GOP should embrace Gingrich as Trump VP choice

With the Veepstakes heading into the homestretch and an announcement expected any day now, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is exactly what our party needs to help bring principled conservative policy credentials and experience to the GOP Presidential ticket.

To those who lie awake at night worrying about what Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE might say next or what agenda he may pursue, I say you should be begging him to choose Gingrich as a running mate. The former Speaker’s policy ideas and political acumen have been well documented for more than 40 years.

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The current narrative would have you believe that Trump needs stability and predictability added to his ticket and Newt does not offer either. But this argument misunderstands what is needed for the political moment we are currently living through.  

No single person in our party could lend more public policy expertise or real experience getting things done in Washington than Newt. He can help lay out a path forward for the Trump campaign, just as he did in 1994 as the architect of the Contract With America..

I often hear that his interest in the Vice Presidency should be obvious because of his blind ambition for power. Having worked for Speaker Gingrich for 7 years – including during his entire Speakership – I can say with confidence that the conventional wisdom about the man is at best inaccurate and wholly inadequate.

The former Speaker is a lot of things, but he has never been one who sought power for power’s sake. Even a cursory review of his early career would reveal a man who has been driven his entire life by the desire to promote ideas and policies that improve the lives of others.  

The title of his 1995 book To Renew America provides a hint as to the mission he has undertaken since the beginning of his career in public service.  Sounds a lot like “Make America Great Again,” doesn’t it?

When he was Speaker, Newt named his Leadership PAC the Monday Morning PAC. Why? Because he had a vision of a Monday Morning in America when citizens would wake up to find they were in the process of realizing their dreams, poverty was being addressed in a way that lifted individuals out of it, jobs were there for those who needed them, and citizens were no longer paying 35 to 50 percent of their income to a self-serving government in Washington.  

This vision is part of the reason that the mid-1990s are seen as the last truly bipartisan era when Washington was able to balance the budget and welfare reform was passed into law. Newt saw then what the country’s direction meant for our children and grandchildren before most Americans could see it, and he still understands that today.

He was fighting the out-of-control growth of the regulatory state and the unsustainable trend of our entitlement programs before many current members of the House GOP had completed high school. For decades he has been carrying the banner against so much of the broken and corrupted system that has led directly to the frustration we see in America today.

Newt is a guy who has always wanted one thing — to fix what is wrong with the country he loves. He just turned 73 and is now free from the burden that haunts so many young politicians today. He doesn’t need to worry about his future career. All he cares about now is whether or not he can make a difference.

The time for hand-wringing is over, look at what America is telling you and really listen to them. As Speaker Ryan has said many times, if we don’t address some of the fiscal perils facing America in the next 4 years, it could become too late to steer us away from a real disaster ahead.

Grande is a former aide to Speaker Gingrich and served as an appointee in the George W. Bush Administration. He is senior vice president of federal and political affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and chairman of the BuildStrong Coalition.