WASHINGTON—As former President Donald Trump flirts with announcing a run to retake the White House, his loyalists gathered in Washington for the America First Policy Summit, where a key speech suggested that Trump was part of something larger than himself.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich traced Trump’s policies to those of the 1994 Contract With America which he led after the Republicans seized the House for the first time in four decades. He then traces the America First policies further back to Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the agenda Reagan advocated as early as 1965.
“We were standing on Reagan’s shoulders,” he said of the 1994 policy platform.
Gingrich spoke Monday to the 1,200 attendees at the America First Policy Institute, a group set up in 2021 to continue the work on the Trump agenda. The AFPI summit features more than 150 leading conservative voices, including present and former members of Congress and high-ranking administration officials. Trump will deliver Tuesday’s keynote speech.
As Republicans try to win back Congress, Gingrich called on them to run “a big campaign, not a small one.” The former speaker said the campaign should be based on the serious questions facing Americans, such as rising food and energy costs, a crime wave aggravated by progressive prosecutors, foreign policy weakness, and schools disregarding parents’ wishes about what their children are taught.
And they should ignore Democrat distractions, like Raphael Warnock’s attack ads on Herschel Walker in Georgia’s Senate campaign or the Jan. 6 investigation, which he called “a Stalinist show trial disguised as a Congressional hearing.”
Americans are tuning out the latter, he said. They want the larger questions of the day addressed. Republicans can win when they do that, take a united stance on them and commit themselves publicly, he added.
It worked in 1994, and it worked earlier when Reagan not only swept into office in 1980 but showed coattails long enough for Republicans to take the Senate for the first time in 26 years.