Only months ago, Gingrich privately predicted Trump would lose election in a landslide

Trump and Gingrich.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, rumored to be one of two or three possible vice presidential picks for Donald Trump, recently predicted behind closed doors that Trump would lose the general election in a landslide, ProPublica reports. Addressing the Republican State Leadership Committee in a February speech in Washington, Gingrich wondered, "How we make the transition from, you know, language for fourth graders to real policy, I don't know." His words were confirmed by a previously undisclosed recording of the speech that ProPublica obtained and reviewed.

Still, Gingrich expressed mixed feelings in the private meeting. "[Trump] is not a guy who's shallow or simple, but he is a guy who knows an immense amount about marketing, which is why he talks at a fourth-grade level," Gingrich said. "He talks at the lowest level of any candidate in either party, not because he's stupid. He does it because he knows if you talk at a fourth-grade level everybody can understand you."

Gingrich likened Trump's tweeting and "continuous noise" to "some kind of weird combination of the Kardashians." He cautioned that Trump would face a major loss in November if he didn't change his tone to be more Ronald Reagan than Barry Goldwater: "If he and his team understand this, I suspect they will evolve rapidly," Gingrich said.

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More of Gingrich's comments, including a disparaging remark about Trump not knowing what his own presidency would look like, can be found at ProPublica, here.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.