Gingrich: Beating Clinton in 2016 would be ‘the Super Bowl’ for GOP

The former House Speaker and Republican presidential hopeful says it's inevitable that Clinton would be the Democratic nominee for the next election if she decided to run.

A 2016 presidential election with Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic nominee would be a serious uphill battle for Republicans, Newt Gingrich said.

“If their competitor in '16 is going to be Hillary Clinton, supported by Bill Clinton and presumably a still relatively popular President Barack Obama, trying to win that will be truly the Super Bowl,” the former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He added that the current Republican Party “is incapable of competing at that level.”

Gingrich also thinks Clinton’s nomination is inevitable if she decides to run for president.

“She is married to the most popular Democrat in the country. They both think it would be good for her to be president,” he said. “That makes it virtually impossible to stop her for the nomination, I think.”

Gingrich was House Speaker through most of Bill Clinton’s two terms as president and described the former First Lady as “very formidable as a person. A very confident person.”

Asked if he’d mount another White House bid of his own, he said, “I doubt that, but one never knows.”

Some possible Republican contenders for 2016 face problems of favorability and name recognition, according to a new Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio — who visited the important caucus state of Iowa just after November’s election — had a 33 percent favorable rating in the poll, compared to just 15 percent unfavorable, but 36 percent of the 1,000 registered voters who responded said they’d never heard of him.

Jeb Bush, the son of one former president and the brother of another, was viewed favorably by 39 percent of respondents, to 34 percent who view him unfavorably. But he may have more name recognition than he’d like, according to Republican pollster Ed Goeas.

“The reason why Jeb Bush didn’t run this year is because he knew [Republicans] were not past the Bush years,” Goeas told Politico.

Paul Ryan, Mitt Romey’s running mate in the 2012 election, had a 47 percent favorable rating, with 33 percent of respondents viewing him unfavorably.

The candidate who gets the nod from the GOP for 2016 matters less than the party’s message, according to Gingrich.

“We didn't blow it because of Mitt Romney,” he said of the 2012 election. “We blew it because of a party which has refused to engage the reality of American life and refused to think through what the average American needs for a better future.”

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