Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on President Obama to withdraw the nomination of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court, calling her views anti-military and airing, for one of the first times, concerns that during her time as Dean, Harvard Law accepted money from Saudi Arabia.
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Gingrich even dismissed the notion that a Senate confirmation process was needed to properly judge or vet Kagan's credentials for the Court.
"I think the president should withdraw it," he said. "You don't need a lot of hearings. The very fact that she led the effort which was repudiated unanimously by the Supreme Court to block the American military from Harvard Law school -- we're in two wars, and I see no reason why you would appoint an anti-military Supreme Court justice or why the Senate would confirm an anti-military Supreme Court justice."
"I think the president has every right to nominate a liberal," he added, when reminded by host Chris Wallace, that Kagan's position on executive power are much in line with Gingrich's. "He is the president and that is his value system. I think the fact is if you look at the brief you filed, if you look at what she wrote at the time, it's a very myopic view. On the one hand, Harvard accepts money from Saudis. Saudi Arabia, by the way, executes homosexuals, Saudi Arabia represses women, Saudi Arabia doesn't allow Christians or Jews to practice their religion, but Saudi money is fine."
Throwing haymakers in the midst of a Supreme Court confirmation process is a familiar perch for the former House speaker. Gingrich infamously called Sonia Sotomayor a "racist" during the early days of her rollout -- before having to walk back the claim. The charges he leveled against Kagan on Sunday, however, are a bit peculiar. The notion that the Solicitor General is anti-military (for denying military recruiters access to Harvard's campus in protest of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell") is oft repeated in conservative circles. But the idea that Kagan should be held to account for the Saudi money that Harvard receives is both new and bizarre.
There is no indication that Kagan recruited or okay-ed Saudi donations to the institution. Even if she had, it's not entirely clear how controversial those donations would be. And for Gingrich to make this an issue while on Fox News is a bit of cross-messaging. Outside of CEO Rupert Murdoch, the largest shareholder in Fox's parent company, News Corp, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi oil tycoon.