Reporter Stunned After Newt Gingrich Insults Him With Ableist Dig After Question About Jan. 6 Committee
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich—who represented Georgia until his 1999 retirement—was criticized after he insulted NBC News senior congressional correspondent Scott Wong with an ableist comment mocking people with learning disabilities.
Gingrich was asked a question about the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection.
When asked what he "thinks" about the committee—which has sought information from him because he was in contact with senior advisers to former Republican President Donald Trump during the attack—Gingrich accused Wong of having "a learning disability."
When an increduous Wong responded, "Excuse me?" Gingrich was unrepentant, only saying he did not want to talk about the committee at all.
You can watch what happened in the video below.
\u201c@MZanona Fmr. Speaker Gingrich tells me, \u201cI think you have a learning disability,\u201d and points to his brain after I asked him what he thought of the Jan. 6 committee earlier today\u201d— Melanie Zanona (@Melanie Zanona) 1663861318
At the time he made the remark, Gingrich was on Capitol Hill to help Republicans push their "Commitment to America" platform to entice prospective voters in their bid to take back the House of Representatives in November's midterm elections.
He said the following:
"I think you have a learning disability."
[pointing to his own head] "The fact is, I’ve said three or four times, I don’t talk about it."
“Try the phrase: 'I don’t talk about it.'"
Gingrich has been harshly criticized after footage of his comment went viral.
\u201cSo embarrassing that NEWT was a former speaker\u201d— Dr. 5thd \u262e\ufe0f (@Dr. 5thd \u262e\ufe0f) 1663970238
\u201cNBC correspondent Scott Wong holds a B.A. from @UCLA. He does not have a learning disability. \n\nNewt, on the other hand, has a superiority complex and holds a PhD in adultery.\u201d— Bad Fox Graphics (@Bad Fox Graphics) 1663959378
\u201cPoliticians/people who make arguments like this are telling you they are out of logical arguments (or never had logical arguments to begin with). "You have a learning disability" so obviously has nothing to do with 1/6 that it's clear his point is to distract people/voters.\u201d— American Citizen (@American Citizen) 1663944434
\u201c@newtgingrich owes an apology to every kid and family struggling with a learning disability that he just made a rimshot out of.\u201d— Darrell Hyde (@Darrell Hyde) 1663951503
\u201cDon\u2019t take it personally, Scott. Old Newt\u2019s been a hazard to himself since the 1990\u2019s. He could have delivered a Balanced Budget Amendment, the crown jewel of Republican fiscal responsibility, but chose to fund the Bush Middle East Vendetta instead.\u201d— Been there-done that-back home. (@Been there-done that-back home.) 1663958276
\u201cFor God\u2019s sake don\u2019t interrupt Newt\u2019s lies.\u201d— TheFinMan (@TheFinMan) 1663953152
\u201cI have a neurodivergent child with language-processing challenges. There's a difference between a persistent reporter (e.g., @scottwongDC) and a person with language-based learning disabilities. Gingrich should know better.\u201d— Lisa Rubin (@Lisa Rubin) 1663957785
\u201cNewt Gingrich began the process of stripping all civility, tact, honesty, and decency from the GOP, a process completed by the 45th POTUS.\u201d— \u00a7 Jason CranfordTeague (@\u00a7 Jason CranfordTeague) 1663906649
Gingrich is no stranger to making controversial remarks.
Gingrich, a prominent critic of the Biden administration, was criticized over the summer after he claimed Vice President Kamala Harris cannot be President because she has a "really weird laugh."
He has also referred to Democratic President Joe Biden as "cognitively challenged" and even "anti-American" after the administration allowed American embassies around the world to fly the Pride flag in support of LGBTQ+ rights.
Oft-criticized for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, Gingrich has suggested that the "totally dishonest left wing news media" is actually responsible for misinformation, ignoring the role he and other conservatives have played in hampering the nationwide vaccination campaign.