Former GOP House Speaker and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich walked back his support for poll tests Friday, just a day after reiterating support for making young Americans pass an American history test in order to gain voting rights.
In a brief interview at a campaign stop, ThinkProgress asked Gingrich about his comments the day before when he said, “it wouldn’t be bad to have a test for young Americans before they can vote.”
…Gingrich first floated the idea of testing American citizens before they could vote last week and reiterated his support at a town hall in Marshalltown, IA, Thursday. His clarification Friday doesn’t seem to reflect the support he gave the idea just 24 hours earlier when speaking to a crowd at another campaign event.
Testing voters at the polls has a unique place in American history, as it was one of the main tactics employed to prevent blacks from voting until the passage of the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights Acts. As ThinkProgress reported, Florida Congressman Allen West (R) dismissed Gingrich’s suggestions, saying poll tests were something “my parents had to deal with.”