Republican frontrunner and presumptive nominee Donald Trump may say he can win in November without consolidating the vote of his party, but he is likely working to do so all the same. He may have won “evangelicals” throughout the primaries, but he often lost them to Ted Cruz in areas with high church attendance. Indeed, even as it seems Trump has the nomination sewn up, there is a sort of civil war among conservative Christians as to whether or not they should support him.
In reports of whom Trump might choose as his running mate, little emphasis has fallen on his need to unite the Republican Party. This is as The Donald would have it — far better to continue the fiction that he need not unite his base. Often, news stories remark upon Trump’s forthcoming “move to the center,” which is certainly coming but fits entirely with The Donald’s previous liberal advocacy.
The fact that this “may alienate conservative voters” is not news, but the entire basis of Ted Cruz’s prematurely ended campaign. There is a potential VP pick with Cruz’s religious convictions AND his record of orthodox conservatism.
As The Donald considers a vice presidential pick, one name has emerged at the top of his list. Ironically, he may select the one prominent man in Republican politics who has nearly as checkered a past as his own. Trump has a string of two broken marriages, has bragged about sleeping with other men’s wives, and has declared that he cannot remember ever asking God for forgiveness. These are serious liabilities with conservative Christians.
In order to appeal to those Christians, Trump may select Newt Gingrich, a man with two broken marriages. Perhaps ironically, this might be a rather perfect decision.
Gingrich may have had two affairs which led to him divorcing his two previous wives, but he then converted to Roman Catholicism, and publicly expressed contrition for his past. Naturally, this could be a farce, but Gingrich has also presented himself as the face of faith-based conservatism.
The former Speaker of the House published multiple books and films such as Rediscovering God in America. Another book is set to launch on May 17 of this year. His work highlights the faith-based foundations of the United States, and this, even more than his public acts of contrition, establishes him as a major authority among conservative Christians.
Furthermore, Gingrich is a student of President Ronald Reagan and a proponent of his philosophy. Among other things, the former speaker of the House produced a film about the president, Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny. While the 40th president was not a saint, and his hagiographies can become rather grating, his policy prescriptions have become a sort of “gold standard” of conservatism. Gingrich is perhaps his strongest current acolyte.
It would be premature to say Trump will be able to reconcile all the conservative Christians who describe themselves as “Never Trump,” but tapping Gingrich would likely go a long way to doing so.
“I believe that Newt can mobilize Evangelical and Pro-Life Catholic Christians yes,” Christian organizer David Lane explained. Lane leads the American Renewal Project, an organization which has convinced over 500 pastors to run for local political office.
Next Page: Many more conservative Christians also praise a Trump-Gingrich ticket.
Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, founder of Concerned Women for America and co-founder, with Tim LaHaye and Jerry Falwell, of the Moral Majority in 1979, echoed Lane on the Trump-Gingrich ticket. “Sounds great to me,” she told Lane. “When we lived in Washington, DC, I worked with Newt. The thing that impressed me about Newt was his leadership ability.”
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee declared that “Newt could serve in any position in a Trump administration–be it VP, Chief of Staff, or Secretary of State.” Pastor Brad Atkins, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention in South Carolina, declared that a Gingrich VP slot “could make this very interesting for those that are disenfranchised with the GOP.”
California pastor Jim Garlow outlined three major assets Gingrich would bring to a Trump ticket.
Newt Gingrich as VP would bring to the office three things that Mr. Trump needs: deep political history, policy understanding and an IQ that would be able to — when needed — challenge Mr. Trump’s thinking and political inexperience. Few persons have the depth of knowledge and the self confidence to do that.
Trump views himself as the smartest man in the room, and when it comes to building huge hotels and golf courses, he is. But when Newt enters a room, everyone knows that Gingrich is the governmentally and politically smartest man in the room. Candidly, Trump needs Gingrich.
Fundamentally, the most important function of a vice president isn’t getting a president elected, but helping him to govern. Chemistry and the ability to know Washington well and give important advice to help the president get his agenda passed are the real keys to a good vice president.
Newt Gingrich is one of the few people to whom Trump would really listen, and he also understands the politics of Washington, D.C., more than most. During Gingrich’s tenure as speaker of the House, he spearheaded legislation, and convinced a Democratic president to sign it! Something as pivotal as welfare reform should not be forgotten.
In the end, Newt is a great pick because he could be Trump’s eyes and ears in Washington, D.C., helping the New York real estate mogul navigate another complex American city. He would advise The Donald on which policies he should actually push once elected, and he would be able to coach the Trump-ident on how to get those ideas made into law.
Furthermore, even though Gingrich declared in early April that Trump “would need psychiatric help” if he chose him for the VP slot, the former speaker of the House publicly put his whole weight behind The Donald on Wednesday, after supporting him behind the scenes throughout the primary. An unnamed sourced told Newsmax’s John Gizzi that Gingrich is at the top of Trump’s list. When asked if he had been approached by The Donald, Newt responded with a terse “no.”
In the end, however, many conservatives might be secretly hoping that “no” is really a “not yet.”