ORANGEBURG, South Carolina—In a press conference today, Newt Gingrich admitted that he spoke French “once upon a time,” and joked to a French reporter who asked him whether he spoke the language “Do you know John Kerry?”
Barely a week ago, Gingrich released this ad which compared Romney to the 2004 Democratic nominee — in part because of his fluency in French.
Romney lived in Paris for two years as a missionary, while Gingrich lived there for a short time in his teenage years.
The reporter went on to ask Gingrich, who wrote his thesis on French colonialism in Africa, if he was concerned about France pulling its troops out of Afghanistan after the death of four of its soldiers today. Gingrich expressed condolences to the families of the dead U.S. and French servicemembers, but encouraged President Nicholas Sarkozy to maintain his country’s military presence in the country.