Philadelphia (CBS) – Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich downplayed the possibility that the fractured Republican caucus could select him to return as the first Speaker not currently serving in the House of Representatives.
Gingrich, while promoting his new book, Duplicity, told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that he would consider the post if asked, but does not expect to be.
“If 218 House members came and said, would I help, would I say yes? How do you say no to that hypothetical question? I think it’s very unlikely. I’m talking to a number of House members. I’m trying to help them. Both Callista and I are very deep believers in the House as an institution. I think it’s very important for the Republicans to get their act together. It strikes me as implausible. We’ve never had anybody outside the House as Speaker.”
He thinks Paul Ryan would be a good choice, providing the entire Republican majority is on board with the decision.
“I think Paul’s the smartest guy in the House and I think he’s, clearly, getting a lot of phone calls but I think he also better be very careful because if they haven’t talked this through and they haven’t sorted out their strategy for the future, and they don’t get a commitment to a single team, he could end up being John Boehner in six weeks. It’s easy to start with everybody excited and high-fiving and then watch the erosion as various people start attacking you day after day.”
Gingrich also addressed the Republican presidential primary, expressing the belief that Donald Trump is a very serious contender for the nomination.
“Of course he can win. This is a country that’s in a rage. If somebody’s been the front runner for four or five months and they’re ahead of everybody else by 10, 15, 20 points, it’s strange to me that people keep saying, yeah, but is he real? This is not somebody who is going to run out of money. He can play for a long time.”
Gingrich’s wife, Callista, also has a new children’s book, Christmas in America. Both are currently on sale now.