Much has already been written about the positives and negatives of President Obama’s addressing the nation last night, but one topic that is still getting a strong reaction from both sides of the political divide? The President’s references and appeal to God (and prayer) as he ended the speech. In fact, this issue came up this very morning on Fox and Friends, and the President’s religion got an unlikely supporter: former GOP Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Some on the left have criticized him, claiming that “prayer is not a solution” while some on the right (Gretchen Carlson) have claimed it’s disingenuous for someone who does not regularly attend church to reference God.
A regular contributor to Fox News, Gingrich was a guest on Fox and Friends to discuss a number of political topics of the day, but the discussion of Obama and God was most interesting, particularly given that Gingrich has historically been one of Obama’s most vocal critics on a myriad of issues. A rough transcript precedes the video clip below:
Kilmeade: Now let’s talk about something else, some content in the speech that you might have found surprising. Listen to president obama and his references to God.
Obama: It is not the last crisis America will face. this nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again. what sees us through, what has always seen us through is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it. tonight we pray for that courage. we pray for the people of the gulf. we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day.
Doocy: Mr. Speaker, what do you think of that?
Gingrich: Well, I hope he means it. Llook, I’m not going to resent any time a president of the United States calls on God. I think it’s good. I think it was good when Franklin D. Roosevelt led the country in a 6 1/2 minute prayer on D-Day which some 900 radio stations replayed this year. I think it is good to recognize that our rights come from our Creator. And I’m delighted that the president — I’m sad it took a crisis of this scale, but I’m delighted that the President has recognized that we, in fact, all are subordinate to a larger God and that we need to seek guidance from that God.
Gretchen: Did you find it disingenuous? People are analyzing that this morning as saying it was disingenuous coming from a President who does not go to church on a regular basis.
Gingrich: Look, let me say, in my new book “”So take America,”” I reprint the entire 12 step program from Alcoholics Anonymous. Six of the 12 steps involve a higher authority. I’m happy for any President of the United States to find a moment to turn to God, to seek guidance and I think it’s important for us to be a little generous at a moment like this. If he’s prepared to publicly recognize God, maybe we should encourage him to do it more often.
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