This past week has been "a lost week" for GOP nominee Donald Trump, and there was "no excuse" for him spending the wee hours of Friday morning sending out tweets against CNN, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich sternly warned Friday night.
"What Trump has got to understand, he's got to sing either, 'I got to be me' or he's got to order a new song, 'I've got to be President.' They're not the same song. He's got to become much more disciplined," the former House speaker said in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity Friday night.
And that means there is "no excuse" for sending out early morning tweets, Gingrich scolded.
"You can't tweet at 3:00 in the morning, period," Gingrich said. "There's no excuse, ever, not if you're going to be president of the United States. So he's really got to decide, and I think it is very important to understand this, if he's got to be himself, then he may well not win. If he's willing to grow into the role of president, then he may win. In fact, I think he will win."
To do that, Trump will need to stay out of the mud with the Clintons and concentrate on the big issues, such as taxes, jobs and Syria, said Gingrich, who thinks if Trump can stick with the issues, he'll "win in a landslide."
"But if he stays down in the mud, the Clintons are the best mudders I have ever seen," said Gingrich. "They would be perfectly happy to wage the next 39 days in the mud because they know how to survive in mud."
But this week, which started off with his struggling in the debate, followed by repeated attacks on Machado over her weight and culminating in the late-night tweetstorm, "has hurt him," said Gingrich, and that "has shaken his own supporters."
Gingrich said he hopes Trump learned from this week.
"Quit tweeting without somebody looking over your shoulder, don't ever tweet late at night, and prepare to really study and get ready for a serious debate," said Gingrich. "This next debate is going to be very important for how people judge him."
The second debate is set between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Oct. 9, and Gingrich warned that moderator Anderson Cooper will be much tougher on Trump than NBC's Lester Holt had been.
"Anderson Cooper is viscerally, deeply opposed to Donald Trump," said Gingrich. "I mean, this will be basically at least three-on-one with the two moderators plus Hillary. He's got to go into there having done what every professional athlete would do. Look at the game film of the last game. Figure out what you did wrong. Figure out what you've got to improve."
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