Politics

Gingrich Says Trump Here to Stay

'He's asking you to invest in a capability'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday referred to real estate mogul Donald Trump’s performance in recent polls as “a phenomenon. We don’t understand it. I suspect Donald doesn’t understand it.”

Appearing on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Gingrich discussed the real estate magnate’s commanding lead, and the fact that GOP voters have shown they trust Trump in such key areas as immigration, jobs, ISIS and social issues. The other 16 candidates have struggled to respond.

“Trump is like one of those science-fiction movies where whatever you do it, the organism gets bigger and stronger. It absorbs new energy and becomes even more dangerous,” said Gingrich, in a clear reference to “The Blob.” “If you attack him, he gets bigger. If you ignore him, he gets bigger.”

“Trump is like one of those science-fiction movies where whatever you do it, the organism gets bigger and stronger. It absorbs new energy and becomes even more dangerous,” said Gingrich.

A CNN poll also shows Donald Trump closing the gap with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Gingrich asserted that Donald’s immense wealth and lack of reliance on lobbyists is working to his advantage, allowing him to tap into a deep dissatisfaction with the Republican establishment in Washington.

For weeks, Trump has led the field in surveys, despite a number of impolitic statements along the way. “Trump is a nationalist,” Gingrich said. “He believes the current establishment has failed. He also represents a profoundly different view of how you get things done.”

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Gingrich knows a bit about populist politics. He surged for a time during the 2012 GOP presidential race and won the South Carolina primary. The frontrunner and eventual nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, ultimately buried him under an avalanche of negative ads in Florida’s expensive media markets.

In a wide-ranging interview Wednesday, Gingrich at turns compared Donald Trump to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (because of the two men’s personal wealth) and 19th century President Andrew Jackson (because of their shared dislike by the political elite).

Trump, Gingrich said, is running on his own talent for negotiation and leadership, rather than a specific set of policies. “He’s asking you to invest in a capability,” he said.

Although former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has amassed an impressive campaign war chest — $120 million in direct contributions and donations to his super political action committee — Gingrich said Bush probably will not be able to re-run Romney’s playbook because of Trump’s personal fortune.

“It is about 10 percent of what Trump has available if he wants to use it,” he said.

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