By “inexcusable” he means “inexcusable for the duration of this news cycle,” which should last, oh, another eight hours or so. If you’re on the Trump train, as Newt has been for months, nothing Trump says is literally inexcusable.
Even so, he hits him hard in the first few minutes of the clip below, just as he hit him hard in an e-mail to the Washington Post yesterday. Should we assume from this that Newt’s already been ruled out for VP? Or is he still enough of a man of principle that he’s willing to risk losing the VP slot because he can’t in good conscience support Trump’s attacks on the judge?
“I don’t know what Trump’s reasoning was, and I don’t care,” former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been supportive of Trump, said in an email. “His description of the judge in terms of his parentage is completely unacceptable.”…
Gingrich issued a warning to the presumptive GOP nominee to stop freelancing and begin listening to advisers and others about how to run his general-election campaign. “If Trump doesn’t start consulting and coordinating with his allies, he will not have any,” Gingrich wrote in the email.
What did this guy think he was getting when he first started talking up Trump months ago? This is who Trump is. He’s not going to change, and not only is he not going to change, he’s taken to warning people publicly that he won’t. The weekend has been filled with Republican Trump accommodationists of varying degrees, from Reince Priebus to Mitch McConnell to Bob Corker, straining for a way to spin his pointless attacks on Judge Curiel. For McConnell, that means not giving a straight answer when asked if what Trump said was racist; for Priebus, it means retreating into the 2012 RNC fantasy about greater outreach to Latinos; for Corker, it means mumbling that Trump has to change even though, again, Trump keeps promising that that won’t happen. Anti-Trumpers swore up and down during the primaries that if Trump ended up as nominee and the establishment embraced him, the party would spend the rest of the year having to defend every rhetorical fart he squeezed out — and now here we are. McConnell et al. bought the ticket. Now they can enjoy the ride.
Here’s Newt, followed by Trump himself on “Face the Nation” musing that, yeah, a Muslim judge in the Trump U case might be unacceptable too. One reason I think Gingrich’s annoyance might be genuine instead of for show is that an old pro like him might believe that most of Trump’s demagoguery to this point has been nothing more than a calculated pander to the right, not the stuff of sincere conviction. Gingrich himself has engaged in Trumpian rhetoric in the past, once accusing Obama of “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.” Newt might have said that for strategic reasons, expecting that it’d buy him some cheap cred as a right-wing populist ahead of his 2012 presidential run. If so, he may have assumed that Trump’s own excesses are similarly strategic and that Trump can dial them back at will. What if they aren’t, and what if Newt’s only figuring that out now? What’s the strategic value at this point of taking jabs at the “Mexican” judge in a civil suit that no one would otherwise care about?
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 5, 2016