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Tamar Hallerman

Your afternoon jolt: ‘Pour acid on the petunias’ edition

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CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) poses for a selfie on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich poses for a selfie with an RNC delegate on the floor of Quicken Loans Arena last night in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Happy lunch hour, folks. You’ll have to excuse our tardiness — we’ve got a killer post-RNC hangover after the very eventful and historic evening that was last night. We’ll make it up to you, though, starting with this A+ Newt Gingrich quote about Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s stunner of a speech on Wednesday:

“It’s like going to your neighbor’s garden party so you could pour acid on the petunias.”

Cruz, of course, was jeered by the crowd for failing to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump, and he doubled down on his position yesterday.

What’s notable here is how much Gingrich has shifted now that the prime time cameras have been turned off. When Gingrich took the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday shortly after Cruz’s exit, he deviated off his prepared remarks to try and paper over the Texas’s snub, saying that Cruz meant Republicans should vote for Trump when he said to “vote your conscience.”

So much for that, we guess. The former Georgia lawmaker had a markedly different tone a day later, per Politico:

“It was the kind of move that let Ted Cruz be totally isolated. And if he goes back to the Senate retaining this attitude, he will be utterly ineffective and have virtually nobody who will work with him,” Gingrich said on The Mike Gallagher Show, per Politico. “But again, that’s his problem.”


Speaking of Cruz, we’ll be closely watching his visit to Newnan this evening, which we’re told is still on. He’s in town to campaign for state Sen. Mike Crane ahead of Tuesday’s GOP runoff for the 3rd congressional district.

Crane today scooped up the endorsement of D.C.-area group Gun Owners for America. Tim Macy, the group’s chairman, cited Crane’s work in the legislature this year on ‘campus carry’:

“He’s earned GOA’s A+ rating by tenaciously leading the fight in the Georgia state senate to pass to campus carry and to end gun free zones on college campuses.  And he’ll bring that same tenacity with him to the U.S. House of Representatives.”



White supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate today. A registered Republican, Duke said in a video posted on his website that he’s running for the open Louisiana seat currently held by David Vitter.

From the Associated Press:

Duke’s announcement came as the state is grappling with deep racial tensions after the shooting death of a black man by white police officers and the killing of three law enforcement officers by a black man. It also came one day after Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination for president.

Duke said in the video, “I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years. My slogan remains America first.”

Duke’s candidacy was denounced by the chairman of Louisiana’s Republican Party and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.


In case you missed it, there will now be at least four Georgia speakers at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

We told you yesterday about House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s plans to take the podium. Jimmy Carter will speak to Democratic delegates via video, and introducing his grandfather on Tuesday will be former state Sen. Jason Carter.

Democrats said the gaggle of Georgians scheduled to speak is indicative that the state is in play come November:


Former Georgia congressman Jack Kingston will be on Real Time with Bill Maher tonight on HBO.

The lobbyist and one-time Senate candidate will be on a roundtable with Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer and political reporter Ana Marie Cox, per HBO. Former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who was reportedly vetted by the Trump campaign as a vice presidential option, is also a guest.