The days of the Cold War are long over for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
In a closed press conference, Gingrich cited Russia, China, and radical Islam as three major concerns. But when asked about Russia, Gingrich told Independent Journal Review:
“We got to decide: do you want to deal with Putin or do you want him as an enemy?”
This comes at a time when Republican candidate Donald Trump is taking some heat for having a more relaxed approach to Russian threats than that presented by 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who called Russia our “biggest geopolitical threat.”
Trump said he would only protect a NATO ally against a Russian attack if they “fulfilled their obligations to us,” and told reporters that he would consider recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea and lifting sanctions if elected.
The former Speaker also said the Russian annexation of Crimea was the fault of President Obama:
“I personally believe had the president gone to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the odds are even money that they would have not taken Crimea.
Putin felt so humiliated. He spent all that money to create the Winter Olympics to then be totally dissed by the West. It just gave him this sense of “what do I have to lose?”
Gingrich believes that when it comes to handling Russia, Trump will take a much different approach compared to what we’ve seen in the past. Right now, he feels that Putin feels contempt for Obama, Kerry and Clinton. According to Gingrich, Trump won’t find himself in the environment where they “talk and do nothing.”
Gingrich believes it’s “strange” that the media and the left have taken an ‘anti-Russian offensive’, saying that the American people don’t care about where the email leak came from:
“I don’t think the average American is going to say “oh let me get this straight, I should be mad at Putin because someone in Russia might have hacked into your badly protected files which show that you are racist, dishonest, corrupt, and trying to cheat Bernie Sanders. But really I should be mad at the Russians.”
In the future, he would like to see a national strategy that deals with Russia, China, and radical Islam all at once, since “history doesn’t allow you to pick and choose.” He believes the best strategy would be to build up American military, reform bureaucracies, and build our space capacities.