Gingrich wins South Carolina primary, mangles Canadian geography, denounces Canadian plans to sell oil to China

Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday night, Jan. 21. 2012, beating his chief rival Mitt Romney, who had a disappointing 27 per cent of the vote.

According to numerous media reports, in his victory speech Gingrich took aim at Canada, the Northern Gateway pipeline (without mentioning it by name) and, according to several reports, completely mangling Canadian geography on a couple of occasions.

According to the Canadian Press, Gingrich told cheering supporters in Charleston.

 [He] maligned the Obama administration for recently rejecting TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, a project he erroneously said would bring much-needed oil to Texas from “central Canada.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a “conservative and a pro-American,” he said, and now Canada will be forced to sell its oil to China.

“An American president who can create a Chinese-Canadian partnership is truly a danger to this country,” he said.

The Toronto Star reports:

“Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper — who, by the way, is a conservative and pro-American — will cut a deal with the Chinese,” Gingrich said “We have a president who can create a Chinese-Canadian partnership . . . (it is) truly a danger to this country.”

Tweets from people watching the speech, unconfirmed, so far, by news reports quote Gingrich as describing the Northern Gateway pipeline as “Harper has said he’ll “build a pipeline straight across the Rockies to Vancouver.”

UPDATED: David Atkin of SunMedia quotes the complete excerpt from Gingrich’s speech in his blog.

The president says, “No”, we don’t you to build a pipeline from central Canada straight down with no mountains intervening to the largest petrochemical centre in the world, Houston, so that we’d make money on the pipeline, we’d make money on managing the pipeline, we’d make money on refining the oil, and we’d make money on the ports of Houston and Galveston shipping the oil. Oh no, we don’t want to do that because Barack Obama and his extremist left-wing friends in San Francisco … They think that’ll really stop the oil from heading out. No. What Prime Minister Harper– who, by the way, is Conservative and pro-American — what he has said, is he’s gonna cut a deal with the Chinese and they’ll build a pipeline straight across the Rockies to Vancouver .. We’ll get none of the jobs, none of the energy, none of the opportunity. Now, an American president who can create a Chinese-Canadian partnership is truly a danger to this country.”

CBC Ottawa blogger Kady O’Malley @kady tweeted: @kady: Narrative that pipelines Canada’s “our” decision is somewhat undercut by Newt acting as though China is stealing his oil. #NGP

Denouncing Canadian export of oil apparently became part of Gingrich’s stump speech as he campaigned in South Carolina.  One local newspaper reported he made similar remarks on Wednesday, Jan. 18:

When he took the podium in the Valley Wednesday, Gingrich had some fresh news – that the president is rejecting the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. Gingrich called the decision stupid, saying it will cost Americans jobs and the opportunity to get closer to energy independence.

“My goal is to make America so energy independent that no president has to bow down to a Saudi king,” Gingrich said. “It’s inconceivable that an American president would drive Canada into a partnership with China.”


According to the Star Ledger in New Jersey, Gingrich also made similar remarks about San Francisco and Canada on Friday. Paul Mulshine writes:

When the question-and-answer session began, a man asked about President Obama’s failure to move ahead with the Keystone Pipeline, a project that would bring oil from the Canadian tar sands south to the Gulf of Mexico for refining. Gingrich said that project could be under way already except that “the president decided that in order to appease a bunch of left-wing extremists in San Francisco, he’s going to stop Canadian oil.”

He then explained how the Canadians will gladly ship the oil to China if we don’t want it. It sounded good and he even had me for a moment. But then I remembered the Nancy Pelosi commercial from 2008. It’s shows Gingrich sharing a couch with a woman who could arguably be called the most powerful San Francisco liberal of all. The then-speaker of the House and the former speaker of the House sat on a couch (below) delivering a message on the need to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Now Gingrich is denying he ever supported cap-and-trade.