Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump’s border wall could backfire after an illegal immigrant commits a “disastrous crime.”
Gingrich appeared on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday to discuss a possible government shutdown over illegal immigration and claimed it would hurt both sides.
“They may win for two weeks but, again, I think the president’s probably trying to get past the Christmas season. I’ve always thought, having been through shutdowns when I was speaker, I don’t think shutting the government down on Christmas Eve is a particularly big win for anybody,” he said.
“And I do think the issue of whether the Democrats — you know, they’re one really disastrous crime away from looking really bad. There are problems with people coming into the U.S. illegally. There are people who commit crimes, who come to the U.S. illegally. MS-13 is a threat. And I think for the Democrats to decide they don’t want to protect America is a tough position to take,” Gingrich continued.
He also said the president still has leverage and could refuse to sign the appropriations bill until Congress is able to come to an agreement on immigration.
“I mean his leverage ultimately, if he’s prepared to do it, is to refuse to accept the appropriations bill,” Gingrich said. “I could imagine getting to an agreement where they pass two separate bills, one for Homeland Security, which he would refuse to sign [sic] and one for the rest of the government.”
“The Democrats think it is to their advantage to posture against security. The president thinks it is very much his responsibility to protect Americans. That’s a real fight. And I don’t know that he minds dragging it out for a while,” he concluded.