Gingrich for Secretary of State? He’d rather be a ‘senior planner’

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich introduces Donald Trump at a July rally in Ohio. John Sommers II/Getty

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich introduces Donald Trump at a July rally in Ohio. John Sommers II/Getty

He was a finalist for Donald Trump’s vice president and one of the few prominent Republicans to defend the New York businessman during the roughest stretches of his campaign. And now former House Speaker Newt Gingrich seems ready to reap the rewards.

As reports swirl that he could be in line to be Trump’s Secretary of State, the ex-Georgia lawmaker has his own vision for his role. And one that seems firmly outside the Cabinet orbit.

“My goal is to be the senior planner looking at the totality of the federal government and thinking through how to design that,” he said Thursday on a conference call with reporters.

“And to do that you have to be an outsider because I think it’s virtually impossible to be in the government and maintain the strategic focus you need if you want very, very large scale change,” he added. “So that’s what I hope I’ll be able to work out.”

Gingrich, now a senior adviser with the Dentons mega-law firm, has talked about that role before, telling The Hill in July that he wants to be empowered to probe “any program in any department, examine it and report directly to the president.”

He also said he expected Trump to repeal many of President Barack Obama’s executive orders on the first day in office, and then shift to dismantling the Affordable Care Act and other sweeping legislation. As for other Cabinet posts, he predicted former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions were shoo-ins.

More: The Georgians who have a shot at Donald Trump’s Cabinet


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