Gingrich: IRS Scandal 'Largest' Ever

Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 06:43 PM

By Melanie Batley and John Bachman

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The IRS scandal will only get "bigger and broader" as more facts emerge, according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, the former presidential candidate said the IRS' targeting of conservative groups symbolizes a "big bureaucratic government" that is out of control.

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"This is going to get bigger and broader. This is the largest bureaucratic big government scandal we've ever had," said Gingrich who is holding a Newt Uncensored event in Grand Rapids, Mich. on June 28 to talk candidly about the scandals and "the problem of big government in Washington."

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals?

Gingrich said the fact that official records show Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman visited the White House more than any member of Obama's cabinet suggests people at the highest levels of government were aware of what was going on.

He also said that while President Barack Obama may not be personally culpable for the IRS scandal, his antagonistic attitude toward his political foes fostered a "destructive culture of the left penetrating the bureaucracy."

"The fact is, today, we have a bureaucracy so big and so self-policing that we have no control as citizens. And it's going to take a very deep, substantial reform in order to be able to move away from the kind of threats we have to our very freedoms," said Gingrich.

He advised GOP lawmakers to avoid partisan rhetoric as they probe the various scandals that have bedeviled the Obama administration and focus on their constitutional obligation to get to the truth.

"If the Republicans will calm down and focus and do their job," he said. "They don’t' have to rely on rhetoric. They have to go out very methodically, bring in the people, depose them under oath, gather the information, and over the next six months to a year, we're going to learn a great deal about how deeply sickened the bureaucratic big government around us has become."

In the wide-ranging interview, Gingrich also reflected on Obama's choice of Susan Rice as the new White House national security adviser. He said that he doesn't believe she should be held responsible for using fallacious talking points on Benghazi because she was simply relying on information given to her by the White House.

Still, he said time will tell whether she chooses to find a working relationship with Republicans or remain "a partisan liberal."

"Susan Rice is legitimately the president's pick. She's a very smart, tough person. She's clearly a liberal, she wouldn't be my choice," Gingrich said, adding, "She's a signal the president's saying to Republicans 'I'm going to cooperate only on my terms, I'm not going to try to appease you, I'm not going to try to bring in some new face.' That's his prerogative."

Gingrich said the president has adopted a bunker mentality amid the scandals plaguing his administration, many of which are out of his control.

"To some extent, the second administration, his second term is beginning to spiral away from his ability to influence through campaign speeches," Gingrich said.

And on new reports that the National Security Agency has been collecting records of Verizon cell phone customers for counterterrorism operations, Gingrich said he supported any means the government needs to take to track down terrorists as long as the information is used solely for that purpose.

"I personally have no problem with the U.S. government trying to find terrorists everywhere, including the United States, and if that means they've got to scan a lot of information, if it's done for the purpose of finding terrorists, I don't have a problem with it."

He added, "But using that information for anything else is a violation of our constitutional rights."

Gingrich also discussed his thoughts about the use of drones, which he described as "high technology snipers," to target terrorists abroad. He said it's a concern if drone strikes have resulted in civilian deaths.

"How comfortable would you be if you knew the United States was going around the world using snipers to kill hundreds of people? That would worry you a little bit," he said.
"I'm for using drones when necessary but I'm not for using drones as a first choice.
Capturing terrorist so you have the intelligence is far better than killing them. Being careful so you're not killing innocent civilians is a really important part of how a superpower has to behave."

Gingrich also discussed his excitement about his upcoming event in Grand Rapids during which he hopes to have a candid discussion with people not only about the scandals surrounding the administration but also about the opportunities on the horizon for America.

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals?

"We're at a point in American history where we need to get out of Washington and have a real dialogue with the American people," he said.

"I'm going to be very candid in talking about what I think we have to do both in a positive way to build a great future and also about what are some of the very real problems here in Washington."


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