NBC's Lauer Hypes Pelosi's Non-Existent Charges Against Gingrich As 'Pretty Alarming'
Despite the fact that Nancy Pelosi has failed to produce any evidence to back up her claim that she "knows something" about Newt Gingrich that would end his candidacy, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer still touted her unfounded remarks: "...she makes this comment saying, 'Newt Gingrich will not be president, there's something I know.' Now that in itself sounds pretty alarming."
Talking to special correspondent Tom Brokaw, Lauer suggested Pelosi must have some really damaging information that needs to be made public: "Clearly, she's hinting that she learned something that will make, will disqualify him as president. Does she have the right to back out now and back off of that?"
He noted how: "She said in an interview in December....'I know a lot about him....I served on the investigative committee that investigated him....A thousand pages of his stuff.'"
Brokaw agreed that Pelosi should unleash the supposed bombshell: "Well, I think that she should come clean with the public. If she found out something in the course of that investigation that she's holding, and it appears for political purposes, that's outrageous. I think that the Speaker has a reason to be very unhappy about that....Speaker Gingrich."
At the same time, Brokaw did acknowledge that Pelosi may just be trying to dredge up old news about Gingrich: "If she doesn't know something, I think that she has to say, 'Look, I didn't learn anything in there that the public didn't learn. I'm just talking about what the evidence was and we think that that is enough to disqualify him for the presidency.'"
Brokaw concluded that she should just release all of the privileged knowledge she gained from the confidential congressional investigation: "But I think she has to go a lot farther than she has so far in terms of her role in that investigation, what she may have learned in those closed-door meetings and going through all of those files."
Here is a full transcript of the January 26 exchange:
7:01AM ET TEASE:
ANN CURRY: And meanwhile, speaking of tension, we'll get the latest on what seems to be an ongoing feud between Newt Gingrich and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. On Wednesday, Pelosi backed down after claiming she knows something that would keep Gingrich from becoming president. So why did Pelosi say that in the first place? We're going to talk about that with Tom Brokaw coming up straight ahead.
7:06AM ET SEGMENT:
MATT LAUER: Tom Brokaw is here with his take on the state of the presidential race. Tom, good to see you, some state, isn't it?
TOM BROKAW: Well, we've gone from a win in South Carolina to building a Moon base in our second term, so...
LAUER: How do we get in between those things? Let me talk to you about Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich. Alright, she makes this comment saying, "Newt Gingrich will not be president, there's something I know." Now that in itself sounds pretty alarming. But if you go back and add to that something she said in an interview in December, she said, "One of these days," to an interviewer, "One of these days we'll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich. I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him. Four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff." Clearly, she's hinting that she learned something that will make, will disqualify him as president. Does she have the right to back out now and back off of that?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: "There's Something That I Know"; Making Sense of Pelosi's Claims on Gingrich]
BROKAW: Well, I think that she should come clean with the public. If she found out something in the course of that investigation that she's holding, and it appears for political purposes, that's outrageous. I think that the Speaker has a reason to be very unhappy about that. On the other hand, if she-
LAUER: Speaker Gingrich.
BROKAW: Speaker Gingrich.
BROKAW: If she doesn't know something, I think that she has to say, "Look, I didn't learn anything in there that the public didn't learn. I'm just talking about what the evidence was and we think that that is enough to disqualify him for the presidency." But I think she has to go a lot farther than she has so far in terms of her role in that investigation, what she may have learned in those closed-door meetings and going through all of those files.
LAUER: And again, we've asked Speaker Pelosi to join us here this morning. She said she had a scheduling conflict. We will keep our schedule open whenever she can clear hers.
Let's move on to Newt Gingrich in the, in the race actually. After his win in Florida, a lot of pundits – I mean in South Carolina – a lot of pundits were still saying this was Mitt Romney's race to lose. If Newt Gingrich wins in Florida, will that change that thinking?
BROKAW: Oh, it's going to be a big blow to Mitt Romney if he loses Florida. Florida is not South Carolina. South Carolina was safe in the Republican district, it was almost custom-built for Newt Gingrich. Florida is a larger state, cosmopolitan. As our old friend Tim Russert used to say, "Florida, Florida, Florida." It'll be in play. It's a swing state. So this is a big deal for Mitt Romney. If Newt Gingrich loses in Florida, my guess is that he'll go on and I think he'll go on under any circumstances.
LAUER: You know, during the State of the Union address, the president said that, "Anyone who tells you that America is in decline doesn't know what they're talking about." And yet, we look at polling a lot, some of our own polls. And you ask people, "Do you think the country's on the right track?" And I've seen numbers as high as 64%, Tom, saying, "No, we're on the wrong track." Does the president need to be more realistic with that subject?
BROKAW: Well, I think what he's talking about are the fundamentals. It is still, the underlying economy is stronger than any other in the world. China's coming up fast, but we're still the number one economy. We have rule of law. We've got a great education system, even though it's troubled. So on a State of the Union speech you're kind of engaged in some hyperbole.
But this election is going to be all about the economy, probably, in the fall. There's some unforeseen things that will occur. But people really are responding to the fact that they don't feel secure about their economic future and that is a big piece of national security. Most of all, as I said here before, Matt, I, for the first time in my journalistic career, parents are coming to me and saying, "I don't think my kids are going to have the life I've had." That's been an essential part of the American dream.
LAUER: An example, you were out in California talking, I know, talking to people out there, a state that is struggling mightily with the economy and unemployment. What were they saying to you there?
BROKAW: Well, Jerry Brown is saying California's on the mend. They have reduced the deficit by 60%, they've got good news on the unemployment in California, it's only down to 11% at this point. He's going to ask the state to raise taxes on themselves, especially the wealthy, come November. This is a very, very big play for him. But there is, if not a light at the end of the tunnel, there's a faint glow on the horizon on the economy. And that's giving people some hope. The Federal Reserve, however, says it won't be until 2014 that we have a full recovery. That's a still long slog ahead.
LAUER: Alright, Tom Brokaw. Tom, good to see you.
BROKAW: Great to see you, Matt.
- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.