Newt Gingrich is so hoping to become Donald Trump’s pick for vice president, he almost has “Choose Me, Donald!” emblazoned on his forehead. So it was a bit of a shock to see Gingrich rip Trump’s attacks on a Hispanic judge hearing the Trump University case. But Gingrich is hardly the guy to call out anyone else’s bigotry.
Fox News pundits seem almost as eager as Gingrich for him to be Trump’s running mate. So the decision to host him as, essentially, a Trump spokesman on Fox News Sunday today said almost as much as anything Gingrich had to say.
Nor do I think it was just happenstance that host Chris Wallace's first question to Gingrich was about Trump’s accusation that the Trump University judge is biased against him just because he’s “a Mexican.”
From the FoxNews.com transcript (with my emphases):
WALLACE: Are you comfortable with a potential president attacking a federal judge for his heritage?
GINGRICH: No. This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made and I think it’s inexcusable. He has every right to criticize a judge and he has every right to say certain decisions aren’t right and his attorneys can file to move the venue from the judge.
But, first of all, this judge was born in Indiana. He is an American, period. When you come to America, you get to become an American. And Trump who has grandparents who came to the U.S. should understand this as much as anybody.
Second, to characterize, you know—if a liberal were to attack Justice Clarence Thomas on the grounds that he’s black, we would all go crazy. Every conservative would say it was wrong and it was racism.
And Trump has got to, I think, move to a new level. This is no longer the primaries. He’s no longer an interesting contender. He is now the potential leader of the United States and he’s got to move his game up to the level of being a potential leader.
WALLACE: Do you consider what this—he did her racism?
GINGRICH: I think that it was a mistake. I think that—I hope it was sloppiness. He says on other occasions that he has many Mexican friends, et cetera, but that’s irrelevant. This judge is not Mexican.
This judge is an American citizen and deserves to be treated—now, that means he can attack him as a judge and say he is a liberal and he is against me and doing things I don’t agree with and he has lawyers who are supposed to be doing that. If it’s a good case they should file to change the venue.
I’m always glad to see someone tamp down racism, especially on Fox. But, as Media Matters reports, Gingrich has a long history of bigoted comments, such as complaining about President Obama’s “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,” and comparing a proposed Islamic center a few blocks from Ground Zero to a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.
It’s possible, of course, that Gingrich has suddenly become sensitive. If I had to guess, I'd say he’s concerned about Trump driving away crucial Hispanic voters. I’d say the same about Fox, which titled its video of the interview – always a hint at the political messaging to come - “Newt Gingrich calls Trump's attacks on judge 'inexcusable.'”
Watch it below, from the June 5 Fox News Sunday.
I agree, though. I don’t see it either. I think Trump will pick a lackey.
Every Republican who can build a record of having criticized The Gilded Toad will definitely have the inside running when they try to put their party back together again after the November bloodbath. What a blithering idiot that Ryan is for falling in line like a lamb to the slaughter. The future was his for the taking.