Ta-Nehisi Coates points out in the Atlantic that Newt Gingrich "was among a cadre of conservatives who opposed the mainstream conservative stance on apartheid and ultimately helped override Reagan's unconscionable veto of sanctions." Gingrich praised Nelson Mandela on his Facebook page and was met with much hostility. Speaking to CNN's Candy Crowley, he expressed surprise at the reaction and spoke about Mandela's militant period as a response to apartheid: "All of your options are gone. You're now up against an oppressive dictatorship which, if you're black, means that you're going to be in a police state." Regarding Mandela's alliance with communists, he pointed out that they were the only allies available during the Cold War. Gingrich also cited Mandela's deep commitment to freedom and reconciliation. Watch:
Also see Gingrich's video and statement, "What Would You Have Done? Nelson Mandela and American Conservatives."