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May 152013
 

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — This week’s Republican House meeting was a little more exciting than weeks past, and it wasn’t just because of what was on the agenda.

At the request of the GOP, Google representatives held Google Glass demonstrations at the beginning and the end of the meeting, allowing Congressional members to try on the sought-after technology. A Google spokesperson told ABC News that the company offered the same demonstration sessions to Democrats, but have yet to schedule any official group presentations.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was among those who tried on a pair of the new glasses. In an email, a representative for Bachmann told ABC News that the congresswoman enjoyed trying on Google Glass because she “likes being ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative technology” and believes “it is a testament to just how much the industry has evolved.”

Bachmann’s first query when trying on the glasses? The Drudge Report.

Earlier this year, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich won a Twitter contest to be one of the first to try out the technology as a Google Glass explorer. His winning Tweet mentioned plans of zoo and museum visits.

ABC News has been unable to confirm whether Gingrich has received his pair of Google Glass, but a Google representative confirmed that contest winners were notified of how they could claim their prizes over the span of the past few weeks.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Feb 172013
 

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — Former House Speaker and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich discussed his relationship with the Clintons, the battle over the sequester, and the possibility of him running for office again in a web exclusive interview after his appearance on ABC’s This Week roundtable Sunday.

Gingrich holds a lasting legacy in the House of Representatives, where he represented Georgia for 20 years until 1999, before his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. But speculation swirled recently about Gingrich pursuing a position on the other side of the legislative branch, after Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss announced he would not seek re-election in 2014. While fellow Georgia native Gingrich’s name was quickly mentioned as a possibility, his spokesperson announced via Twitter that Gingrich would not be a candidate for the seat.

But does that mean Gingrich has completely ruled out another political run? When ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked whether Gingrich was open to another run for office, he first responded firmly, “Yeah, I don’t think I’ll run for office, no.”

But Gingrich then revised his statement by poking fun at Rep. Paul Ryan’s attempts to dodge the same question earlier on This Week. “It strikes me as unlikely – I’ll take a Paul Ryan position, it’s not on my current list,” Gingrich said.

When Ryan was asked about his 2016 presidential ambitions on Sunday, he responded, “Will I or won’t I? I don’t know… I’m not foreclosing any opportunity. I may or I may not.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jan 242013
 

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Wednesday’s announcement that women will be allowed to serve in combat was hardly the first time the subject has come up.

When it cropped up during the Clinton administration, it drew opposition from the likes of then House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who offered a now-infamous medical assessment of why it was a bad idea to let them fight.

“Females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections, and they don’t have upper body strength,” The New York Times quoted Gingrich as saying in early 1995.  Men, on the other hand, ”are basically little piglets; you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it.”

More recently, Rick Santorum caused a minor controversy by bringing “emotions” into it.

“I do have concerns about women in front line combat.  I think that could be a very compromising situation where, where people naturally, you know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved,” he told CNN in February 2012, in the heat of the GOP presidential primary.

He later clarified.

“I was talking about men’s emotional issues; not women,” Santorum told ABC soon after.  “I mean, there’s a lot of issues.  That’s just one of them.”

Opponents of women serving unrestricted have always risked offending their political adversaries, regardless of whether their words blow up into controversy.

“What I think was most troubling to us was less the comments of pundits and more the policy in place,” said one attorney who has pressed the Pentagon on female service, saying the combat-service ban sent a “message that … women were somehow less than” male soldiers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jan 222013
 

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Given the statements made about President Obama’s second inaugural address, it appears that he won’t have an easy go of it with GOP lawmakers this term either.

Some prominent Republicans lawmakers criticized Obama’s inaugural address on Monday, saying he failed to reach out to their party.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said afterwards, “This is the eighth [inauguration] that I’ve been to and always there’s been a portion of the speech where [the president says] ‘I reach out my hand because we need to work together.’  That wasn’t in this speech.”

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, remarked that Obama “wasn’t doing the kind of outreach that he needs to do if he wants to get things accomplished in a second term.”

Meanwhile, Maine Sen. Susan Collins gave the speech a mixed review, saying it sounded partisan on one hand but that she’ll give the president the benefit of the doubt that he’ll at least try to meet Republicans half-way.

However, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an outspoken critic of the president during his first term, sounded genuinely surprised in a good way about the address.

While he heard a few things conservatives will outright reject, Gingrich added, “95 percent of the speech, I thought, was classically American, you know, emphasizing hard work and emphasizing self-reliance, emphasizing doing things together.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Nov 012012
 

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — An email message mistakenly sent to Newt Gingrich’s list serve Thursday morning told subscribers that President Obama would no doubt win in 2012 and that they should be more worried about Obama’s winning in 2016.

That’s right, despite the 22nd Amendment, which limits any one person to two presidential terms, the email that went out to Gingrich’s supporters suggests President Obama would be running again in 2016, and possibly serve through 2020.

The email, titled “What’s really at stake this Tuesday …” came from Gingrich Marketplace and went out to people who’d given their contact information to the Gingrich campaign when the former speaker of the House was still in the presidential race. Bygone candidates, such as Gingrich and Herman Cain, regularly rent out their email address lists to advertisers.

“The truth is, the next election has already been decided. Obama is going to win. It’s nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president,” advertiser Porter Stansberry wrote in the email to Gingrich supporters. “What’s actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term.”

Conservative news group Human Events manages the Gingrich Marketplace emails, but Gingrich has a say over which advertisers can have their messages go out to the list. And according to Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond, Stansberry & Associates should have been on the blacklist.

“We do not rent to the entity in question,” Hammond said, speaking by phone Thursday. “In fact, we go to lengths to vet where we rent.”

Human Events Vice President Joe Guerriero said the email was “a mistake.”

“It was actually scheduled to run on another of our lists,” Guerriero said. His team has been investigating how the Stansberry message went out to the Gingrich group.

Stansberry & Associates is run by Porter Stansberry, who in 2003 was the subject ofan SEC lawsuit in which the court found he participated in an online newsletter scheme that defrauded investors out of $1 million. Stansberry was ordered to pay $120,000 in damages.

Here’s the catch to the email. To learn how Obama would circumvent the 22nd Amendment, Gingrich subscribers were asked to click on a link to Stanberry’s site and watch a video presentation. We won’t bore you with those details. We’re skeptical, to say the least, of the argument.

Gingrich endorsed Republican rival Mitt Romney when Gingrich left the race last May. At the top and bottom of his emails, there is a disclaimer for readers, in part saying, “the following message reflects the opinions and representations of our advertiser alone.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio