Donald Audtions Veep Choices: Just Say No to Newt

Bob Corker has withdrawn his name from consideration as Donald Trump's running mate. Newt Gingrich is up next, appearing with Thump in Ohio today.

Newt: The man who wanted to put a contract on America as speaker of the House in 1995:

The Republican version of a crime bill in 1995 was even worse. It was called the "Take Back Our Streets Act" which was part of Newt Gingrich's Contract on America (he called it "Contract With America.")


Criminal defense lawyers lobbied long and hard against Gingrich's bill, with success. We used to think of it as the "Korematsu, McCarthy, and Star Chamber Renewal Act."
The details of the bill, which I reported on continuously at the time and described as "A Republican Nightmare" in an effort to defeat it, are here. Once the Second Amendment groups joined the fight against the bill, opposed to its proposal to add a good faith exception for warrantless searches, it was pretty much dead in the water. By the end of 1995, here's how the scorecard turned out:

[T]hings could have been much worse. The House managed to pass five new crime bills: providing for mandatory restitution to crime victims; further limiting the exclusionary rule to allow a "good-faith" exception for warrantless search and seizures; limiting death penalty appeals; increasing penalties for child pornography; and providing "block grants" for community police officers. The Senate has passed only three of the bills: one increasing penalties for child pornography; one regarding the block grants for police officers; and, on December 22, a version of the House bill requiring mandatory victim restitution (but, under the Senate's amendment, a federal judge may forego issuing a victim restitution order in "extraordinary circumstances").

.....This brings the total number of 1995 fully enacted criminal justice bills contained in the Taking Back Our Streets Act (House) and S. 3 (Senate) to a grand total of one (increasing child pornography penalties). Furthermore, the House failed to even raise two of its TBOSA proposals: the repeal of the Assault Weapons Ban that was contained in the 1994 Crime Act; and the mass federalization of, and creation of new mandatory minimum sentences for, state street crimes involving guns.

Newt also advocated for a mandatory death penalty for drug offenders who brought drugs into the U.S. He thought mass executions would be a good deterrent. The New York Times reported in 1995:

Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Friday that he would ask Congress to enact legislation imposing the death penalty on drug smugglers, and he suggested that mass executions of people convicted under such a law might prove an effective deterrent.

..."The first time we execute 27 or 30 or 35 people at one time, and they go around Colombia and France and Thailand and Mexico, and they say, 'Hi, would you like to carry some drugs into the U.S.?' the price of carrying drugs will have gone up dramatically."

...Mr. Gingrich said his proposal, which he said he would make in a bill to be filed next month, would impose a mandatory death penalty on people convicted of bringing illegal drugs into the United States.

He's as bad as Joko Widodo of Indonesia, who has been green-lighting the mass executions of foreign drug traffickers caught in Bali and elsehwhere in the country.

What was his excuse for such a position: "I have made the decision that I love our children enough that we will kill you if you do this."

And, it wasn't just talk. He followed through:

He went on to introduce H.R. 4170 (Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996) to the House of Representatives, which sought to “provide a sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substances”.
Section 2: Increased Penalties For International Drug Trafficking

As I wrote at the time:

What a stupid idea. No country in Central or South America, with the possible exception of Guatemala or Belize, including Mexico, would honor our request for extradition if we didn't take the death penalty off the table. The U.S. was the only country in either North or South America to carry out an execution in 2010. He was really offering the biggest importers, who never personally set foot in the U.S. unless they get extradited, a free pass.

He also changes his mind on issues with the wind. In the early 80's he was a very strong proponent of medical marijuana. Then, in 1996, he did an about-face.

See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral. Now, it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn't change, only the morality… That's why you get to go to jail and I don't.” August 8, 1996, Wall Street Journal

Newt Gingrich offered to run for President for 16 years. No one in his party took him up on it. Leopards don't change their spots. Whoever is advising Donald Trump needs to work harder and find a better choice. And I haven't even gotten to the skeletons in Newt's closet.

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  • Display: Sort:
    There's always Sarah (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 07:45:36 PM EST

    Seems the big question (none / 0) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 02:06:56 PM EST
    is who wants to be Trump's running mate, other than guys like Gingrich, and, of course, Christie. Corker has taken himself out, and Joni Ernst is too busy with the senate and hog castration.

    Gingrich would bring not only young blood (age 73)to the ticket, but would also bring needed ideas to Trump.  Hard to out-do Gingrich's Dickensian plan to loosen up on those child labor laws to instill the work ethic in poor children by having them clean the toilets for the rich kids in their school.

     If Trump is looking for a former, and more recent Republican Speaker of the House, he need look no further than Dennis Hastert, especially given Trump's "conservative populism" schtick: Hastert is known for having his eye out for the little guy.

