Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized President Trump’s lack of cooperation with the Senate amid broadsides the president has levied at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week.
"It’s not the Senate that’s the problem," Gingrich said in an interview Friday on the Fox Business Channel. "But notice as much as much as I admire the president, and as much as I think he’s handling North Korea well, I think he’s handling the Senate equally badly."
While Gingrich is not the first to point out Trump’s hesitancy to align with Republicans, he pointed to specific tendencies in his vocabulary as his primary fault in his working relationship with the Senate.
“The fact is, first of all, look at the language he uses,” Gingrich said. “It’s not a ‘he-us’ kind of situation. The president is on the field. He’s not an owner sitting up in the box. He’s one of the players.”
The former speaker also underscored what he sees as a strategic fault in how Trump approached the recently failed Senate health care bill, mainly by not targeting Democrats.
“You had all of the conservatives and the president and everyone else wants [sic] to fire away at the Senate Republicans, giving the 10 Democrats who are in Trump states — I mean you have a senator who’s in a state that went 68 percent for Trump, and that Senator voted no —it’d be nice for the president to put most of his fire on the Democrats, and try to move them,” Gingrich said.
Although Gingrich’s comments were couched in praise for President Trump’s bellicose approach to the nuclear threat of North Korea, the loyal Trump surrogate did not mince words in his concluding remarks.
“I disagree with this entire strategy — if it is a strategy,” Gingrich said. “Mitch McConnell is going to be the Republican leader of the Senate, end of story.”