Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is on Donald Trump’s shortlist to be the Republican Party’s Vice Presidential nominee in November, but new questions are being raised about Gingrich’s support for Trump.
According to Politico, audio obtained by ProPublica catches Gingrich telling a group of Republicans at a closed-door meeting in late February that Trump was “not a conservative” and speaks at a “fourth-grade level.”
Speaking to the Republican State Leadership Committee on Feb. 29 in Washington, Gingrich remarked 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 a fourth-grade level everybody can understand you.”
Gingrich, who on Wednesday met with Trump in Indiana as one of the final candidates under consideration to be the presumptive nominee’s running mate, suggested that the Manhattan businessman would have a difficult time flipping the switch to talking about his policies. ProPublica said it obtained the recording through the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy, which obtained it through someone present at the meeting.
“How we make the transition from, you know, language for fourth graders to real policy, I don’t know,” Gingrich continued. Trump has frequently talked up the ability for his vice president to have experience navigating Washington as an insider, rather than have another outsider.
Gingrich also said, “I do not believe anybody including Trump can tell you what a Trump presidency would be like because he won’t know.”
Referring to National Review’s anti-Trump issue titled “Against Trump,” Gingrich said the publication was “right,” adding, “Donald Trump’s not a conservative.”
“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,” Gingrich said in the recording. “And I wrote back and said, ‘What are you doing?’
Indiana Governor Mike Pence is also allegedly on Trump’s VP shortlist, so it is possible that Gingrich’s past comments could hurt the former Speaker’s chances of being selected.
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