CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday night that the U.S. is at war with radical Islamists and is losing – and Donald Trump is the only candidate who can point the country in the right direction.
Speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Gingrich said Trump had admitted the country was at war with Islamic terrorism, while “foreign policy elites, led by Hillary Clinton, are incapable of speaking with such honesty.”
Gingrich went on to list several attacks around the world that have been orchestrated, inspired by, or otherwise linked to ISIS – most recently including a slashing attack on a train in Würzburg, Germany involving an axe-wielding teen described as an Afghan refugee.
He also mentioned the truck attack that killed 84 people this month in Nice, France, a suicide truck bombing that killed more than 200 people in Baghdad, and the shooting massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead.
“We cannot let ourselves grow numb to these accumulating atrocities,” Gingrich said. “One analysis estimated that since January 2015, some 30,000 people have been killed at the hands of terrorists. Let’s be clear. Donald Trump is right. We are at war with radical Islamists, we are losing the war, and we must change course to win the war.”
Gingrich said the country has nothing to fear from the vast majority of Muslims, who themselves are often victims of terrorist attacks. But he said the recruiting base for radicalism is too large.
He further said that the U.S. has been “lucky” that a worse terrorist attack has not come to pass since Sept. 11, 2001.
“The worst case scenario is losing an American city to terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction,” Gingrich said. “Instead of losing two great buildings, we could lose block after block to nuclear weapons.”
Gingrich further said the world has become a more dangerous place in other ways, with Pakistan, North Korea and Iran now having nuclear weapons.
“We are sleepwalking through history as though this is all about politics,” Gingrich said. “It is not. It is about our safety and the survival of the country.”
Gingrich said presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted to point the country in the right direction, and accused her of lying about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. He also accused the Obama administration of lying about the Iran nuclear deal.
“The cost of Hillary’s honesty could be the loss of America as we know it,” Gingrich said.
In addition to leading a more effective fight against terrorism, Gingrich said Trump would care better for veterans, improve the nation’s infrastructure, rebuild the education system, and “show zero tolerance for people calling for the death of police officers.”
“He’s willing to tell the truth about the things that matter,” Gingrich said.