Then Speaker Newt Gingrich, interviewed on CNN, August 28, 1998:
ALLEN: We are interrupting that story because we have now on the phone with us Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Speaker Gingrich, your reaction to the U.S. attacks today on Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.
REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, I think the United States did exactly the right thing. We cannot allow a terrorist group to attack American embassies and do nothing. And I think we have to recognize that we are now committed to engaging this organization and breaking it apart and doing whatever we have to to suppress it, because we cannot afford to have people who think that they can kill Americans without any consequence. So this was the right thing to do.
We have not yet gotten assessments of the damage, but I hope that it’s been very decisive. And I think it’s very important that we send a signal to countries like Sudan and Afghanistan that if you house a terrorist, you become a target. And if you want to get rid of the target, you’ve got to get rid of the terrorist.
ALLEN: So you say the right thing to do at the right time? Senator Arlen Specter said a moment ago he question the timing of this.
GINGRICH: I think based on what I know, it was the right thing to do at the right time. And I think that it — I’ve been involved in briefings for the last two weeks, and I think it’s been done in a methodical, professional way. And I strongly support the United States government having acted that way.