Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tells Breitbart News that if Donald Trump wins big in Florida today, the party “won’t be able to stop him.”
“If Trump gets big numbers in Florida, you’re not going to be able to stop him. You’ll just tear the party apart,” he said.
“If Trump wins Florida by the margin anticipated, then [Sen. Marco] Rubio could stay in just to affect the numbers, but he won’t be a serious candidate anymore,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich is watching Florida closely, but he’s also looking at Ohio, where his former House Budget chairman John Kasich is looking to get a win to keep himself alive going into the convention, amid pressure from Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz.
“If Kasich wins Ohio, he could certainly stay in and be part of a potential negotiating block,” Gingrich said. “But in five Ohio counties, 20 percent of the voters are people who voted in the Democratic primary in the past. That is very, very good for Trump.”
Gingrich threw cold water all over the idea of a brokered convention, which Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has been plotting. If no candidate gets 50 percent of the delegates on the first ballot, then on the second ballot the pledged delegates can become “un-pledged” and support whomever the party bosses tell them to support.
“It’s childish nonsense,” Gingrich said. “There are two potential presidential nominees. One is named Donald. One is named Ted. The idea that some clever Washington intellectual or power broker — put quote marks around ‘power broker’— can step into an election in which millions have voted and magically change the trajectory of history? It’s goofy. There’s two players standing.”
Gingrich speculated that Trump and Cruz might actually form an alliance, similar to how they did in the early days of the campaign, in order to prevent a brokered convention at the last minute.
“If Trump is at 45 percent does he negotiate with Cruz?”
“They will band together and have 85 percent of the delegates between them,” Gingrich said. “Both of these guys are committed to breaking up the old order.”
“How is somebody who’s never run going to stand up on national television and on social media [as the brokered candidate] and not get run out of town?” Gingrich said, referring to a potential Mitt Romney, who could walk onstage at the convention after a backroom deal.
Gingrich’s statement to this reporter in December that “the country is in rebellion” and that Trump can kick down the doors — which was recently cited by Trump-supporter Sen. Jeff Sessions at the National Press Club — went viral and helped to cement Trump’s position as a formidable Republican candidate ahead of the Iowa caucus.
Early exit polls Tuesday showed Trump taking a commanding lead over Rubio and Cruz in Florida.