Trump should ‘probably’ attend Biden’s inauguration, says Newt Gingrich
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on Tuesday said that President Donald Trump should “probably” attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. Since the November 3 general election, a variety of reports have been circulating that Trump will skip his successor’s inauguration, possibly holding some sort of political rally on the same day.
Trump would be the fourth president in U.S. history to not attend his successor’s inauguration. The last time that happened was in 1869, when outgoing President Andrew Johnson, who was also the first president to be impeached, decided not to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Civil War general-turned-president Ulysses S. Grant.
In an early Tuesday interview on the “Hugh Hewitt Show” radio program, Gingrich said, “I think that we’ve only had a couple of presidents in history who didn’t” attend their successors’ inauguration. “John Quincy Adams didn’t. And the Republican in1868 didn’t. But other than those two, it’s a routine.”
It should be noted that John Quincy Adams’ father, founding father and second U.S. president John Adams, did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Thomas Jefferson, after the bitter and divisive election of 1800.
“If [Trump] does not go, I think he has to explain why,” Gingrich added. “So I think Trump’s got to decide, you know, what best communicates his message. I think his instinct is not to go, because he’s convinced the election was stolen.”
Since the 2020 presidential election, Trump has hinted, and reports have stated, that the outgoing president is considering a 2024 bid for a seat in the Oval Office, with some reports saying that Trump is contemplating announcing such a bid on Inauguration Day.
Hewitt also asked Gingrich if he thinks Trump’s refusal to accept the result of the 2020 election could damage a potential 2024 bid.
“No. I think in 2024, if Biden has done an amazing job, and everything’s working, Biden will be hard to beat,” Gingrich answered. “In 2024, if, as I suspect will happen, all of the various left-wing policies fail, and we’re in a total mess, nobody’s going to look back and worry about this period.”
Trump himself has hinted that he might forgo the inauguration.
Earlier this month, the president told Brian Kilmeade of “Fox & Friends” that he “[didn’t] want to talk about” if he would attend Biden’s inauguration, while continuing to allege that Biden “lost and lost badly.”
Monday last week, the Electoral College confirmed Biden’s victory and, following which, a large number of Republicans congratulated Biden on his victory. Since November 3, and also after the Electoral College vote, dozens of world leaders have publicly congratulated Biden too, such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump still refuses to concede the election, claiming that it was “rigged” and “stolen” from him, despite his dozens of legal challenges against the results falling flat in federal and state courts, as well as in the U.S. Supreme Court.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.