CLEVELAND – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished as a runner-up in the race to be Donald Trump’s running mate, but he told reporters Monday morning that Trump did the right thing in choosing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence instead.
“I agree entirely that given what he needs to get done, Mike Pence will do much more to unify the party than I would,” Gingrich said after speaking at the New York Republican Party’s breakfast before the start of the Republican National Convention.
Gingrich said that he had a 2½-hour discussion with Trump before Pence’s selection.
“He and I had talked about it at length,” Gingrich said. “I knew exactly what he was going to do.”
Gingrich said he didn’t know if he would have a role in a Trump administration, but he added: “I think I’ll have plenty of access.”
While acknowledging that the Republican Party remains divided as its convention starts, Gingrich said he was unconcerned that so many prominent members of the party – such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former New York Gov. George Pataki – were not at the convention.
Noting that many of those who have stayed away lost to Trump in the GOP primaries, Gingrich said: “I’ve never seen so many sore losers. I’m not impressed.”
Gingrich also said it’s important for the party to make the case to undecided voters that electing Democrat Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for the country.
He noted that countries such as Iraq and Syria fell apart while Clinton was secretary of state, and he charged that she held 76 secret meetings while serving at the State Department, including many with donors to the Clinton Foundation.
That’s just one more sign that Clinton is ethically unfit for the presidency, Gingrich said.
“The biggest thing is that she is a liar and a criminal,” Gingrich said. “She is the most corrupt person ever to run for president of the United States. And only the fact that the media protects her blocks you from learning that.”