It seems no one is happy with Donald Trump’s recent behavior…no one more so than ally Newt Gingrich, who was a leading contender for Trump’s running mate. Gingrich has said that Trump’s behavior over the past week has been “very self-destructive” to his campaign, and compared the Republican nominee to Joe Montana when he was in the midst of an interception-throwing slump.
Gingrich said, “Trump is still behaving like as though it was the primaries and there were 17 candidates. He has not made the transition to being the potential president of the United States, which is a much tougher league. People are going to watch you every single day. They’re going to take everything they can out of context, and he is not yet performing at the level that you need to.”
Gingrich said that Trump’s performance recalled quarterback Joe Montana’s “stretch during his career where he kept throwing interceptions, and, for about half a season, it looked like he wasn’t Joe Montana anymore.”
Gingrich said, “And then he figured out what he was doing, and he changed. Trump, Trump is in that kind of a slump. It’s like watching a team go out on the field, throw an interception on the first play and go back off the field again.”
Gingrich continued, talking about a series of recent comments and battles Trump has waged over the course of the past week, including fighting with the family of a fallen U.S. Army captain who spoke out against him at the Democratic convention; refusing to back prominent Republicans like Paul Ryan, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte in their elections; joking about tossing a baby out of his rally on Tuesday; and generally responding to any personal attack against him.
Trump has “thrown a series of interceptions in the last week that really do not bode well for his campaign,” Gingrich warned.
But with 97 days to go until Election Day, Gingrich pointed to “two huge advantages” in Trump’s favor: “One is the country really wants change, and the other is Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt and dishonest candidate we’ve ever had for president.”
Gingrich said, “So there’s always going to be a residual possibility that Trump can win. The question is, can he, in August, slow down, take a deep breath and reorganize how he’s operating so that he gets to the standard of a potential president of the United States? He has not done that up to now. It’s been significantly to his disadvantage.”
Gingrich then affirmed his support for McCain and Ryan, two of the party leaders Trump refused to endorse in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday.
“And let me just say flatly I am totally for John McCain, who is a great war hero and a terrific human being, who has worked very hard for veterans, and I’m totally for Paul Ryan, who is the heart of the House Republican Party and probably the most problem-solving leader we’ve had in the Congress on the Republican side, I think, in the last 20 years. So I think somewhat what Trump has done is just very self-destructive.”
Gingrich compared the election to the TV show The Apprentice, “except he’s the apprentice, he’s not the boss. He doesn’t get to say ‘you’re fired.’ The American people get to say, ‘you’re fired.’ So he’s really got to take a deep breath. I think he has the potential to win the election. I think he has the potential to be a historic president, but to do that, he has got to grow into the size of the job and not get stuck where he has been, which frankly, over the last week, I think has been very disheartening to most of his supporters.”