Newsmax got a bit of a blockbuster in a Feb. 25 article: an interview with Newt Gingrich in which he forwards the idea that President Obama could be impeached over his administration's decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Gingrich said in the interview:
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's 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.
Imagine that Governor [Sarah] Palin had become president. Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her judgment 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.
The fact that the left likes the policy is allowing them to ignore the fact that this is a very unconstitutional act.
When interviewer Ashley Martella asked Gingrich when he would "recommend the House consider articles of impeachment for that," Gingrich responded: "I think first you'd ought -- you have to communicate. Look, I don't think these guys set out to cause a constitutional crisis. I think they set out to pay off their allies in the gay community and to do something that they thought was clever. I think that they didn't understand the implication that having a president personally suspend a law is clearly unconstitutional. This is an impossible precedent."
Gingrich's remarks prompted something of a walkback from Gingrich's people -- which began by going to Politico to complain that Newsmax “inaccurately” suggested impeachment.
Newsmax declined to back down, issuing astatement that "Newsmax stands by its story, which is based solely on the verbatim comments made by the Speaker during the video interview." But Politico also noted that Newsmax "conceded that, at the request of Gingrich's spokesman, it tweaked the published story to clarify his comments."
Indeed, the article now includes this parenthetical note as the new third paragraph: "A Gingrich spokesman stressed after the interview that we are not currently in a constitutional crisis, nor was Gingrich calling for the direct impeachment of the president. His statements were meant to illustrate the hypocrisy of the left and the mainstream media."
Meanwhile, over at U.S. News & World Report, Gingrich spokesman went further in defending the man who employs him: "Gingrich never raised impeachment nor did he say we were in a constitutional crisis. ... His remarks, as can be seen in the video, were to illustrate the hypocrisy of the media and the left. He explicitly says that Obama did not intend to spark a constitutional crisis but that the president is acting outside of his constitutional role, but that does not mean that there is a constitutional crisis."