Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Sunday said Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanPaul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender GOP lawmaker calls for select committee on Russia Matt Schlapp: 5 lessons Trump, Ryan must learn from healthcare debate MORE (R-Wis.) to be “very cautious” with his decision on whether to run for Speaker.
“I think Paul should be very cautious,” Gingrich, who served as Speaker from 1995 to 1999, said on "Fox News Sunday." “He is the most prestigious member of the House on the Republican side, he has the best future, he’s still very young. It’s easy to get 218 on the first vote, and then you get to keeping the government open through a continuing resolution, and then you get to the debt ceiling, and if you’re not careful, by Christmas you resemble John BoehnerJohn BoehnerPaul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender Matt Schlapp: 5 lessons Trump, Ryan must learn from healthcare debate Nunes rebuffs calls for recusal MORE.”
Gingrich said Boehner made it more difficult to govern in the House by getting rid of earmarks and punishing dissent rather than rewarding loyalty.
“We’ve gone through a period of centralization, where more and more power was residing in fewer and fewer people, and they try to then deal with people by punishment,” Gingrich said.
“In free societies, it’s very difficult to try to govern by punishment, and what it leads to is things like the Freedom Caucus,” he added.
Gingrich said dissatisfied Republicans in the House have their fingers on the pulse of the nation.
“Sixty percent of Republican voters say they disliked the leadership in Congress, 2 percent said they strongly approved. Two percent is a statistical error,” Gingrich said. “You’re living in a world where I would argue the turmoil in the House is closer to where the country is.”
“I don’t think it’s my party. I think it’s the country,” Gingrich said.
Boehner postponed the election for his successor after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suddenly dropped out of the race last week.