Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan should be "very cautious" before giving in to pressure to run for House speaker himself.
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday,"
Gingrich said it will be easy to get the 218 votes needed to be elected speaker, but then he will have to get down to the dirty business of running the House, which could immediately sink his popularity.
"You get to keeping the government open through a continuing resolution, and then you get to the debt ceiling," Gingrich said. "And if you're not careful, by Christmas you resemble John Boehner, because these things are hard.
"It's really hard, and John Boehner made it harder, because as an idealist he eliminated earmarks, and so you could no longer say to a member, I'll get you three projects for your district," Gingrich said.
Gingrich placed part of the blame for the current strife within the Republican Party on a centralization of power among the speaker and committee chairmen.
Chairmen prefer to get bills through their committees without amendments because it makes them look more powerful, Gingrich said. But that breeds resentment among members.
"And they tried to then deal with people by punishment, and in a free society – we aren't Russia, we don't have a KGB," he said. "In a free society it's very tricky to try to govern by punishment. And what it leads to is the Freedom Caucus."
The 40 members of the Freedom Caucus are pushing for a more conservative House speaker, and say they could be persuaded to vote for Ryan, though they currently endorse Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.
Gingrich suggests slowing down the process rather than speeding it up.
"All 247 members won an election. All of them deserve to be heard," he said.
As for reports he would consider taking the job again, Gingrich said he was put into a "moustrap" by radio talk show host Sean Hannity, who he asked him about the subject in a way that he couldn't say no.
No one would turn down the job if enough members asked, he said. Though the speaker doesn't have to be a current member of Congress, Gingrich called his chances nill.
"Calista and I are making no plans to return to Capitol Hill," he said.
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