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Bill O'Reilly, Newt Gingrich Clash Over Candidate's Comments About Judges (VIDEO)

Oreilly Gingrich

First Posted: 12/21/11 10:20 AM ET Updated: 12/21/11 10:53 AM ET

GOP candidate Newt Gingrich appeared on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show Wednesday night to discuss recent comments he made about his willingness to arrest judges if he were president.

Gingrich has been a strong critic of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He has said that he takes issue with the court for determining it unconstitutional for public schools to require the Pledge of Allegiance. He also criticized U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in San Antonio for prohibiting prayers at graduation ceremonies. On Sunday, Gingrich told CBS' Bob Schieffer that he would even arrest judges with Capitol Hill police Or U.S. Marshals if he were president and found it necessary.

O'Reilly opened the show by telling Gingrich that he criticized the candidate last week for saying that he would hold judges responsible for their decisions by sending in U.S. Marshals to arrest them. "Was I wrong in that criticism?" O'Reilly asked Gingrich.

Gingrich said that he "was simply explaining the constitutional provision that exists," and that "people have blown [his comments] way out of proportion."

O'Reilly told Gingrich that, "with all due respect," he made a mistake by "pointing to" Judge Biery from San Antonio, Texas. O'Reilly referred to Biery's decision about graduation ceremonies as "insane," and said that "you can't have Congress involved with foolish decisions at that level."

"Why not? Why not?" Gingrich asked.

"Because it's not the government's business until it gets out of control. They overturned [Judge Biery] in 10 seconds." O'Reilly said.

O'Reilly also told Gingrich that, "with all due respect, you came off as imperious in this and people have this perception of you anyway — that if you were the president, you're gonna do pretty much whatever the heck you want to do."

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Nearing The End?
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Speaking the day before the Delaware primary, Gingrich hinted he was considering ending his presidential run:

"I think we need to take a deep look at what we are doing," Gingrich said in an interview with NBC News during a campaign stop in Delaware. "We will be in North Carolina tomorrow night and we will look and see what the results are."

According to NBC, the former House speaker said he would need to "reassess" based on the results of Tuesday's primary in Delaware, a state where Gingrich has spent a great deal of time campaigning in recent weeks. Gingrich indicated that the state's 17 delegates were crucial to his viability as a candidate.
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Filed by Rebecca Shapiro  |