Who is Saul Alinsky? A Gingrich line explained

This is one of those half truths that Newt is famous for. He honestly believes what he is saying. He also thinks that if he says it enough, he could convince the rest of us of his nonsense.

In framing his attacks on President Barack Obama for a possible November showdown, Newt Gingrich repeatedly brings up the name of an influential radical organizer from the first half of the 20th century.

"Saul Alinsky radicalism is at the heart of Obama," Gingrich said Sunday in an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

The night before, the former House Speaker invoked the name in his victory speech after the South Carolina primary, saying: "The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky."

And earlier, at a New Year's Eve campaign event in Iowa, Gingrich declared that Obama "really is sort of a classic Saul Alinsky radical whose basic ideas are the opposite of what we need to create jobs."

So who is Saul Alinsky, and why is Gingrich so insistent on linking that name to Obama?

Born in Chicago in 1909, Alinsky organized communities in his birth city and California, helping minorities in poor neighborhoods exert political force by collectively demanding better working conditions and getting them to polling stations.

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