Newt Gingrich: Duck Dynasty Star Like Pope Francis

Meanwhile, Phil Robertson's family says they may not return to A&E

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2013 1:00 AM CST | Updated Dec 20, 2013 6:15 AM CST

(Newser) Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has had Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal rush to his aid in the wake of his suspension from A&E over anti-gay comments he made in the course of a GQ interview, and the list of high-profile Republican names is growing. In an appearance on CNN's Crossfire yesterday, Newt Gingrich likened Robertson to ... Pope Francis. The standout quote: "Ironically, if you read the whole interview, not just take one section, he talks very specifically about loving everybody. He talks very specifically about not being judgmental toward anybody, that’s God’s decision, not his. I mean, it is remarkable. There’s sections there where he sounds like Pope Francis." (Panelist LZ Granderson shot back: "There’s nothing really remarkable about slandering people and then coming around and saying, 'Love everybody.'")

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz took to Facebook with his defense of Robertson, writing, "If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job." And according to Fox News, the rest of the Duck Dynasty cast may not show up to the job in solidarity. They released a statement late yesterday saying that "we have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.” One option, per Raw Story: Glenn Beck offered the Robertson family a show on his online Blaze TV network.

This 2012 photo released by A&E shows, from left, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson from the A&E series, Duck Dynasty.
This 2012 photo released by A&E shows, from left, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson from the A&E series, "Duck Dynasty."   (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
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