Newt Gingrich’s Attempt To Slam John Fetterman For A Nine Inch Nails Tattoo Led To Dr. Oz-like Humiliation

Newt Gingrich is cool enough to have a lesbian half-sibling who performed the first same-sex marriage in an American sitcom, which was later censored by China. In no other way is he cool. Newt is so uncool he can’t even identify lyrics from a Nine Inch Nails song famously covered by Johnny Cash. On Sunday, he tried to attack Pennsylvania congressional candidate John Fetterman, and only succeeded in embarrassing himself à la Fetterman’s accident-prone opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Fetterman, who has his share of tats, used to have a tattoo that quoted one of the lyrics from NIN’s “Hurt,” namely “I will make you hurt.” It’s one of the most brutal songs Trent Reznor ever wrote, filled with self-hatred and regret and even intimations of self-harm. Johny Cash, shortly before his death, recorded a devastating version of it that packing even more of a wallop after his passing.

Perhaps Gingrich never even heard the Cash version. After all, he was so busy in 2002 no longer being in Congress. Maybe that’s why he took to Twitter, cluelessly writing, “Why would Pennsylvania democratic senate candidate john fetterman have a tattoo saying ‘ i will make you hurt’?”

Gingrich’s ignorance — or maybe it was a failed joke, who knows with guys like Newt — prompted lots of helpful explanations.

And jokes, including references to his treatment of former spouses.

The response was such that the next day, Gingrich tried to spin it, roping in a dodgy claim from a rightwing site about Fetterman’s alleged gang ties: “Is Pennsylvania Democrat Fetterman’s tattoo ‘I will make you hurt’ based on his ties to the crips gang as reported by the Free Beacon or a reference to the nine inch nails heroin song ‘Hurt’. Fetterman won’t answer questions.

Actually, Fetterman has answered this question before, long ago, in a 2009 Rolling Stone profile, which pointed out the line was followed by the dates of murders that took place in Braddock, Pennsylvania, when he was its mayor. “That’s what it does to me,” Fetterman said of the lyric. “It’s very personal.” He also talked about it more recently while slamming Tucker Carlson for also trying to make a mountain out of the molehill of his tattoos. He’s since covered the lyric tattoo up.

Gingrich’s clumsy, Oz-esque blunder led not only to lots of corrections, but also lots of jokes (and, again, lots of references to his treatment of former spouses).

Election Day is on Nov. 8. In the meantime, you can enjoy both Nine Inch Nail’s and Johnny Cash’s versions of “Hurt” below.

(Via Newsweek)