Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said GOP front-runner Donald Trump has a 30 percent chance of securing the party nomination for the 2016 presidential election. Gingrich has praised Trump as a transformational figure that will “shatter the traditional patterns.”
During a Dec. 20 appearance a New York radio station AM-970, Gingrich discussed the presidential prospects of the business mogul. The former speaker, who ran for president during the 2012 election, compared Trump to America’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson, and praised his lifetime achievements.
“Oh, I think there’s at least a 30 percent chance he’ll be the nomination,” Gingrich said, according to The Hill.
“He is not a traditional politician,” Gingrich continued. “I always tell people in Washington, look, you need to go and read about Andrew Jackson and read about how totally disruptive Jackson was to begin to understand what Donald Trump would be like if he won.
“ ... I mean, this is a guy who is outside of the regular system, he is totally prepared to be a unique figure, nothing intimidates him, he’s independently wealthy on a great scale, and he achieved a lot in his lifetime.”
Gingrich has previously praised Trump’s ability to tap into the anger of many conservative voters.
"He articulates for millions of people what they believe, and the fact is there are a lot of people very fed up with a Washington government that refuses to be honest about our problems, refuses to be honest about terrorism, refuses to be honest about the source of that terrorism,” Gingrich said during a Dec. 8 sit-down with Fox 35.
However, Gingrich did criticize Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.
"You have Trump on one extreme and Obama on the other,” Gingrich said. “Obama wants to explain to us that anyone can come over because we can trust the government, and Trump is saying they can't come because you can't trust the government, and the truth is in the middle. We need a much better vetting process."
However, while Gingrich has been complimentary of Trump, he also reserves praise for the entire GOP field.
“This is as smart a team of candidates as we have fielded in my lifetime,” Gingrich told The Washington Post during a Dec. 17 interview. “They are raising important issues. The uncertainty is attracting the attention of millions of Americans.”
Asked about which candidate would be the best positioned to defeat Hillary Clinton in a general election, Gingrich answered, “The one we nominate.
“By definition the person who learns enough to become the nominee is almost certainly the best person for the general election,” the former Speaker concluded.