Newt Gingrich says Republicans lost the House because of ‘union-based machines’

"We don't, frankly, know how to compete with them."

Newt Gingrich blamed unions for the GOP loss in the midterms. CREDIT: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Newt Gingrich blamed unions for the GOP loss in the midterms. CREDIT: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Newt Gingrich blamed GOP losses in California, New Jersey, and New York on unions, during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.

“Is that what was defeated in California, Trump Republicanism, Newt?” Ingraham asked the former House speaker late Friday, after airing a clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

The video clip from the rival news network aired on The Ingraham Angle showed a map of New Jersey’s new congressional delegation, which will now will have just a single Republican following this month’s midterm elections.

“I think we have to face the reality that in the largest state in the country, California, and the fourth largest state in the country, New York, the size of the union-based machines are now so enormous that we don’t frankly know how to compete with them,” Gingrich said. “I mean, that’s how big this problem is.”

In an apparent attempt to highlight his point, Gingrich pointed to a recent incident in Seattle, Washington, where a city council candidate dropped out of the race earlier this week after he said his family had allegedly been harassed throughout the campaign.


The candidate, Christopher Rufo, who was running as an independent, did not make any mention of unions when he dropped out of the race.

“I had hoped that this would be a campaign of ideas, but I quickly discovered that the activists in this city have no interest in ideas,” Rufo wrote in an email to supporters. “Since the campaign launch, they have harassed and threatened my family nonstop. I was prepared to take the heat, but unfortunately, they have focused their hatred on my wife and children.”

Gingrich tied the alleged harassment back to unions.

“We have a real problem in our largest state, California, and our fourth largest state, New York, in that both now are centers of enormous union-based power that is so brutal and has so much money that we frankly right now don’t know how to compete with them,” he said.

Ingraham offered her own explanation for the Republican wipeout.

“There’s mass immigration that’s changed California, no doubt about it,” she said. “And in many races, there’s no Republican running at all. They’re just basically two Democrats running against each other. This has been happening over years. This didn’t just start happening with Trump. That’s part of the facile analysis. This has been the process over two decades, at least in California.”


Ingraham’s declaration that “mass immigration” and no Republican in the race in California at all is simply untrue.

In Orange County, traditionally a Republican stronghold in the Golden State, there was a Republican in every congressional race, and nearly every single one has lost, while votes are still being counted in the last race, where Republican Young Kim and Democrat Gil Cisneros are in a dead heat. It also bears pointing out that the area, birthplace of Ronald Reagan conservatism, is not known particularly as a union stronghold.

As Ingraham referenced Friday, New Jersey also felt the effects of the blue wave. While, in 2016, New Jersey’s delegation was split evenly, it is now 11-1 for Democrats. One of the most closely watched races in the states was finally called Wednesday, making former Obama administration official Andy Kim the official victor, ousting incumbent Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ).

Kim had a simple explanation for his win, one that had nothing to do with union-based machine power or activist harassment or mass immigration or the lie that no Republican was in the race. It, he said, was about health care.


“MacArthur wrote the amendment that gutted pre-existing condition protections and he can’t run away from it,” Kim said earlier this year. “His name is on it — the MacArthur amendment.”