Did leaked audio of Newt talking behind Trump’s back at private event cost him the VP spot?

Before Donald Trump tapped Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate on Saturday, many believed Newt Gingrich would be his selection.

But there are reports that his chances could have been damaged when audio of the former House speaker criticizing Trump at a private event in February leaked last week.

In the recording, obtained by Pro Publica, Gingrich was heard saying that Trump is “not a conservative,” but he did praise his marketing strategy.

“This is not a guy who’s shallow or simple, but he is a guy who knows an immense amount about marketing, which is why he talks at a fourth-grade level. He talks at the lowest level of any candidate in either party, not because he’s stupid,” Gingrich said to the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington “He does it because he knows if you talk at a fourth-grade level everybody can understand you.”

He said he feared Trump could lose in a landslide if he didn’t figure out how to “transition from you know, language for fourth graders to real policy.”

Gingrich also expressed concerns about how Trump would go from campaigner to commander-in-chief.

“I do not believe anybody, including Trump, can tell you what a Trump presidency would be like because he won’t know,” he said.

But he believes his campaign is worthy of study.

“He has somehow figured out some weird combination of the Kardashians. I mean, think about it, the whole tweeting, the whole continuous noise,” he said, adding that Trump “has found a formula which is worthy of study. I operate on the premise that when people are doing something really smart, even if I don’t like it, or I don’t understand it, it’s my job to figure them out, not their job to figure me out.”

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Carmine Sabia

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