    Figures Newt... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 02:16:32 PM EST
    is a finalist in the "sell your soul" sweepstakes with Christie.  Whatever illegal but not immoral reefer he smoked musta been some bunk sh*t, that's all I know.

    Why not Ivanka...she'll be 35 just in time for Election Day.  Make it a crime family affair.


    12th Amendment (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 02:42:24 PM EST
    Unless one of them wants to move out of New York.

    TIL (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CST on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:01:47 PM EST
    about the 12th amendment.

    Interesting, thanks.


    assumes facts not in evidence: (none / 0) (#12)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:36:04 PM EST
    "Figures Newt is a finalist in the "sell your soul" sweepstakes with Christie."

    to the best of anyone's knowledge, neither of these individuals has ever displayed a hint of a soul.

    with respect to the current Mrs. Trump and 12A:

    what makes you think she'd be averse to moving out of NY? unless, she had to take her husband with her.


    Ouch (none / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 02:51:21 PM EST
    Needs to be someone (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:01:36 PM EST
    with no future plans to hold political office and would be happy getting a paycheck from Fox News beginning in early November.

    Memories of Newt .... (none / 0) (#7)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:06:57 PM EST
    also called Bringing Back the Nightmare.  

    The funny thing is that Newt & Donald share a boaster's vulnerability ... they forget that they have a vulnerability, and quickly reveal the Achilles heel as they become consumed with their bigness and bluster.  Ah yes ... images of mighty Newt being relegated to the back entrance of Air Force One as he was a passenger with then President Bill Clinton AND the consequent anger he felt and heedlessly acted on leading to his self-imposed downward spiral.  For overreaching, no less.  Ah, the days, my friend! If we could be absolutely certain that a Trump/Gingrich ticket--with the 6 wives between them--would lose in a November trouncing...it would be fun!

    Maybe the Hoosier Mike Pence remains in contention for VP?  (And, what baggage he has!)

    the problem the GOP has, is that every one (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:28:33 PM EST
    of them has baggage. I don't mean carry-on baggage, I mean great big steamer trunks full o' baggage! they have an entire party that has nothing but baggage, so their choices are between odious and grotesque.

    if there truly is a god (any god, i'm not picky) (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:16:37 PM EST
    it will be a Trump - Gingrich republican ticket in Nov. I will lay in a store of decent craft beer and some good popcorn, just to watch the debates, which should be endlessly entertaining!

    I'm with you (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:34:00 PM EST
    Gringrich is the perfect VP for Newt. He can spout insane platitudes that make Trump look like a genius.

    I think that's why (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:42:47 PM EST
    It won't be him.  There is not a stage or stadium big enough to hold both egos at once.

    And the Donald will not be overshadowed.  Newt would overshadow and lead to puppet rumors ala Cheney.

    Just MO.


    Good point (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:50:58 PM EST
    about the egos but I think you could pretty much use puppet rumors with anybody Donald would pick.

    Not Tom Cotton (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:55:44 PM EST
    The guy is practically walking comatose.

    It's completely possible Trump just wants Cotton to be his Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State, which wouldn't be surprising either. But Trump's kind words towards Cotton should be a wake up to the so-called "libertarians for Trump" movement. Cotton is the same guy who said the U.S. has an "under-incarceration problem," and isn't in favor of justice reform (which libertarians are supposed to be for). He also supports the Patriot Act and NSA spying (something libertarian are against) and believes not getting involved in Syria is a failure of U.S. foreign policy. Cotton is a critic of Vladimir Putin (which is good), but that may be more along the lines of, "no, we're the real superpower!"

    And no baggage to speak of.  Other that the, you know, Tehran Tom thing.  Which is a big plus with the neocons.


    While (none / 0) (#17)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:55:58 PM EST
    the ego may be a problem, Newt has that feral attack dog mentality that Trump seems to like in his associates.

    It could be Newt (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 03:58:18 PM EST
    I just don't see it.

    One more thing (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 04:13:39 PM EST
    And I will shut up about it.  Check out some vids of Cotton.  He is Harvard smart and very very ambitious.

    IMO he would be a better smarter and way more effective attack dog than Newt, with all the aforementioned baggage, could ever be.


    on VP and email


    Tehran Tom (none / 0) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 04:06:04 PM EST
    may be too scary even for Trump. But, then he is  a leader, he got those seditious  Republican senators, all 47 of them, to violate the Logan Act.  They were all just grateful that they weren't thrown off a tall building.

    All (none / 0) (#20)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 04:10:38 PM EST
    things considered, Cotton would be a decent pick for Trump, but one hell of a gamble for Cotton. IMO any up and coming GOP star would have to be batsht to tie themselves to this loose cannon.

