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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) appeared on John Catsimatidis' "Cats Roundtable," with his remarks on the 2024 presidential election in particular gaining attention as he reminded that "incumbent presidents have enormous power." Such comments were specifically in regards to Biden facing a primary challenger from within the Democratic Party. "It's very tough to take out an incumbent president inside his own party," he told Catsimatidis, using the examples of how then incumbent presidents Gerald Ford beat Ronald Reagan in 1976 and Jimmy Carter beat Ted Kennedy in 1980, though both went on to lose reelection.
Gingrich also isn't even sure that Biden will be the nominee for next year. "You don't know this far out if Biden will feel healthy enough, or what's going on," he told Catsimatidis. "My working assumption is that whoever runs, whether it's Biden or somebody else, they're going to have to carry the burden of four years of bad government, bad economy, open borders, weakness around the world, rising crime rates, all the different things you and I know are going on, and that's all going to be causing them enormous problems."
When Biden will announce his reelection plans has become something of a moving target. It was once thought to be shortly after he gave his State of the Union address, but that was over two months ago, on February 7. The president himself gave a bumbling non-answer last week, and now sources say that the announcement is not expected before the summer.
Gingrich and Catsimatidis had discussed those problems earlier in the segment, including and especially how they apply to 2024. Gingrich framed it as a debate "between thiose who think it's okay for America to get weaker and weaker and weaker and those who believe we have to get back to being the leading country and being capable of what is in our education system, our manufacturing system, our defense system." He added how "today we weak leadership which has the wrong ideas, which seems to be relatively happy to see America decay and decline while our enemies get stronger."
The former speaker also believes that Biden is to blame for those problems, which also extend to the world stage and how other countries view the United States. As Catsimatidis lamented foreign policy issues and how "it's just getting out of control," Gingrich offered that "when you have a very weak president who doesn't understand that we have real enemies and doesn't understand the requirements of real strength, and the world begins to realize that the United States is very unreliable."
Gingrich listed the "chaos" of the withdrawal in Afghanistan and the "confusion about Ukraine as such examples. "People watch all this and they think 'you know, the great America that was competent and powerful and capable doesn't exist and I better make a new deal because I can no longer rely on the Americans,' and that's what's going on," he added.
When it comes to the Republican primary, Gingrich believes "right now [Trump's] clearly the front runner for the nomination," though acknowledged whether he can win the primary and then the general election is "one of the things he has to convince people of." He also offered "I think you can't rule out [Gov. Ron] DeSantis" and that Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia "is somebody who will probably will come under some consideration."
With how many months left to go there is, Gingrich believes "there may very be 10 or 12 candidates before this is over." And Gingrich, who himself ran for president in 2012, also reminded that former President Donald Trump didn't even announce his winning campaign until June 2015.
"I think this is going to be a year when there are a lot of things up in the air and then we'll have to wait and see how it sorts itself out. I'm not convinced that it's clear yet," he cautioned. "Many things can happen between now and the nomination and a lot more can happen between now and the general election."
Gingrich helped usher in what has been known as the "Republican Revolution" during the 1994 midterm elections, when his party offered voters what was known as the "Contract with America." Democrats lost 52 seats in the House that year.
While it was hoped and even expected that Republicans could once again recreate such success, that did not turn out to be the case, as Democrats also lost nine seats. The 2022 plan, the "Commitment to America," did not come out until last September.
On the morning following the 2022 midterm elections, when Democrats performed far better than expected, Gingrich reiterated while on Fox News that he was one of those who had been "surprised" that the results were not better for Republicans.
In the end, though, Gingrich offered that perhaps President Joe Biden's strategy of going after his Republican opponents and threatening that democracy was on the line worked. "Much as I think it's despicable," Gingrich made clear about such a strategy, "the Biden strategy of demonizing Republicans, and attacking Republicans, and defaming Republicans, I think did have an impact and will probably become the definition of the Democratic Party."