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Former Rep. Molinari Calls Gingrich Evil

The news that former Rep. Guy Molinari (R.-N.Y.) yesterday denounced Newt Gingrich as “evil” may have less to do with anything in Gingrich’s character and more to do with the fact they were rivals during their U.S. House days in the 1980s and had at least one major showdown.

“The thought that this man could be president of the United States is appalling,” the 83-year-old Molinari told local reporters, “This guy is evil.  He’s an evil person.”  Molinari, a former Staten Island (N.Y.) borough president, who officially endorsed Mitt Romney on October 6, added that he “might do something” when Gingrich addresses a town hall meeting this weekend hosted by the Staten Island Tea Party.
 
Old hands at covering Capitol Hill recall that the conservative Gingrich (lifetime American Conservative Union rating 90%) and Molinari (lifetime ACU rating 63%) were never close during their years in the House together.  Both served on the House Public Works Committee and had their differences.  Gingrich was a strong supporter of Ronald Reagan’s decision to fire striking air traffic controllers in 1981.  Molinari, who specialized in air safety issues on the Public Works Committee, called for rehiring some of those fired air traffic controllers.
 
But what brought their differences to a major clash was when Gingrich, in 1985, bumped Molinari from his slot as ranking Republican Member of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the Public Works Committee. In calling his former colleague “evil,” Molinari cited this action by Gingrich more than twenty years ago.  Molinari claimed that he and Gingrich agreed not to make a move, but that the alleged betrayal “ended my career” in Congress.  Molinari was later elected to the Office of Borough President in Staten Island.
 
Molinari has hinted that he might not confront Gingrich at the Tea Party event this weekend because such a clash “might reflect negatively on Romney.”  But he also said he “might do something.”  It will be fascinating to watch what the “something” will be with regard to a former colleague he considers “an evil person.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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