Dem pollster blames Gingrich for current partisan strife

Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg said in an interview that aired Thursday on "What America's Thinking" that the current partisan environment in the U.S. stemmed from former Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-Ga.) tenure. 

"I think the current situation we're in really starts in 1994 with Newt Gingrich," Greenberg, a partner at Greenberg Quinlan Rosener, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Thursday. 

"Trump is the apex or the pinnacle, but it starts with Gingrich, who does a lot of things in how he runs Congress and how he sort of creates a national conversation around fighting, around government shutdowns, as opposed to [former Speaker] Tip O'Neil [D-Mass.] working with [former President] Reagan to try to keep things going," she continued. 

Gingrich's tenure as House speaker included the longest government shutdown on record as a result of failed budget talks between him and then-President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBiden's climate plans can cut emissions and also be good politics Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College Obama: 'Hopeless' to try to sell as many books as Michelle MORE in 1995 into 1996. 

Polling at the time showed that most people blamed Gingrich and Republicans for the shutdown. 

There are new worries of a partial government shutdown by Dec. 21 if President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE and Democrats cannot reach a deal.

Trump on Tuesday threatened a shutdown if Congress does not approve $5 billion in funding he's seeking for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

— Julia Manchester