Newt Gingrich: ‘Nationwide Movement’ Must Address Violent Protests

Newt Gingrich: 'Nationwide Movement' Must Address Violent Protests newt gingrich speaks into mic Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Speaker of the House attends "Free Iran 2018 – the Alternative" event organized by exiled Iranian opposition group on June 30, 2018 in Villepinte, north of Paris. (ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP via Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 19 April 2021 11:04 AM

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, while responding to Rep. Maxine Waters' call for people to be "more confrontational" in the name of social justice, said Monday Americans should quit tolerating violence.

"I don't think it's racist for a small Black business owner to not want their small business burned down," Gingrich, a Fox News contributor, said on "Fox and Friends." "As a civilization, you either provide safety or you dissolve."

A "nationwide movement" will be needed to say that people and property are to be protected, and criminals will not be tolerated in the streets, he added.

Waters, D-Calif., on Saturday told reporters at a Brooklyn Center, Minnesota protest that "We've got to stay on the street and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure they know what we mean business."

Waters was interviewed while in a crowd of protesters there to speak out after former officer Kim Potter shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, after reportedly firing her handgun instead of her Tazer. Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. The incident occurred just miles from where George Floyd died while being detained last May. Closing arguments against the officer being tried in that case, former policeman Derek Chauvin, began Monday morning.

"We’ve had (Rep.) Rashida Tlaib, who called for abolishing the police and eliminating prisons, which is a position of utter insanity, and now of course you have (Maxine) Waters who has always been on the left. But, what’s happened … the more patient we are the more radical they are."

There has been over a year of violence in Portland, Oregon, and there is an "expectation of violence," he added, but "why should we expect violence if the criminal justice system works. Why should we tolerate violence? Why should we tolerate National Guardsmen being shot at?"

The whole approach to making sure people stop being violent is by "doing the opposite" of what Tlaib wants, and increasing police presence, Gingrich continued.

"You cannot have a country which cowers in fear and has radicals wandering around, openly encouraging violence," Gingrich said. "When somebody is out looting, that's not a protest, that's a criminal act. They should be treated as criminals."

Meanwhile, the calls from Waters and Tlaib are "madness," said Gingrich.

"The fact that you have a congresswoman who is actively encouraging criminals, and also you have a congresswoman in Rashida Tlaib who literally wants to abolish the police and close all the prisons, now, if you think about that for a second, in Michigan alone you put several hundred thousand people charged with assault back on the street, this is not a radical ideology. This is madness. It's impossible in the real world."

Republicans must also stand up and say they will run candidates for offices who will stand up against violence in the streets, and "over time I think we will win," said Gingrich. "People get tired of being frightened. They get tired of having their buildings burned down, get tired of being lectured by people who are, frankly, mostly hypocritical politicians. You have got to understand if we're not prepared to stand up to the radicals, they will dominate the country."