In an interview to be broadcast on Friday, former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards, a Republican who represented a district that stretched from Oklahoma City to Bartlesville, says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made the political situation in Washington worse.
Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, is part of a roundtable discussion on a segment of the PBS show Need to Know.
According to the show, Edwards says the problems during his tenure began with former Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright’s efforts to shut out Republican proposals.
“And that helped lead to the situation where Newt became the Republican whip.”
Edwards says on the show that Gingrich, who is running for president, “made it far worse because it’s one thing to say that we don’t want the Democrats to be in charge because we have ideas of our own and we want to be able to advance those ideas. But, Democracy is about progress. And our process is based on the separate institutions _ and how those institutions work.
“What Newt brought to the table was destruction of the institutions. Destruction so that more and more people who followed his model would come to Washington thinking of themselves as Republicans, not as members of Congress.”
On Sunday, U.S. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who also served with Gingrich, told Fox News Sunday that he’d have trouble supporting Gingrich for president because he found his leadership lacking.