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Gingrich 'astonished' by Obama's apology; fans come out for Newt in Spokane

The Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shakes hands during a campaign stop at the Bing Crosby Theatre Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012 in Spokane, Wash.

Newt Gingrich told fans in Spokane yesterday that he’s astonished President Obama apologized to Afghan authorities for the burning of Muslim Holy Books by U.S. soldiers. Obama expressed remorse that a military base burned copies of the Quran in a garbage pile.

Gingrich opened his rally at Spokane’s Bing Crosby theatre with outrage that after a base burnt- quote- radical Islamist materials and Quran’s, two American soldiers were killed as retaliation. He says the destroying of suspicious literature has been blown into a huge incident.

“The president apologized for the burning, but I haven’t seen the president demand that the government of Afghanistan apologize for the killing of two young Americans”.

Gingrich says religious intolerance occurs around the world, and it’s not the President’s responsibility to offer apologies.

The Former Speaker of the House focused the remainder of this rally on job creation, and lowering the gas price to $2.50 per gallon. He says he’ll do this by encouraging fossil fuel drilling in North America, and will endorse the Keystone Pipeline.

Energy issues were one reason Howard and Joan (J-own) Pettibone came to the rally in Spokane. And they got to sit in the front row…

“He wants to get rid of Obama care, get those bloomin’ Czars out that you never hear about. I’ve never heard a bloomin’ thing they’ve done. All they do is get paid. His energy policies. The fact that he has experience. That he has balanced budgets, and has put people to work”.

Gingrich and his wife impress the Pettibone’s. And Gingrich says Washington can make an impression too. He says the State could make a big difference in the GOP presidential campaign because it hosts the last caucus before Super Tuesday. Washington’s straw poll caucus occurs March 3rd.

Copyright 2011 Spokane Public Radio

Latest from AP on Koran burning:

STERLING, Va. — A senior Pentagon official is apologizing to Washington-area Muslims for the burning of Qurans at a military base in Afghanistan.

Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs, says the military is investigating and that all troops are being retrained in the handling of religious materials.

Lavoy's remarks were Friday at a mosque in suburban Washington, D.C. They come after protests across Afghanistan over the burning of several Qurans at a U.S. military base. Military officials say 20 people have died in the protests, including two U.S. soldiers.

President Barack Obama has apologized for the burning, which authorities say was a mistake. But the protests continue.

The mosque's imam called on Muslims to respond peacefully and with tolerance.