NATO countries that "aren't doing their fair share" are a source of weakness and should "worry about our commitment," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday while defending Donald Trump's comments in a New York Times article
about honoring the historic alliance.
"They ought to worry about commitment under any circumstances," Gingrich, who has become a key Trump surrogate, told the "CBS This Morning"
"Every president has been saying that the NATO countries do not pay their fair share."
However, Gingrich would not say if he believes Trump wants to terminate the agreement with NATO altogether, but he does think Trump wants to have a "very serious conversation about us being the people who defend people who won't defend themselves."
Also on Thursday, Gingrich addressed his attempt to calm the crowd at the Republican National Convention Wednesday, when he spoke shortly after Sen. Ted Cruz riled the audience by failing to endorse Trump's nomination
Gingrich told the audience that Cruz was pro-Trump and that they "misunderstood one paragraph" of his address, where Cruz said they should vote according to their conscience for the candidate who will "uphold the Constitution."
"In this election there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution," Gingrich told the audience Wednesday.
Thursday morning, Gingrich admitted that it was "a little bit on the fly" speaking like that to the delegates, but it was important because the crowd was "unhappy and restive."
He also said he thinks Trump made the right decision in allowing Cruz to speak, even though he knew the firebrand Texas senator would not endorse him.
"You either don't let him speak, which that then becomes a huge story, or you let him take the risk," Gingrich said.
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