On this morning’s “Meet the Press” on NBC, former House speaker Newt Gingrich claimed that Republicans would have a steep, if not impossible, 2016 race if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president.
“If their competitor in ’16 is going to be Hillary Clinton, supported by Bill Clinton and presumably, a still relatively popular President Barack Obama, trying to win that will be truly the Super Bowl. And the Republican Party today is incapable of competing at that level,” Gingrich said.
Clinton has not responded directly to speculation about a potential 2016 bid, saying during a recent press conference in Dublin simply, “I’m frankly looking forward to returning to living a life that enjoys a lot of simple pleasures and gives me time for family and friends and other pursuits,” reported CNN.
But a recent Washington Post/ABC poll found that 57 percent of Americans would support Clinton’s candidacy, and 66 percent of women would.
Gingrich went on to say that Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comment was “an absurdity.”
“We didn’t blow it because of Mitt Romney,” he said. “We blew it because of a party which has refused to engage the reality of American life and refused to think through what the average American needs for a better future.
After guest Bob Woodward referred to an earlier Gingrich comment that after 1964 many believed a Republican would have an almost impossible time winning the presidency only to have Nixon win in 1968, Gingrich said, “So you could have a future campaign between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, representing 36 years of Bushes on national tickets, and I think 38 years of the Clintons at state and federal government,” he said wryly.
Then talk moved to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. While Lawrence O’Donnell said some of his actions as governor would not appeal to the party’s base, Woodward said he has personality and likability and people believe he “tells it like it is.”
Gingrich then seemed to backtrack somewhat on his earlier skepticism, claiming that there are 30 Republican governors who won with broad support. “There is a huge base of competency building out there,” he said, claiming these governors could embarrass the president if their state governments are running more smoothly in a few years than the federal government. He then commented that Texas Gov. Rick Perry “is eagerly awaiting Californians migrating to Texas in large numbers, which they will.”
Watch the video, via NBC, below.
[Image via AFP]
[h/t The Hill]