(CNSNews.com) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) told CNSNews.com that the American public should not “trust” the Republicans but “loan them power” and “be very clear” that they expect the GOP to “control spending and change things.” Gingrich also responded to the critics of his comments against the mosque at ground zero, saying they are “totally wrong.”
“Well, I don’t think they should trust them [the Republicans]. I think they should loan them power. Pay careful attention to them, stay on them every week and make sure that they keep their word,” he told CNSNews.com after the Faith and Freedom conference in Washington.
“I think we’re wrenching, very big change in this country and I think even the Republicans are going to find it a challenge but I think that they’re so much better than the Democrats that people should try them out but they should be very clear that they expect them to actually control spending and change things.”
In mid-August, Gingrich made controversial comments when speaking against the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque at ground zero on Fox News, saying, “Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the holocaust museum in Washington.”
CNSNews.com asked Gingrich if he thinks critics of his comments have a valid point when they say there is a racist component to his position.
“No, I think that they’re totally wrong,” he told CNSNews.com.
“The fact is that I have said openly, I’m quite happy if they want to build a mosque anywhere else in New York, I am perfectly happy that there are over 100 mosques in currently in New York. I believe in religious liberty but I am opposed to radical Islamism and I am opposed to those who would seek to impose a radical way of life on the United States.”
When asked about the pastor who planned to burn the Qu’ran, Gingrich said, “I think two wrongs don’t make a right. I think it’s wrong to burn a religious book, whatever the religious book. I think all of us who believe in faith ought to believe recognizing the importance of people’s sacred symbols. On the other hand, it is absolutely wrong to be building a mosque near ground zero so I think there are two wrongs here. I think the imam should not build the mosque and I think the pastor should not burn the Qur’an.”
Gingrich also predicted that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will take over as speaker of the House after the midterm elections. “I think the odds are very high that Congressman John Boehner is the next speaker and the Republicans are going to win and I think it’s a tribute to the job killing policies and the radicalism of the Obama, Pelosi, Reid team that they have so alienated the country in 2 short years,” he said.