Gingrich Visits Raleigh, Addresses Clinton Crisis
Posted September 21, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Many people thought House Speaker Newt Gingrich would come out swinging during his visit to the Triangle, just one day after the President's graphic grand jury testimony aired across the nation.
But instead of throwing his hat in the ring, Gingrich took the high road while in Raleigh Tuesday morning, campaigning for Republican Congressional candidate Dan Page.
"We should not rush to judgment against the President, and we should not rush to judgment for the President," Gingrich said.
There were no stinging criticisms during Gingrich's 40-minute talk on bureaucracy, tax cuts, and welfare reform.
Instead, Gingrich asked the audience to let Congress do its job. "He made it very clear that this is a consitutional process that the country must go through," Sam Currin said, "The Judiciary Committee has a proper role to play. We've got to be very careful about this, and do it right." Currin is the state GOP party chairman.
Henry McKoy, a candidate for the N.C. Senate said, "We have to presume in our society, innocence until proven guilty, and he is asking us to allow the process to work before we make final judgement."
When the moment came, instead of attacking the President, Gingrich made some surprisingly non-partisan, diplomatic remarks.
"There is a notion that no one is above the law, but also that no one is below the law, that everyone deserves a fair opportunity. And we need your thought, support and prayers as Americans," Gingrich said.
But despite the restraint of the Speaker's remarks, many Republicans feel the President should resign.
One Republican supporter said Gingrich "was very benevolent with the President. I think however that we all agreed, with our applause, that the President should resign."
"I think they need to proceed with impeachment hearings," Page said. "Certainly they need to uphold the Constitution and the law of the land; that's extremely important. I think, however, if the President did what's in the best interest of this country, he should resign."
The speaker headed next to Charlotte, to stump for congressional candidate Robin Hayes.