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 Clinton 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 Trump 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

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