Trump and Gingrich Weren’t Always Buddies

Newt Gingrich / AP
• July 14, 2016 12:24 pm


Onetime House Speaker New Gingrich, a finalist under consideration to be Donald Trump’s running mate, said earlier this year during a closed-door meeting that Trump "is not a conservative," speaks at a "fourth-grade level," and would decisively lose the White House if he did not move away from his unconventional campaign style.

"How we make the transition from, you know, language for fourth graders to real policy, I don’t know," Gingrich said to the Republican State Leadership Committee during a February speech in Washington, ProPublica reported Wednesday night.

Gingrich told the committee that Trump "talks at the lowest level of any candidate in either party, not because he’s stupid," but rather "because he knows if you talk at a fourth-grade level everybody can understand you."

The Feb. 29 remarks came months before the former GOP House leader entered into talks with Trump’s campaign to be his potential vice presidential pick. Gingrich met with Trump on Wednesday in Indiana to discuss the opportunity.

In the newly disclosed recording, Gingrich likened Trump’s campaign approach to "some weird combination of the Kardashians" that emits "continuous noise."

"I do not believe anybody, including Trump, can tell you what a Trump presidency would be like because he won’t know," he added.

Gingrich even responded to National Review’s controversial issue, titled "Against Trump," telling his Republican audience that the publication was "right."

"Donald Trump is not a conservative," he said.

Though the two are now presenting a unified front, Trump has not always held overwhelmingly favorable views of Gingrich.

Trump singled out Gingrich in 2000 when he was considering a presidential run with the Reform Party, citing the former House speaker as a reason why voters are distrustful of politicians, Buzzfeed reported Thursday.

"When Americans look to those at the top of the political game, especially in the past couple of years, their eyes roll," Trump wrote in his book, The America We Deserve. "Whether it’s Bill Clinton discussing what the definition of ‘is’ is, or Newt Gingrich pouting because he had to exit a plane through the back door, there’s plenty to laugh at. Jay Leno will never run short of material."

Trump was referring to a 1995 New York Daily News front page dubbing Gingrich "Cry Baby Newt" and blaming him for shutting down the government because former President Bill Clinton forced him to sit at the back of Air Force One.

Trump is expected to formally announce his running mate in New York City on Friday. Gingrich, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are among the final choices.