Newt Gingrich, who ruled over the House as speaker in the 1990s, is open to the possibility of returning to his former post. In a Tuesday radio interview on Fox News Radio, Gingrich and his wife Callista said that both of them support his return to the speakership if they “are called to duty in any way.”
“I am very prepared,” Gingrich said. “I have been talking with a number of members individually, I am very prepared to help the House Republicans think through what they are doing.”
As TPM reported, Gingrich first hinted he’d be open to resuming the speakership on Thursday after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) abruptly dropped out of the race. In an interview with conservative radio host Sean Hannity, Gingrich said, “This is why George Washington came out of retirement — because there are moments you can’t avoid.”
There is currently no frontrunner in the contest to replace John Boehner (R-OH) as speaker. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Daniel Webster (R-FL) are both running, and many have pressured former vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to make a bid for the job.
Gingrich retired from the House in 1999 following ethics investigations, a rebellion from House conservatives, and GOP losses in the 1998 election. He has not been elected for a federal post since. He ran for the 2012 presidential election as a Republican and has been remained an active figure in the DC political scene, working as a political consultant for conservative think tanks. Both Gingriches acknowledged how difficult it would be for him to resume the speakership.
“My view on this is it has never happened,” Gingrich said. “I don’t think it will happen because it’s almost impossible for an outsider to be able to lead the House.”
His wife concurred, but said that the couple consider themselves “committed citizens” who “have an obligation to listen and to help.”
The Gingriches were visiting “Kilmeade and Friends” to promote their latest books. Callista recently published a new addition to her series of children’s books called “Christmas in America,” while Newt wrote a political thriller titled “Duplicity: A Novel.”