Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Friday that President Obama’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court could lead to a constitutional crisis and called on House Republicans to take steps against him.
“I believe the House Republicans next week should pass a resolution instructing the president to enforce the law and to obey his own constitutional oath,” Gingrich said, “and they should say if he fails to do so that they will zero out [defund] the office of attorney general and take other steps as necessary until the president agrees to do his job.”
Asked by Newsmax TV directly whether President Obama could be subject to articles of impeachment, Gingrich said, “Clearly it is a dereliction of duty and a violation of his constitutional oath and is something that cannot be allowed to stand.”
Gingrich suggested that if Sarah Palin had taken a similar action as president, calls for impeachment would follow.
“Imagine that Governor Palin had become president,” he said.”Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone’s right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed. The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment.”
Gingrich reportedly said Obama campaign in favor of DOMA and is “breaking his word to the American people.” Gingrich’s assertion is incorrect. Obama called for full repeal of DOMA during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“Second,” Gingrich said, “he swore an oath on the Bible to become president that he would uphold the Constitution and enforce the laws of the United States. He is not a one-person Supreme Court. The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody.”
A Gingrich spokesperson reportedly clarified after the interview that the former House speaker doesn’t believe the country is currently in a constitutional crisis and said Gingrich isn’t calling for the direct impeachment of the president. His statements, according to the spokesperson, were meant to illustrate the hypocrisy of the left and the mainstream media.
Gingrich is widely speculated to be considering a run for the Republican nomination to become the next president and has said he’d announce his decision on whether he’ll pursue the office in the next two weeks.