Newt: Media Missed Trump's 'Titanic' Foreign Policy Shift
Former speaker says Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia was unlike any before it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2017 8:33 AM CDT
In this Nov. 21, 2016, file photo, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks to the media in Trump Tower in New York.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – The media must have been otherwise occupied when President Trump gave a "historic speech" in Saudi Arabia this week, because they missed what Newt Gingrich writes in the Washington Post was the "real drama of the moment: a titanic shift in US foreign policy occurring right before their eyes." That shift, per the former GOP speaker of the House, who also worked for the Trump campaign, was the president appearing before an "unprecedented gathering" of leaders from dozens of Muslim-majority nations and pulling off a two-pronged feat: offering the US' "hand of friendship" in efforts to defeat terrorism and extremism, but also putting forth a "clear challenge" for those leaders to step up themselves to eradicate those forces.

Gingrich says he had to reach back more than three decades to find a "turning point in history" equivalent to Trump's: that of Ronald Reagan, who revved Western allies up with a speech on defeating aggressive communist powers and "totalitarian evil." But even Reagan didn't pull off what Trump is trying to achieve, in Gingrich's eyes. "Never before" has any other US president "tried so clearly" to bring together the "civilized world" to fight terrorism, or put the onus on Middle Eastern and African countries to accept "ultimate responsibility" in getting rid of terrorism in their parts of the world. Trump's predecessors receive mention as well, with the ex-speaker noting Trump's vow of "principled realism" is a clear repudiation of the foreign policy approaches of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Gingrich's full piece here. (Gingrich may soon be settling down at the Vatican.)

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