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Newt Gingrich Slams Mayors For Taking Down Racist Statues

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News host Martha MacCallum yesterday that "the left" is taking a "destructive" turn following the violence which erupted over the weekend at a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I think the point is we ought to be a country focusing on the future, not a country frothing at the mouth about the past,” Gingrich said. "And it tells you something about the intellectual collapse of the left ― that all they have is this kind of rabid behavior. And of course, mayors in towns that are largely black are going to pander to their audience. They are going to go out and prove they are popular by doing something that meets the current demagogic needs."

He continued: "But that's everything that the founding fathers worried about. Having demagoguery define your country is truly dangerous. Listen to the mob you got on the screen back there. That's not democracy. That's not a free society. That's a group of people behaving like a mob." 

Although critics admonished President Donald Trump after his tepid initial response to the violence––the president condemned the violence on “many sides"––Gingrich said Trump acted appropriately, insisting that his comments were not “particularly inappropriate or particularly weak.”

“But clearly there was a hunger for him to use the specific phrases about white supremacists and about the KKK and about Nazis," Gingrich said. "He came back today [Monday afternoon], he said every single thing that his critics on the left want. So now you have crowds that are saying ‘well, he didn’t say it soon enough.’ I just want to suggest to you – there’s an anti-Trump movement in this country that will never, ever be satisfied as long as he’s president.”

Gingrich's comments received a scathing response across social media.

Gingrich insisted that Trump had denounced racism and white supremacy before the Charlottesville demonstrations.

“By the way, remember, it’s Donald Trump who, last year, in the campaign, repudiated David Duke, he repudiated the KKK and in his inaugural, he said ‘all of us bleed the same color’ and ‘to be racist is to be un-American,’” Gingrich said.

In fact, Trump refused to disavow Duke, the former Imperial Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan, for many months after Duke endorsed him for the presidency during last year's election cycle. He eventually did, telling NBC's "Morning Joe" in March that Duke "is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years."

In a statement over the weekend, Duke accused members of the media of coercing the president into condemning the Charlottesville demonstrations.

Nevertheless, the president's statements were regarded as too little too late by skeptics who've continued to criticize him for his association with hardline right-wing populists led by Stephen Bannon, his chief strategist and white supremacist in his own right.

H/T: Fox, Huffington Post, Media Matters