According to Jackie Cushman, the former speaker’s daughter, her father’s top two debate advisors are her children, his grandchildren.
“His two greatest debate coaches are my children,” Cushman said earlier this afternoon during an interview with Radio Iowa. “…They’ve really focused on two things. It started with Maggie, the oldest. She’s 12 and was like, ‘Grandpa, you need to smile more.’ Because when she seems him, he’s always smiling. I mean, who isn’t smiling when they see their granddaughter…so he started smiling more.
“And then Robert, the 10-year-old – and this is a 10-year-old who loves history, loves the military channel, is current reading the Sharpe series novels, I mean he’s really into that — and he’s like, ‘Grandpa, your answers need to be a bit shorter and more concise, so people can understand,’ so that’s the coaching he’s gotten and I think if he sticks with that coaching tonight, he’ll be fine.
“When he walks up on stage, the first thing he’ll do is he’ll draw a smiley face and write ‘Maggie’ and he’ll write, ‘short, concise’ and put, ‘Robert’ and that’s what he has in front of him. He doesn’t make notes about, you know, phrases or anything else. That’s literally his reminder of what to do.”
AUDIO of Cushman’s remarks about Gingrich debate prep on stage. Back in a few with more of the conversation.