    He is very young (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 04:15:04 PM EST
    More than enough time for a gig at FOX.  Even if he gave up his seat which I don't think he has to do.

    But Tom Cotton IS batschitt crazy. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 05:19:33 PM EST
    Besides, what's one more loose cannon on the GOP's Ship of Fools?

    That plus (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 05:29:40 PM EST
    A guy who would write a letter to an adversary with the intent of undermining a delicate negotiation might be himself considered pretty darn loose in the cannons department himself.

    Another one bites the dust (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 04:48:56 PM EST
    Just as well, I guess. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 05:16:15 PM EST
    Had that wingbat been hitched together with Trump to pull the GOP Scheisswagen, it would've been full tilt boogie with the cray-cray this fall.

    Corker will have (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 06, 2016 at 09:21:43 PM EST
    a real challenge in winning his re-election race for Senate. He is in deep trouble with the base in TN.

    He didn't help himself (none / 0) (#29)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Jul 07, 2016 at 01:58:04 PM EST
    ...by appearing on a stage with Trump.  Now that photo will by prominently displayed by his opponent.  It no longer matters whether he endorses Trump, the photo will do the damage.

    Why do prominent Republicans do all they can to distance themselves from their presidential candidate?  Don't they support the people's choice?


    While the world was watching (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 07, 2016 at 02:04:53 PM EST
    Comey Donald had some meetings on the Hill which did not go very well

    Ben Sasse (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 07, 2016 at 02:12:50 PM EST
    HAs other plans than going to the convention

    Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse "will not be attending the convention and will instead take his kids to watch some dumpster fires across the state, all of which enjoy more popularity than the current front-runners," his spokesman told the Hill.

    But I love the disclaimer that HuffPo puts at the bottom of every story about Trump now:

    Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

    As with that other book (none / 0) (#32)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 07, 2016 at 03:44:57 PM EST
    he loves, the Bible and its 2 Corinthians, Trump has trouble with the numbers in the US Constitution.  Asked if he would support Article I, he assured the Senators that he would support all of them, up to Article XII-- even though there are only seven Articles (27 amendments).  

     While Trump's numbering issues got the larger notice, my attention went to the Republican senators who found it necessary to inquire about his support of the Constitution, particularly, legislative powers are those of Congress.  

    Perhaps, his Republican colleagues took his Il Duce quote for more than Trump claimed, just a fan of good quotes. And, his expressed admiration for tyrants from Living Putin to Dead Saddam. With little Kim in-between.


    ONION (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 08, 2016 at 06:57:19 PM EST
    Chris Christie (Governor, New Jersey): Christie would be an invaluable echo in the administration.
    Newt Gingrich (Former Speaker of the House, Georgia): Selecting Gingrich would allow the Trump campaign to match Clinton by offering its own unpleasant reminder of the 1990s.
    John Kasich (Governor, Ohio): Kasich would lend a measure of experience and pragmatism to a campaign whose success relies on having neither of those things.
    Ben Carson (Retired Neurosurgeon): The former presidential candidate is likely to wander onto the RNC stage regardless of whether or not he earns the vice presidential nomination.
    Marco Rubio (Senator, Florida): Rubio could be exactly what Trump needs to appeal to defeated, self-loathing Hispanic voters who are now just a shell of the person they once were.
    Mary Fallin (Governor, Oklahoma): Having a woman on his ticket could be the key to making Trump's campaign even more confusing.
    Bob Corker (Senator, Tennessee): The respected senator would pacify those concerned about Trump's foreign policy credentials by providing a more realistic, down-to-earth plan to blow the Middle East into oblivion.
    Brian Sandoval (Governor, Nevada): The Nevada moderate could help tone down Trump's message from demagogic to simply inflammatory.
    Mike Pence (Governor, Indiana): Pence could bolster the ticket as a serious, seasoned GOP leader who only thinks the things that Trump says.
    Jeff Sessions (Senator, Alabama): Although Sessions has valuable and appealing experience from his time in the Senate, Trump admits even he was frightened by how quickly Sessions endorsed him for president.

    Mike Pence (none / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 09, 2016 at 02:16:41 PM EST
    may be just what Trump is looking for.  An anti-gay, misogynistic winger with Congressional experience and a governor.  He is known as not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, and, as your comment says, he thinks the things that Trump says,....and, will do the things that Trump wants. His big selling point to Trump might be Pence's attempt to implement a state-run, taxpayer funded news service.  After the expected storm, he backed off from the Il Duce idea. He would do wonders with the Evangelicals.
    Trumpence 2016.

    And Mike Pence it is. (none / 0) (#35)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jul 14, 2016 at 11:38:25 AM EST
    Trump has chosen Pence as his running mate. Good news for Indiana.