Donald Trump is Newt Gingrich's kind of guy, the former speaker of the House said Wednesday.
Speaking to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Gingrich praised Trump as a "phenomenon," before going on to say that he would be open to going on the real estate mogul's reality TV show.
"Oh sure. I mean, why not?" Gingrich said in response to a question from Ingraham about being a participant on "Celebrity Apprentice," a show where contestants compete for Trump's approval on a number of business-related challenges.
"I’ve known the Donald, we’ve done fundraisers together," Gingrich said. "I think Republicans would be so much better off to relax and go on shows like that and be interesting."
Gingrich and Trump teamed up to create an inner-city apprenticeship program in New York City in 2011, back when Gingrich was running for president and hoping to nab Trump's endorsement. Trump ultimately endorsed Mitt Romney, but Gingrich doesn't appear to be holding any grudges.
Earlier in the interview, Gingrich lauded Trump's style of self-promotion, saying that he had done a "remarkable job at branding" himself. When Ingraham suggested that Republicans could take a cue from Trump, Gingrich said that "would require a risk-taking attitude and a willingness to be a little foolish, which most Republicans are horrified at."
While Trump may be different stylistically from most Republicans -- at least in Gingrich's mind -- they will both address a large gathering of GOP followers next week at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Organizers at the American Conservative Union made the announcement on Tuesday, eliciting moans from some conservative commentators who appeared concerned that Trump's presence would harm the event's legitimacy. Trump memorably created a sideshow ahead of the 2012 GOP presidential race when he repeatedly floated the possibility of running, first as a Republican and later as an independent. This all came after he'd mounted a public campaign to uncover Presidential Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate.
In his interview with Ingraham, Gingrich said he didn't know how the ACU came up with its speakers list, especially considering the group's recent high-profile snub of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
"I don’t know what CPAC is today," he said. "It’s huge. It draws lots and lots of people, particularly students. It gets a fair amount of attention in the media. But I don’t know how they define who gets to come in and who doesn’t get to come in. And my sense is the board is not very open and not very clear about, you know whether its personality decisions or what they’re thinking.”
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