Late yesterday, ProPublica released audio that may have sunk the vice presidential aspirations of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It appears that in February, Gingrich appeared at an event where he trashed the eventual GOP nominee. As ProPublica notes:
Newt Gingrich, a leading candidate to be Donald Trump’s running mate, told Republicans at a closed-door meeting earlier this year that Trump is not a conservative, speaks to voters “at the lowest level of any candidate in either party,” and could lose in a landslide if he didn’t significantly change his approach to campaigning.
Gingrich suggested Trump’s move from campaigning to governing would be challenging: “How we make the transition from, you know, language for fourth graders to real policy, I don’t know.”
His comments came in a February speech in Washington to the Republican State Leadership Committee, months before he began angling to become Trump’s vice presidential choice.Gingrich also had some more specific barbs:
Gingrich’s remarks, captured on a previously undisclosed recording of the speech reviewed by ProPublica, mixed admiration for Trump’s success in the primaries and skepticism about whether he could prevail in a general election.
At one point, Gingrich suggested he was shocked to hear of a highly educated supporter of Trump’s. “I had a very sophisticated medical doctor in Des Moines write me two days ago and say he sent a thousand dollar check to Trump. And I wrote back and said what are you doing?” Gingrich said to laughs. “He said I have finally concluded that we have to kick over the table in Washington.”
Gingrich also agreed with what many Republicans during the primary process feared: “National Review’s right. Donald Trump’s not a conservative.” Instead, Gingrich characterized him as “an American nationalist” who uses a deliberately unpredictable mix of hostility against “stupidity,” liberals and political correctness.Gingrich seemed like a top choice for Trump, and inside sources told American Action News that he was, at one point, the favorite, due to his extensive experience navigating Washington politics. This new audio perhaps confirms the worst about Gingrich, and may be why Trump ultimately chose to go in another direction.