One might think that memorializing Pearl Harbor, one of the deadliest and most infamous days in American history and the beginning of the U.S.’s military involvement in World War II, shouldn’t be that hard for a politician.
But apparently it was all too hard for Newt Gingrich.
The former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate sent out three tweets Wednesday, and none of them mentioned the 2,403 Americans who died during Japan’s surprise attack in 1941, or even used the words “Pearl Harbor.” Instead, Gingrich chose to reflect on how, “75 years ago, the Japanese displayed professional brilliance and technological power launching surprises from Hawaii to the Philippines.”
Gingrich also noted that it was the “widest surprise attack in history.”
Unsurprisingly, Gingrich’s odd comments — other politicians from Nancy Pelosi to Ben Carson have tweeted out more traditional commemorative messages — quickly got the attention of Twitter, who mocked and criticized him.
Gingrich’s interest in World War II and Japan’s capabilities during that time are nothing new. According to the New York Daily News, he has a Ph.D. in history and has written two novels about the Pearl Harbor attack from the perspective of both American and Japanese generals. A review of one of the novels in the New York Times had the headline: “An Assault on Hawaii. On Grammar Too.”
In the past election cycle, Gingrich has been a staunch ally of President-elect Donald Trump and was in consideration to be his running mate on the Republican ticket. Since then, he has ruled out serving on Trump’s still-forming cabinet but has said he plans to support the administration from the private sector.
Trump, for his part, had quite a different tweet about Pearl Harbor, saying “We pause today to remember the 2,403 American heroes who selflessly gave their lives at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago.”