Politics make for strange bedfellows and nowhere is there a more odd pairing than former Republican speaker Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump.
Gingrich is fast making a habit of coming to the defense of the Republican presidential front-runner. The famous politician was Johnny-on-the-spot on Friday when Trump canceled a scheduled appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
While rival Marco Rubio was eviscerated on social media last week for being slow to commit to attending the annual event held by the American Conservative Union, Gingrich described Trump’s cancellation as the “right” thing to do:
Trump was right to skip CPAC. The votes are in Kansas not Washington. Why give the anti-trump activists a target
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) March 4, 2016
Trump said in a statement Friday that he would instead be campaigning in Kansas and Florida, but ACU chairman Matt Schlapp appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” to say the candidate “wanted to dictate to us what the rules would be for his appearance and we decided that would not be appropriate.”
Schlapp said Trump objected to taking questions from CPAC attendees, a stipulation candidates were asked to agree to.
“We made [it] very clear with him, you’re allowed to give a speech, but you have to answer questions,” the chairman told Fox Business Network.
The reaction on social media to Gingrich’s intervention was mixed. Trump supporters were only too glad to have his support, and others disappointed in the former speaker.
Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
@newtgingrich Newt, you have turned into another foolish Trump shill. I am embarrassed for you and have lost all respect
— Ken Hart (@Hoghart1) March 4, 2016
— Sharing Information (@InformationAdd) March 4, 2016
— The ConservativeDiva (@ConsrvativeDiva) March 5, 2016
@newtgingrich I’m old enough to remember when Newt was conservative and sided with conservatives. Why does he defend large gov Trump?
— Nessuno (@NessunoIm) March 4, 2016
@newtgingrich Exactly. Some of us remember character assassination against you. No other speaker accomplished as much in my lifetime.
— KayBDay (@DayontheDay) March 4, 2016
@newtgingrich I really hope that Spk Gingrich joins Trumps team. He’s very bright, experienced and knows DC.
— Patriot 4 Trump (@Patriot4trump1) March 4, 2016
@newtgingrich Do you hear that sound? It is the sound of your credibility, along with your fingers, shrinking.
— Remember Scalia (@Mattfobrien) March 4, 2016
There’s a name for “anti-Trump activists,” @newtgingrich.
They’re called “conservatives.” Maybe you’ll meet one some day.
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) March 4, 2016
.@newtgingrich Because people should keep their commitments, Newt.
— JackFacts (@jackmcoldcuts) March 4, 2016
@newtgingrich in other words, don’t appear in front of people who might disagree with you and stand for your ideas? Oh….
— Matthew Ferrara (@mfcompany) March 4, 2016
When does your endorsement drop? @newtgingrich
— WMBC (@MoonbatCatnip) March 4, 2016
— Get It Right in 2016 (@DraftRyan2016) March 4, 2016