Gingrich: Senate might still be GOP if Rumsfeld gone sooner - - Columbia, South Carolina

Gingrich: Senate might still be GOP if Rumsfeld gone sooner

(Birmingham, Alabama-AP) November 10, 2006 - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says the Republican Party likely would have retained control of the US Senate if President Bush had fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before Tuesday's election.

Gingrich, who helped engineer the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, said Rumsfeld got blamed for mistakes that weren't his, and he deserves credit for improving the US military.

Gingrich said, "Over time, history will indicate he was a very positive force."

Bush announced Rumsfeld's departure on Wednesday. Gingrich was in Birmingham Thursday night to speak to a dinner for the Alabama Policy Institute, a conservative think tank based in Birmingham.

The former House speaker said some of the things that contributed to Republicans losing control of the House and Senate were too many missteps in handling immigration, the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina; too many scandals plaguing the party; and consultants giving the party bad advice.

Gingrich added, "People expect a level of performance they are not getting.

When asked if he might run for president in 2008, Gingrich said he will look at that next year.

Posted 9:13pm by Chantelle Janelle

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