Newt Gingrich Says Civil Rights Legislation ‘Destroyed’ Democrats, LBJ

The former Speaker of the House says health care reform will ruin Obama much like passing civil rights laws "shattered" Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party in the 60's. Wow. Update: Newt says quotes used out of context.

From the Washington Post:

But former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich said Obama and the Democrats will regret their decision to push for comprehensive reform. Calling the bill "the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times," Gingrich said: "They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years" with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s."

The GOP is really going for it these days.

Update: A commenter pointed us to this link, where Newt says he was quoted out of context in Dan Balz's piece:

Gingrich responded with several emails saying that the context misrepresented his views by implying that he believed Johnson was wrong to sign the major civil rights legislation of the 1960s. To the contrary, he said, the civil rights revolution of 1956-1965 was "morally absolutely necessary" for the country and Johnson was correct in pushing for the legislation. Other Johnson actions, he said, inflicted more damage to the Democratic coalition.

Sounds like backtracking from someone who made an ignorant statement.

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