Newt Gingrich takes David Gregory to task for focusing questions on Rush Limbaugh

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From yesterday's Meet the Press transcript.

MR. GREGORY: Should be interesting. Chuck Todd, thank you very much.
Let's turn now to the Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Mr. Speaker, welcome back to the program.
FMR. REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA): David, it's good to be with you.
MR. GREGORY: I want to talk about the campaign and the numbers that I just went through with Chuck Todd, but I have to ask you about access to contraception. I realize it's not at the, the core of your stump speech, but it is a debate that is certainly highly charged here in Washington and Congress...
MR. GREGORY: ...and on the airwaves.
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: No, it's...
MR. GREGORY: But it is, Mr. Speaker. Let me just take you through Rush Limbaugh's commentary about this this week, about a young law student here who testified about access to contraception for health reasons, something that he's now apologized for. Let me play it.
(Videotape, Wednesday)
MR. RUSH LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.
(End videotape)
MR. GREGORY: Limbaugh issued an apology yesterday, which many people may not know about, a portion of which reads as following, "In this instance I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke. My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices." How much damage has this done?
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: You know, David, I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the president's apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion dollar deficit, to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the Great Depression and to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week.
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: There's no debate about access to contraception. There is a debate, which Cardinal George of Chicago has pointed out, is a war against the Catholic Church. You do have this weird situation where President Obama apologizes to Islamic extremists while waging war against the Catholic Church. That's the language, by the way, of the Catholic bishops. You have an issue here of whether the government can coerce the Catholic Church, not just into a contraception, but into sterilization and abortion, something I don't find any reporter wants to talk about. You have a president who voted for infanticide as a, as a state senator, who represents the most extreme pro-abortion position in America. So if you want to have a dialogue about this, David...
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: ...let's set the record straight. Barack Obama, as a state senator, voted to allow doctors to kill babies if they survived the abortion. Barack Obama, as president, in the most radical anti-religious move made by a--by any president, is trying to coerce the Catholic Church at a time when he's been told by the bishops...
MR. GREGORY: Well, Mr. Speak...
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: ...that would have to give up every single hospital--wait a--let me finish. They would have--this is what they say.
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: They would have to give up every single hospital, they would have to give up every single religious--every single university and college associated with the church because he is asking them to violate their religious beliefs. Now you want--if you want a debate...
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: ...over whether or not the president of the United States should be able to impose his views on a religious institution...
MR. GREGORY: All right. And what he...
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: ...and whether America's now a secular country, let's have that debate.

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