Gingrich touts controversial Trump tweets

Steven Nelson of the Washington Examiner reports on former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s reaction to controversial tweets from the president.

President Trump’s attack on left-wing congresswomen, including a jab that they should “go back” to their homelands, created a furor. But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says it may be an example of Trump’s strategic genius.

“It is useful to remember Trump doesn’t play tic-tac-toe. He plays chess, and he’s very often setting up a much deeper fight than you might think, looking at the surface,” Gingrich told the Washington Examiner.

Trump’s tweet was widely criticized as inaccurate and offensive, with three of four apparent targets actually born in the U.S. But Gingrich said Trump wanted to raise the profile of his targets and to more closely link their socialist and anti-Israel policies with the Democratic Party.

“He wants the Democratic Party to identify with them,” Gingrich said. “I think the president is often inartful, but remarkably effective.” …

… Gingrich said uniting Democrats was the point.

“Pelosi in a sense was trying to draw a line and say, ‘We are not them’. After Trump’s tweet, she said, ‘Oh, we really are them.’ You may have a vote” to admonish Trump for his tweet “in the next day or so when Pelosi lines up with the four radicals,” he said.

Gingrich said he doesn’t believe Trump will be hurt by a perception that his tweet was racist, as “people who willing to believe that are already anti-Trump.”

“There’s no evidence that what he said was racist. What he said was basically designed to say, ‘If you don’t like America, there are a lot of other places you could go,'” Gingrich added. “I thought it was Pelosi who yesterday was being accused of racism by the very four people who she’s now defending. If Pelosi and everyone else is a racist, what does it mean anymore?”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...