Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich believes the public will forgive Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) for his cocaine bust as long as he doesn’t repeat his mistake, like scandal-plagued former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY).
“Does he come out of rehab genuinely changed or is it all a gimmick? If it’s a gimmick, he won’t survive,” Gingrich told the Naples Daily News on Saturday, as quoted by Saint Peters Blog. “The example we had with Weiner in New York is that people will forgive you once. They won’t forgive you twice.”
Radel took a leave of absence from Congress and entered treatment last month after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession. Since entering treatment, Radel said he is “focusing on my family and health” but vaguely complained about being harrassed.
“I think that there is a tendency, first of all, for people to have (Radel’s) family in their prayers. It’s Thanksgiving and Christmas season,” Gingrich told the Daily News, according to Saint Peters Blog.
Top Florida Republicans haven’t been quite so charitable: Gov. Rick Scott agreed Tuesday with the state GOP chairman’s call for Radel to resign.
[h/t Huffington Post]