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Newt Gingrich: Donald Trump’s ‘revolutionary’ appeal to black, LGBTQ voters

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Newt Gingrich speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Newt Gingrich on Friday praised Donald Trump’s convention speech, saying it connected with people who would not normally vote Republican and could lead to a “a revolutionary moment” for his party.

“I thought it was a very comprehensive speech. I thought it was very deliberately designed,” the former House Speaker told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”

“He had a series of parts of the speech that were designed, I think, to appeal to African-Americans in the inner city, to appeal to the LGBTQ community, to appeal to a number of people,” Gingrich added. “He didn’t automatically say it would have been a traditional Republican speech.”

Trump promised to be the “law and order” president in his speech, and Gingrich said the Republican nominee will address these issues directly with inner city voters.

“He and Mike Pence are very likely to campaign in South Side Chicago, Baltimore, the places he mentioned, Detroit and really make the case to the African-American community that 2,000 shootings in the first half of this year in Chicago are just plain unacceptable,” Gingrich said. “Having a Republican prepared to take seriously the lives of the poorest and least served Americans could be almost a revolutionary moment.”

Gingrich also responded to criticism he faced for comment he made about the Bastille Day attacks in Nice, France, earlier this month, Gingrich had said the US “should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported.”

Gingrich said Friday that America knows “nothing” about the values of the refugees coming to the US.

“There’s going to be a direct fight over Syrians,” he told Camerota. “The (Hillary) Clinton position is we’re willing to risk American lives by bringing in Syrian refugees about whom we know nothing.”

“Well, not ‘nothing’,” Camerota responded.

“You know nothing,” Gingrich shot back.

“They are vetted,” Camerota responded.

“Vetted how,” Gingrich asked. “We have no records.”

“We don’t have the data inside Syria to know anything,” he added. “That’s just a fact. We don’t have the intelligence penetration. We don’t have any police cooperation. We don’t know anything about these people.”