The former Republican Speaker denounced his own party's sitting president as a hopeless incompetent, a Jimmy Carter clone. "You hire presidents, at a minimum, to run the country well enough that you don't have to think about it ..." he told The New Yorker (clearly thinking about it). The news wasn't what Newt said, but the silence that followed.
Karl Rove not only didn't call Gingrich on the carpet, he did not call at allónot because he agreed with him, of course, but because what was there to say? None of the GOP's innumerable 2008 candidates defended George W. Bush, whose name they rarely utter in any context, anywhere. In Congress, Republicans privately called to thank Gingrich, claims his press aide, Rick Tyler. "The general view was that it was long past time for someone to speak up," he says.