Over at Fox News on Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and WSB Radio provocateur Erick Erickson tangled over efforts to prevent billionaire Donald Trump from grabbing the Republican presidential nomination.
Erickson has become the face of what he calls a “grass-roots conservative” revolt against Trump that is attempting to engineer a partnership between the two remaining GOP candidates, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman, was not kind:
“Have fun. It’s an amusing parlor game. It has no meaning in the real world….
“I’m not sympathetic at all to the Erick Ericksons of the world. If they want to form a ‘let’s elect Hillary Clinton’ club, fine. But they ought to be honest about it. Any effort to help anyone other than the Republican nominee helps Hillary Clinton. And if you think giving Hillary Clinton the Supreme Court, having Hillary Clinton run our foreign policy, having Hillary Clinton support the unions…
“But Erick Erickson’s not playing a risk-free game. It’s not like there’s some pure middle way. If he does not support the Republican nominee, he is functionally supporting Hillary Clinton in the general election.”
Not long afterward, Erickson was brought in for a reply:
“I think Newt should be honest. The same polling that Donald Trump cites regularly to show how well he’s doing has consistently shown he’s the only Republican candidate who can’t beat Hillary Clinton. Nineteen of the last 20 polls have shown, without a third party, he loses to Hillary Clinton across the board. He loses to her in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania. Donald Trump can’t beat Hillary Clinton.”
In a WSB Radio session with Scott Slade this morning, Erickson described a pitch made to the Cruz and Kasich camps, by which the Texas senator would campaign solely in the Western states, and the governor of Ohio would stay east of the Mississippi.