Decrying the dangerous influence of "oligarchs" like the Koch brothers, George Soros, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and unions, Newt Gingrich said the Founding Fathers never intended for wealthy elites to wield the most power.
Speaking on a Politico podcast weeks before industrialists Charles and David Koch
convened business leaders to listen to GOP presidential candidates including Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina, Gingrich said he favored little more regulation than a blanket "nightly" requirement that candidates report donations on the Internet.
"I think it's very frightening," said Gingrich, who received an estimated $20 million contribution from billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife in 2012, Politico notes.
"I don't think the Founding Fathers intended for the U.S. to be an oligarchy. You begin to have billionaires who get together, who think that they have somehow got the divine right to tell the country what the country ought to be, which is, I think, dangerous."
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The former House Speaker said he was referring to the Koch brothers, who have pledged
up to $900 million to conservative causes in the 2016 cycle, as well as unions, Democratic donors like Soros and Bloomberg, whom he accused of "buying" three elections.
"I think it's dangerous to have the party and the candidates shrink and independent oligarchs rise," he said. "I just think it's a very dangerous pattern."
Gingrich slammed Bush's Florida-based campaign for supposedly operating independently from a $100-billion Bush-backing super PAC – calling the structure "implausible" and flirting with possible transgressions against federal campaign laws.
"I don't quite know how you legally do that, frankly," he said. "I mean, it strikes me that it's, you know, stretching the game."
And though he assessed Donald Trump as a "bombastic populist and aggressive," he reserved his sharpest criticism for former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton.
"[S]he runs a bad campaign and she's a bad candidate," Gingrich said. "She can't dance. Bill can dance. Bill is Fred Astaire. She ain't Ginger Rogers, to use a very dated analogy for people who watch, you know, American Movie Channel or TNT movies or something."
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