The Republican who changed the course of the Bill Clinton presidency by turning the 1994 mid-term elections into a national referendum on liberal policies is seeing a new chance for Republicans to turn the 2016 election into a national referendum on the future of the country.
And Newt Gingrich — the former speaker of the House in the 1990s who returned to the political stage in 2012 to challenge Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination — argues that Donald Trump is just the candidate to do it.
In a lengthy video posted to Facebook on the eve of Tuesday’s crucial Indiana Republican primary, the avowed Trump supporter predicted the brash billionaire could make the 2016 election a watershed moment in American politics by turning a state-by-state contest into a national showdown.
“If Trump runs as aggressive a campaign as he has in the primaries, all 50 states could be in play,” Gingrich said. “It could be a very different election than anyone expects.”
The major difference Gingrich sees playing out this year is the ubiquitous nature of social media, which makes it possible for a candidate with the kind of momentum Trump has exhibited to motivate supporters across the political spectrum, even in deep blue states like California and New York.
That, he said, could have “Democrats on defensive virtually everywhere in the country. Particularly if Trump decides to go big.”
Is there anyone watching the 2016 contest so far – Trump supporter or opponent – who doubts that the man will go big?
Answering questions from Facebook viewers, Gingrich expounded on the theme. The unexpectedly strong challenge Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has mounted to Hillary Clinton’s nomination for the Democrats only underscores the former secretary of state’s vulnerability in a general election, he said.
If Clinton does eventually secure the nomination — which appears to be a sure bet at this point — the young people who turned out for Sanders in state after state could well find their way into the Trump camp come Election Day, Gingrich said.
Trump has said the same thing as TPNN reported.
Clinton’s ongoing email scandal, her deep and embarrassing (for a Democrat) ties to the financial world, and the continuing cloud that hangs over the global money laundering operation known as the Clinton Foundation will make it impossible for her to count on former Sanders’ supporters, Gingrich pointed out.
“There will be a lot of Democrats out there looking for someone to go to,” he predicted.
And that “someone” could well be former reality-television star and real estate billionaire Donald Trump.
That means even Republicans who have opposed Trump in the primary season need to get on board for the general election, Gingrich said.
“I tell all the folks who have the ‘Never Trump’ sign, they need to replace it with a ‘Never Hillary’ sign,” said the former House speaker.
He might be telling a lot of people that between now and November.