If you think 9/11 was bad, wait until the nuclear attack that kills 300,000 people. That’s one of the two messages Newt Gingrich seemed to be aiming for in his speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention. The other message: Muslims are extremely scary.
Gingrich raised the fear message to sky-high territory in his speech. “The danger is even worse than September 11th, when 19 hijackers murdered almost 3,000 Americans,” he announced.
Are you scared yet? Because it’s time to be! Gingrich also touched on recent police shootings, saying Trump will "restore law and order" and have "zero tolerance" for people who sympathize with police shootings.
But Gingrich mainly stuck to ISIS and Muslims as the major source of fear. “We are at war with radical Islamists, we are losing the war, and we must change course to win the war,” Gingrich said.
“The worst case scenario is losing an American city to terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction,” Gingrich said, without a trace of irony.
Gingrich tried to do lip service that “the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful,” but then cited some shaky facts about ISIS. Gingrich said “for example, Pew Research finds that just 9 percent of Muslims in Pakistan support ISIS. Unfortunately, that 9 percent is 16 million people. And that’s just one country.” That sounds terrifying!
Fact check: First of all, ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Not Pakistan. Second of all, a November 2015 Pew research poll found that 9 percent of Pakistanis had a positive view of ISIS, not that 9 percent of Pakistanis support ISIS. Additionally, 62 percent of Pakistanis said they “didn’t know."
After dropping all these Islamophobic misinterpretations, Gingrich said Clinton lied about Benghazi and the Iran deal (although she was not Secretary of State during the Iran deal). And then he dropped some more casual racism about refugees: "We know that Hillary Clinton and President Obama lie to the American people when they say they can safely screen the Syrian refugees," he said. "They cannot. And yet Hillary wants to increase the number by 500 percent."
Toward the end of the speech, Gingrich visited to the night's theme of “Make America First Again” … except in fighting terror and "restoring law and order."
Also in case anyone was wondering, Gingrich called Pence a “great” running mate. At least there are no hard feelings.
Gingrich kicked off his speech with a quick explanation for Ted Cruz's non-endorsement of Trump. "“I think you misunderstood one paragraph of what Ted Cruz said. You can vote your conscious for anyone who can uphold the Constitution. In this election, there is just one candidate who will uphold the Constitution," Gingrich said.