Dec 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Newt Gingrich warns GOP: Biden's winning

Then-Sen. Joe Biden and Newt Gingrich on "Meet the Press" in 2006.

Then-Sen. Joe Biden and Newt Gingrich on "Meet the Press" in 2006. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press

President Biden "has carefully and cautiously waged war in Ukraine with no American troops." He just "had one of the best first term off-year elections in history." Nancy Pelosi? Ron Klain? Jill Biden?

  • No. That was Newt Gingrich — leader of the Republican revolution of 1994, which swept him in as speaker of the House.
  • "Quit Underestimating President Biden," Gingrich wrote in a column this week. "[C]onservatives' hostility to the Biden administration ... tends to blind us to just how effective Biden has been on his terms."

Why it matters: Gingrich has a point. If you look at Biden's legislative accomplishments, he has exceeded expectations for a Congress where Democrats hold narrow majorities, and a country that's split in two.

Gingrich, 79, told me: "I was thinking about football and the clarity of winning and losing. It hit me that, measured by his goals, Biden has been much more successful than we have been willing to credit."

Biden agrees. Advisers tell me he hasn't made a formal decision about running again — that'll come over Christmas, ultimately made by him and the first lady.

  • But his friends tell me they think only two things could stop him: health or Jill.

With Republicans controlling the House, Biden won't be able to pass much in the second term. But the subtext of his Year 3 and 4 travel around the country will be: Look at my results.

  • He'll argue that he helped produce record-low joblessness, America-first jobs in manufacturing and computer chips, and the largest infrastructure and green energy bills in history.

The way the White House will sell the record: "The most significant economic recovery package since Roosevelt ... The largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower ... The most sweeping gun reform bill since Clinton ... Landmark China competitiveness legislation that's already bringing manufacturing jobs back from overseas ... The largest climate change bill in history."

Gingrich had this hard talk for his own party: "Today there is not nearly enough understanding (or acknowledgement) among leading Republicans that our system and approach failed."

  • "We need to rethink from the ground up how we are going to Defeat Big Government Socialism — including almost inevitable second-time Democrat Presidential Nominee Biden."
  • "This is a much bigger challenge than I would have guessed before the election."

The bottom line: A month ago, it would have been tough to imagine a leader of the GOP's '90s-era New Right arguing that Joe Biden is not just a winner — but a role model.

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