An official position in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet doesn’t look like it’s in the cards for Newt Gingrich. And that’s not because one of Trump’s most visible surrogates got frozen out of the process. In fact, the former Speaker of the House said he doesn’t even want a cabinet position.
In a phone interview with Fox News, Gingrich said he would rather be a “chief of ideas” — in essence, a top strategist without official title — in a Trump administration.
Just to make certain, Fox News’ Jenna Lee asked if he was “100 percent sure you don’t want an official role?”
“One hundred percent sure,” Gingrich replied.
“One of the great problems in Washington is people drown so much in the daily news and the scandal, whatever this week’s problem is,” Gingrich said. “There is very little systematic effort to think ahead. If we get back to be the kind of country where you want to be, we will make America great again, it takes five or six years,” Gingrich said.
He also pointed to his “unique ability” for an above-the-fray, ideas-oriented position, having spearheaded 1994’s “Contract With America” and worked closely with the president during the Reagan administration.
“Any of those things bring to bear what I learned over a long time how government and America works,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich also dismissed reports about trouble and dissent within the Trump transition team — most notably from The New York Times — calling it the “same baloney” from “the same people who thought Trump would disappear.”
“They found a new way to be confused,” Newt said.
It is worth pointing out that these are the same people who constantly said the Trump campaign was in chaos, particularly when Kellyanne Conway replaced Paul Manafort at the helm.
An adviser without title is an unusual thing to shoot for, but it may be the most powerful way Gingrich could shape the Trump administration. After all, look at the kind of power Karl Rove had in the Bush White House or Valerie Jarrett had in the Obama administration. Granted, they were senior advisers, but that hardly precludes Gingrich from carrying the same weight they did. And with Gingrich’s extensive ties in Congress, he would be a major asset as a liaison to the Capitol.
Is this the right choice for Newt? We’re certainly going to find out.
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