Trump is the 'most effective uprooter of liberalism': Newt Gingrich talks GOP, midterms, space

Gingrich acknowledged that Trump makes "dubious" statements on a large scale.

June 27, 2018, 4:03 PM

Asked about criticism that President Donald Trump has a tendency to mislead, former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich acknowledged that the president “often says things you can catch him on” -- in fact, on a “much larger scale” than did Ronald Reagan.

“They both have a tendency to say general directions that are powerful with details that are dubious...I’m less sanguine than I was year ago that [Trump] is going to change because he basically emphasizes his strengths and ignores his weaknesses rather than trying to fix [them],” Gingrich told ABC’s Powerhouse Politics podcast hosts Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein Wednesday.

“The North Koreans have so cheerfully lied to American presidents for 20 years. There’s no automatic reason to believe that the meeting in Singapore changes much,” Gingrich said, but pointed out that as a result of the June summit, he believes Kim Jong Un is “doing some things he had never contemplated before.”

Known for his longtime hope of increased space exploration, Gingrich also expressed optimism about Mike Pence chairing the National Space Council.

“Mike Pence is such a space nut that before he ever won a congressional seat he would put his family on the car and drive down to Florida to watch rockets go off,” he said. “He’s doing a great job.”

Reacting to Tuesday night’s historic Democratic primary upset in New York’s 14th Congressional District, where high-ranking incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley badly lost to a 28-year-old political newcomer and Democratic Socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Gingrich said this is a phenomenon “happening everywhere.”

PHOTO: Progressive challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates with supporters at a victory party in the Bronx after upsetting incumbent Democratic Representative Joseph Crowly on June 26, 2018 in New York.
Progressive challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates with supporters at a victory party in the Bronx after upsetting incumbent Democratic Representative Joseph Crowly on June 26, 2018 in New York.
Scott Heins/Getty Images

“The winner in Maryland campaigned on basically the government taking over all healthcare. In western Pennsylvania, three members of the Socialist party won primaries for the state legislature. There’s a radical wing of the Democratic party which is now defeating the progressive wing of the Democratic party on the grounds that it isn’t progressive enough,” he said.

But Gingrich doubts that moderate Senate Democrats will be able to support the “radical” legislation that newer, more liberal members of Congress are expected to push forward.

“The young lady that won wants to abolish the people who are protecting the border,” he said of Ocasio-Cortez. “There’s no base in this country for an open borders immigration policy except in very hardcore, Democratic, radical areas.”

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