Newt Gingrich lofted sports and entertainment analogies Wednesday about Donald Trump, striking the chord of a coach trying to get his star player out of a vicious slump.
Appearing on Fox Business' "Mornings with Maria Bartiromo," the former speaker said no less than three times that the GOP nominee needs to "slow down and take a deep breath."
Gingrich gently chided Trump for unforced errors the past week that have been "self-destructive."
"Trump is still behaving as though it was the primaries with 17 candidates. He has not made the transition to being the potential president of the United States, which is a much tougher league," Gingrich said on the show.
"He is not yet performing at the level that you need to. ... He's thrown a series of interceptions last week that do not bode well for his campaign."
Gingrich didn't mention by name Trump's public sparring with Khizr Khan, a Gold Star Muslim, but he did reference Trump's refusal to endorse John McCain and Paul Ryan for their state primaries.
"Let me say this flatly: I am totally for John McCain; he is a great war hero and a terrific human being who has worked very hard for veterans," Gingrich said.
"And I'm totally for Paul Ryan, who is the heart of the House Republican Party and probably the most problem-solving leader we have had in Congress on the Republican side in the last 20 years, so I think some of what Trump has done is just very self-destructive."
When asked if Trump can turn it around, Gingrich said he has two things going for him: Americans want change, and Hillary Clinton "is the most corrupt dishonest candidate we've ever had for president," but said the key will be Trump.
"The question is, can he in August slow down, take a deep breath and reorganize how he's operating so that he gets to the standard of a potential president of the United States?" Gingrich said. "He has not done that up to now."
Gingrich then invoked his entertainment analogy.
"He has got to find a way to slow it down, really learn some new lessons," Gingrich said. "This is a little bit like 'The Apprentice,' except he's the apprentice, not the boss. He doesn't get to say, 'You are fired,' the American people get to say, 'You're fired.'
"I think he has the potential to be a historic president, but to do that he has got to grow into the size of the job, and not get stuck where he has been, which frankly over the last week, I think has been very disheartening to most of his supporters," Gingrich said.
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