Donald Trump would undoubtedly like a running mate whose views and personality are similar to his. I can't think of a better mate for him than Newt Gingrich, who at times seems Trumpier than Trump. Here's my pitch for a Trump/Gingrich ticket, which focuses on their similar approaches to life and leadership:
1. Six wives club: Both acknowledge committing adultery with at least one of their respective three wives apiece, while publicly promoting family values. Gingrich served his first wife with divorce papers while she was recovering from cancer surgery. He next married his then-mistress, whom he later divorced to marry wife number three, a staffer.
2. Revenge on political enemies: Gingrich admitted to reporters that he led the disastrous shutdown of the government in 1995 partly because he was miffed at President Clinton for relegating him to the rear of Air Force One on a flight home from Yitzhak Rabin's funeral. At least Gingrich didn't make up an unflattering nickname for Bill Clinton, but this is a skill he could learn from the master, who creates offensive nicknames for every competitor and detractor along his political path.
3. Fooling evangelicals: In an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Newt Gingrich gave as a reason for committing adultery that he was working so hard and feeling such passion for this country. Newt believes that God forgave him for his excessive patriotism, and that other good Christians should also forgive him.
Donald Trump said he couldn't disclose his tax returns because of audits, adding, "Maybe I get audited so much because I'm a strong Christian." Really? How much faith does that statement require? At the recent Faith and Freedom Summit, Trump showed his commitment to religious freedom: "We will respect and defend Christian Americans," but said nothing about defending people of other faiths or the non-religious.
4. Concern about national security: Gingrich might not be as enthusiastic as Trump about building walls to counter the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Instead, Gingrich told an appreciative crowd at a South Carolina megachurch about an even more important danger than immigrants: "Removing God from the public arena is the biggest domestic threat to America today."
5. Cries of media bias: Donald Trump is known for denying statements of his that the media has on tape. Not to be outdone, here's how Newt Gingrich claimed that Democrats and the media were dishonest: "So let me say on the record, any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood."
6. Disgraceful political pandering: If Donald Trump slipped on a banana peel, he would probably look for ways to blame it on Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Trump even blamed Hillary for starting the birther movement against Obama.
Newt Gingrich has a long track record of political pandering and hypocrisy, but I think the worst instance happened in 1994 in my home state of South Carolina, where Susan Smith tragically drowned her two children. Three days after the incident and just before the November election, Gingrich said that such violence somehow arose from a Democratic-controlled political system. When asked if the Republican change he was offering the country would stop killings like those in South Carolina, he replied, "Yes. In my judgment, there's no question."
I agree with Newt that we need to change aspects of the society in which Susan Smith was raised. She was not raised with any dreaded liberal influence. Beverly Russell married Susan's mother after she divorced Susan's dad, and from the age of 6 her stepfather raised Susan in a strict church-going home. At age 13, Susan attempted suicide so she could be with her father in heaven. At 15, Susan told authorities that her stepfather had been sexually molesting her for over a year. Susan's mother talked her out of pursuing charges against Russell. At 18, Susan again attempted suicide. At Susan's murder trial, Russell admitted that he was still having sex with his stepdaughter as recently as two months before she killed her children.
Beverly Russell, who had been campaigning for Newt Gingrich, was a Republican leader in South Carolina and county chairman of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, championing "family values" and "school prayer" as partisan Republican issues. Russell urged nationwide prayer during the nine days that Susan Smith had the country hunting for a nonexistent black carjacking kidnapper whom she had blamed. After finally confessing, Susan Smith said she was consoled that her two sons were happy in heaven.
After the 1994 Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, what did Newt do to improve the country? He led his "pro-family" forces in dismembering the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which made it easier for well-connected businessmen like Beverly Russell to keep "it" within the family. Did Gingrich apologize for his political pandering and mischaracterization in the Susan Smith case? No, he was likely pleased by how his unsupported and inaccurate portrayal created the opportunity for him to become Speaker of the House. Donald Trump would have been proud of such winning tactics.
Bottom line: I think I hear political wedding bells. It's hard to find a more compatible running mate for Donald Trump than Newt Gingrich.