In 1990, when he was a mere Minority Whip in the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich appeared on C-SPAN to discuss his latest legislative efforts, including a prohibition on smoking aboard airplanes. Toward the end of his 42-minute sit-down, Gingrich received a call from a Floridian woman who wanted him to extend that ban to other odorous vapors, like Liz Taylor’s Obsession perfume.
“A couple of weeks ago, I had a situation where I was on a plane that had three seats on either side. I sat in the middle. I had a woman on one side that had Obsession perfume, Liz Taylor’s Obsession, and it was so overpowering; besides that, the man on the other side must have had shrimp scampi or something for lunch, because he smelled like garlic,” explained the flummoxed and bewildered woman.
After being denied a seat change, she decided to stand in the back of the plane, telling young Gingrich, “I stood in the back of the plane through the entire trip, and I think that’s something we have to address, too… What can we do about that situation? That may not be a health hazard to you, but it certainly had me regurgitating throughout the entire trip.”
Gingrich, being human, couldn’t but giggle and pass “whoa, this lady is insane” glances to the C-SPAN moderator. He then told the woman, as sympathetically as possible, that her description sounded a bit like a sit-com and though he understood her frustration, there was really nothing he could do. And, besides, Liz Taylor’s Obsession and garlic do not cause lung cancer, like tobacco.
It is a gem of a video in which even Gingrich’s fiercest opponents can’t help but sympathize with the Republican’s situation, and laugh along with him.
Here’s the video, clipped from C-SPAN: