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CBS's Rose to Gingrich: Are You 'Questioning the Patriotism' of Obama?

Charlie Rose sparred again with Newt Gingrich on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, hounding the former House Speaker for apparently casting aspersions on President Obama's patriotism: "By saying...that the President of the United States is running over the Constitution...you seem to be saying that the President is not patriotic. You seem to be questioning [his] patriotism" [audio available here ].

During his two previous interviews of Gingrich on the morning newscast, Rose threw the race card at the Republican for a supposedly insensitive remark about food stamps, and hammered him over prominent conservatives opposing his presidential campaign. The anchor also highlighted how apparently "there are those who say that you [Gingrich] are angry and you want to get even with Romney."

Gingrich answered Rose's "patriotism" barrage by accusing the President and his administration of acting in an unconstitutional manner in four areas. Only two have been visible issues in the media since Obama was inaugurated:

GINGRICH: The President of the United States is patriotic in a worldview that involves the writing of Saul Alinsky, and involves a radical reinterpretation. Clearly, his czars were unconstitutional; clearly, his recess appointments, when there was no recess, is unconstitutional; clearly, the use of the U.S. attorney in North Dakota to selectively prosecute oil companies over eight migratory birds is unconstitutional. Again and again, this is a president who routinely only obeys those laws he personally deems fit. I think that his attack on the Catholic Church is unconstitutional. It's a violation of the First Amendment. Now, I think that's an important debate for us to have as a country.

Earlier in the segment, the CBS journalist prodded Gingrich over his criticism of the President's national security policy, name-dropping two prominent Cabinet members who supposedly unassailable in that area:

ROSE: ...[W]hat did you mean when you said it's a duty to defeat President Obama because of America's national security, because one would assume that if, in fact, President Obama was a risk to America's national security, that people like Bob Gates and Secretary [Hillary] Clinton and lots of other people would not have been serving in that administration?

The GOP candidate cited two examples that also haven't gotten much press in his answer:

GINGRICH: Unless they agree with his worldview- I mean, ask Secretary Clinton, why would she hold a meeting with the Organization of Islamic Countries at the State Department to talk about censoring anti-Islamic talk? Why is it that when a Moroccan man is picked up as he's trying to bomb the U.S. Capitol, the Obama administration can't even accurately describe him? It's against the rules of the federal government today to talk accurately about radical Islam.

Newt Gingrich, (R) Presidential Candidate; & Charlie Rose, CBS News Anchor | NewsBusters.orgRose followed up citing the White House talking point that "this administration proudly claims, not only, that it killed Osama bin Laden, but it has killed more al Qaeda people than any previous administration....and that their anti-terror campaign- anti-al Qaeda campaign- has been very effective, and they're at the heart of radical, fundamentalist Islam."

The CBS anchor seems to have a tough time with any criticism of the President. Just under a month earlier, on the January 26 edition of CBS This Morning, Rose took issue with Senator Marco Rubio labeling the Democrat "divisive." When the Florida senator tried to highlight Mr. Obama's State of the Union as an example, the on-air personality interrupted and replied, "I saw him honoring the military of America and a lot other things where we should be coming together. That doesn't seem to be divisive."

The full transcript of Charlie Rose's interview of Newt Gingrich, which began seven minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Tuesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is with us now from Oklahoma City. Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning. How are you, Charlie?

ROSE: We want to talk, not only about what you said about President Obama, but also, some other issues here. Where do you see this race today, and if Santorum wins in Michigan, what does that mean?

[CBS News Graphic: "GOP Showdown: Gingrich On Staying In Race"]

GINGRICH: Well, I think if Santorum wins in Michigan, it's a big step up for him, and it's an enormous defeat for Mitt Romney, who put $40 million of his own money in, has run for six years, has outspent more than all the rest of us combined- better than three-to-one. I think his super PAC has outspent all of us by probably five or six-to-one.

[CBS News Graphic: "American Research Group, Inc. Poll: Michigan Primary Race: Santorum, 37%; Romney, 32%; Paul, 15%; Gingrich, 10%; Margin Of Error: +/- 4% Pts."]

So this is Romney's home turf. He was supposed to have carried it easily. The very fact it's so close means this is a wide open race. I agree with Santorum. This is a wild roller coaster. I've been in the lead twice. You know, Santorum is now in the lead. But so were, you know, Governor [Rick] Perry, so was Tim Pawlenty at one point- had a good chance; so did Michele Bachmann; so did Herman Cain. This is- really, truly been the wildest nominating process I can remember.

ROSE: So what separates you from Rick Santorum, in terms of the message you have for voters?

GINGRICH: Well, I don't know. I think the biggest thing that separates us is the degree to which I'm prepared to make a very, very large change, whether it's a national energy policy designed to drive the price of gasoline down below $2.50 a gallon, and to make sure that no future president bows to a Saudi king, or there's a personal Social Security savings account for young people, so they can have a buildup of money they control, that they're in charge of, that no politician can touch; or it's going to zero capital gains [tax] and 100% expensing for all new equipment, so you really have a dramatic rebirth of the American economy. There are a number of areas where I think I'm probably much bolder than Senator Santorum, but in a sense, we both represent a much more conservative wing of the [Republican] Party than does Governor Romney, who represents a kind of northeastern moderatism.

