Newt Gingrich questions McConnell’s strategy for Republicans: 'As bad as Pelosi'

Gingrich predicted the GOP will win the 2022 midterm election fight

Updated: April 13, 2022 - 6:40pm

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy for success in this year's midterms is "as bad as" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's leadership over her chamber.

Gingrich was asked on the "John Solomon Reports" Podcast about what Republicans must do to sustain their majority if they win back control of Congress in November.

"I am totally with Kevin McCarthy and with Rick Scott, both of whom have come up with positive ideas," said Gingrich, referring to the Florida GOP senator and House minority leader, respectively.

"McCarthy wants to develop a commitment to America," he said. "And he's got, I think, seven different working groups. I was honored to be invited to come down to their planning session with about 180 House members.

"I was the keynote speaker and I got to listen to them working for a while. They're so much more sophisticated than we were in ’94. It really makes me feel good to realize how much they've grown and learned."

Gingrich said Scott has "had the guts" to say "you may not like all of my ideas, but at least I have ideas, what are yours?"

Scott recently ran afoul of McConnell for setting out his own legislative agenda. 

Gingrich, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, also criticized McConnell for what he consider a leadership style of: "Don't tell anybody what you're going to do, and then I'll go into a room and I'll make all the decisions."

"I think, frankly, that's as bad as Pelosi is," he said.

As an example, Gingrich said when congressional leaders bring in 3,200-page bills and "only they and their staff gets to figure out what's going on, that's not representative government."

Gingrich predicted the GOP will win the 2022 midterm election fight. And criticizes the spectrum of Democrat leadership in Washington – from the president, to the vice president to the Senate majority leader to the House speaker, respectively.

"The Biden, Harris, Schumer, Pelosi team is so bad," he said. "And remember, on the House side, the top three Democrats are so old collectively that if you add their years up, it's 1777 before we had a Constitution. They're literally a generation older than the House Republican leadership. It's remarkable. They don't have a clue what's going on in the room."

Gingrich also mentioned Hawaii Democratic Rep. Kai Kahele, who amid the pandemic votes primarily by proxy and hasn't shown up at the Capitol for months, yet still flies for a commercial airline to maintain is pilot's license.

"That's going to be the symbol of Pelosi's dictatorship," Gingrich said. "Just send me your proxy, I'll vote it for you. You don't have to. Well, that's the opposite of representative government. The people of half of the state of Hawaii have been denied effective representation for the last year and a half. And that's truly wrong if you're an American."

Solomon asked Gingrich whether McConnell should remain the Senate GOP leader or move on.

"I think the Senate Republicans have to decide that, but I would hope [they] collectively are going to sit down and talk through," he responded. "I mean, are they going to offer something positive for America, or are they going to just run negative?"

He also said: "I think this is a very important moment of decision for the U.S. Senate, and I think it's very important that they understand what Kevin McCarthy is doing and what Rick Scott's doing. At a moment of turmoil and confusion and enormous pain, the American people deserve a Republican Senate and a Republican House that tells us before the election what they're going to do, then actually does it so we can hold them accountable."

Gingrich specified that he is "not against" McConnell remaining leader but he's "against Mitch remaining leader if it's going to be a secret closed leadership."

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