigned Monday, Gingrich appeared on Fox News' Hannity and said, "I often disagree with this administration but firing her after that kind of viciously racist attitude was exactly the right thing to do."

"Was that irresponsible, calling her viciously racist based on an internet clip that had been taken out of context?" Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Gingrich Sunday.

"No. I was operating in the context of the Secretary of Agriculture having summarily fired her and therefore there was no reason to disbelieve the clip and what you see is one more example of the Obama administration's continuing incompetence," said Gingrich.

"Apparently, she didn't even get the courtesy of a chance to talk to the Secretary of Agriculture who I suspect fired her under pressure from the White House and she said they were firing her under pressure from the White House," he continued.

"So, my comments were in context of a clip that had been validated by the Secretary of Agriculture who had fired her. Clearly, when you look at the complete clip and when you look at the background information and when you listen to the white farmer say she had actually been very helpful, I think a fair case can be made that this administration acted with destructive irresponsibility and the way that they fired her," he said.

ADDENDUM: (Jon Perr) As it turns out, history is repeating for Newt Gingrich. Sixteen years before he call Shirley Sherrod “viciously racist,” he blamed Democrats for the murders of two children in the racially-fraught Susan Smith case.

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