ROSE: That brings us to President Obama. You believe that he wants to see more expensive gas, you have said?

[CBS News Graphic: "Politics Of Gas Prices: Gingrich On His $2 Per Gallon Claim"]

GINGRICH: Of course, he does. Come on, Charlie. You know that. I mean, he has said it himself. [Steven] Chu, his Secretary of Energy, said he wanted- in 2008, said he wanted gasoline prices in America to get to the European level, which is nine or $10 a gallon. Last year, the President said people ought to buy- they shouldn't complain about higher gas prices. They ought to buy more efficient cars. The President himself said he wants to get there. He just wants it to be gradual. His policy has been outrageously anti-American energy. The high price of gasoline is a direct result of Obama.

We paid $1.13 a gallon when I was Speaker. We paid a $1.89 a gallon when he became President. His policies are anti-American energy. They exist in a fantasy world, where we're all going to end up buying an electric car, for which his new budget puts in a $10,000 subsidy per car. You think about what you can do for average working Americans if you want to hand them a $10,000 check. The average person who buys a [Chevy] Volt has a $170,000 annual income. So President Obama, in effect, is giving income redistribution to the wealthy, and in pursuit of his own fantasy, which is an electric car ,which is going to liberate us from Saudi Arabia. I want to have American drilling- oil, natural gas, use of coal, nuclear power, solar, biological, wind. I want American energy, which is practical and available now, to liberate us from Saudi Arabia-

ROSE: All right-

GINGRICH: And it's a matter of national security.

ROSE: I'm happy you said national security, because what did you mean when you said it's a duty to defeat President Obama because of America's national security, because one would assume that if, in fact, President Obama was a risk to America's national security, that people like Bob Gates and Secretary [Hillary] Clinton and lots of other people would not have been serving in that administration?

[CBS News Graphic: "'Matter of National Security': Gingrich On Call To Defeat Obama"]

GINGRICH: Unless they agree with his worldview- I mean, ask Secretary Clinton, why would she hold a meeting with the Organization of Islamic Countries at the State Department to talk about censoring anti-Islamic talk? Why is it that when a Moroccan man is picked up as he's trying to bomb the U.S. Capitol, the Obama administration can't even accurately describe him? It's against the rules of the federal government today to talk accurately about radical Islam. Why is it-

ROSE: You obviously know what President Obama would say and has said before. This administration proudly claims, not only, that it killed Osama bin Laden, but it has killed more al Qaeda people than any previous administration-

GINGRICH: Right-

ROSE: And that their anti-terror campaign- anti-al Qaeda campaign- has been very effective, and they're at the heart of radical, fundamentalist Islam.
        
GINGRICH: Right, and my answer to that is, it's been so effective, they barely got a guy on Saturday who's trying to blow up the U.S. Capitol. It's been so effective that we have no idea in Pakistan who was hiding bin Laden, and in fact, the Pakistanis have now arrested a Pakistani for having helped the Americans- not for having hidden bin Laden, for having helped the Americans. It's been so effective that the Muslim Brotherhood is now the dominant party in Egypt, and has been openly talking about getting an Egyptian nuclear weapon and breaking the treaty with Israel. I don't think that's very effective. I think that it's dangerous to America; they have no energy policy at a time when the Iranians are threatening to close-

ROSE: What would you have done with respect to the- what would you have done if you had been president, with respect to Mubarak and the fall of Mubarak, and the coming to whatever democratic election take place there, both for the parliament and the future election for the president?

GINGRICH: Well, let me quote former Secretary of State George Schultz, who was secretary of state under Ronald Reagan- who said when somebody's been your ally for 30 years, you may want to quietly help them leave, but you don't cut and run in front of the very world, because it tells everybody else in the world you're not a very good ally. And I would just suggest to you this is an administration that no country really trusts. It's the reason the Saudis are now signing a nuclear treaty with the Chinese, not with the Americans. It's the reason the Canadians are looking to build a pipeline with the Chinese, not through the United States. I mean, the President vetoes the Keystone pipeline. He is slowing down the flow of energy in the United States, and driving Canada into a partnership with China-

ROSE: But let me just-

GINGRICH: I think these things are all bad for American security.

ROSE: Mr. Speaker, let me come to one final question. You seem to be, by saying that he- that the President of the United States is running over the Constitution, that he's violating the core- the intent of the United States. You seem to be saying that the President is not patriotic. You seem to be questioning the patriotism of the President of the United States.

GINGRICH: The President of the United States is patriotic in a worldview that involves the writing of Saul Alinsky, and involves a radical reinterpretation. Clearly, his czars were unconstitutional; clearly, his recess appointments, when there was no recess, is unconstitutional; clearly, the use of the U.S. attorney in North Dakota to selectively prosecute oil companies over eight migratory birds is unconsitutional. Again and again, this is a president who routinely only obeys those laws he personally deems fit. I think that his attack on the Catholic Church is unconstitutional. It's a violation of the First Amendment. Now, I think that's an important debate for us to have as a country.

ROSE: And that's why we're having an election. Thank you so much, Speaker Gingrich.

GINGRICH: Thank you.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.