Newt Gingrich Blasts Democrats' Defense of Maxine Waters: 'Civilization Is at Threat'

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has criticized Democrats for defending Representative Maxine Waters after they voted down a motion to censure her on Tuesday.

Republicans had called for Waters to face censure for comments she made about the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Waters, who represents California's 43rd district, said she hoped Chauvin would be found "guilty, guilty, guilty," but it was her comments about a potential acquittal that led to GOP criticism.

"[W]e'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 that they know that we mean business," she said.

Gingrich told Fox News' Sean Hannity that Democrats would regret their decision to prevent the motion of censure. The House voted 216-210 along party lines to table the resolution, effectively dismissing it.

The Republican began by criticizing Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib before taking aim at the party's support of Waters.

"I thought that Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was exactly right today to move to strip her of her chairmanship," Gingrich said.

Waters has served as chair of the House Financial Services Committee since January, 2019 when Democrats regained the majority.

"Look, the big difference between the right of free speech, which everyone has, and the responsibility that a member of the Congress has under the Congress' own rules—and it's very clear that Maxine Waters, by going to a place that was already having riots and making the comments she did, in essence saying she wanted to substitute the rule of politicians for the rule of law—she behaved in a way that I think absolutely deserves to have her lose her chairmanship, and every Democrat in the House voted in favor of defending Maxine Waters and voted against drawing a line in the sand."

"I think it's a vote that they will regret because I think the country is pretty sick of this stuff and they understand what's going on, and they realize that, you know, these are people who are demagogues, they are liars, they are utterly irresponsible, but what's more important, they are costing the lives of innocent Americans," Gingrich went on.

"They are undermining the ability of the police to function, and they are going to create a situation where our very civilization is at threat from forces that are, I think, extraordinarily destructive," he said.

Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the Chauvin trial, said on Monday that Waters' comments could be grounds for appeal. The defense had filed for a mistrial on April 19 based partly on Waters' remarks. Cahill denied the motion.

Waters responded to the effort to censure her in comments to The Grio.

"I am not worried that they're going to continue to distort what I say," Waters said. "This is who they are and this is how they act. And I'm not going to be bullied by them."

Newsweek has asked Representative Maxine Waters for comment on this article.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
Hon. Newt Gingrich speaks about Trump, Trudeau, and Nieto regarding NAFTA Negotiations at Dentons NAFTA 2.0 Summit on October 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Gingrich has criticized Democrats for defending Rep. Maxine Waters. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Dentons