Welcome to election year. Today President Barack Obama responded to a reporter’s question about the killing of unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin by armed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. And most pundits and politicos felt his comments were on target.
But this is election year. So — just like clockwork — his comments were immediately denounced as “disgraceful” by someone running for President. The critic: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a politician who increasingly seems to be trying to hurl out red meat and push hot buttons to gain traction in his steadily losing battle against his chief political nemesis, Republican Presidential nomination front runner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Like Texas Gov Rick Perry, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, business/political celebrity Donald Trump, Rep. Michelle Bachmann and now former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Gingrich had his moment of political ascent, then self-destructed. What is a former primary rising star to DO?
Here are Obama’s widely praised comments in which he says that if he had a son he’d probably look like Trayvon Martin:
Newt Gingrich called Obama’s remarks about Trayvon Martin “disgraceful” in an interview with Sean Hannity, according to CBS/National Journal.
“It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background,” Gingrich said. “Is the President suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be ok because it didn’t look like him?”
Earlier in the day Gingrich told reporters that he thought the case should be investigated and suggested the shooter was at fault.
“That’s just nonsense dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot,” Gingrich continued on Hannity’s show. “It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban or if he had been white or if he had been Asian-American of if he’d been a Native American. At some point we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American. It is sad for all Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. I really find it appalling.”
A lot of comedians have had fun with jokes about the Romney Etch a Sketch.
But perhaps the makers of the Barbie doll might put out a Newt Gingrich Doll: It comes with three wives and lots of baggage.
And add his comment on Obama’s remarks as another piece of baggage.
UPDATE: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has now commented on the law in this case and also, indirectly, on the case. And for some reason Bush talks about the law but apparently doesn’t suggests Obama’s comments are “disgraceful.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that the “stand your ground” self-defense law he signed while in office should not apply to the case of a teenager who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in his home state.
“This law does not apply to this particular circumstance,” Bush said after an education panel discussion at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”
He was referring to last month’s incident in which 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was pursued by the volunteer and fatally shot in a scuffle.
“Anytime an innocent life is taken it’s a tragedy,” Bush said. “You’ve got to let the process work.”
Bush signed the law, pushed for by gun rights advocates, in 2005. It allows Florida residents to use deadly force rather than retreat if they feel threatened, even if they are not at home. Police and prosecutors cited the law in deciding not to charge George Zimmerman, the volunteer.
The Martin case has opened up questions about race and justice. The teenager was walking home from a convenience store Feb. 26, in Sanford, Fla., an Orlando suburb, when Zimmerman followed Martin, after calling police to say he looked suspicious. Zimmerman pulled his gun when the two got into a fight, and Martin was fatally shot.
Martin had no weapon, carrying only a drink and a bag of candy.”