Trump Ally Newt Gingrich: 'If Mollie Tibbetts Is a Household Name by October, Democrats Will Be in Deep Trouble'

Republicans are planning on using the alleged murder of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts by an undocumented immigrant as a major rallying cry this midterm season.

Former Republican Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich emailed political news site Axios to request that they cover the story. "If Mollie Tibbetts is a household name by October, Democrats will be in deep trouble," he wrote. "If we can be blocked by Manafort-Cohen, etc., then GOP could lose [the House] badly."

Fox News also led with the alleged murder ahead of the news that President Donald Trump's longtime friends and employees Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen were charged with bank, tax and campaign fraud. "We are living in two alternative political universes," continued Gingrich. "In one, Manafort-Cohen is dispositive. In the other, illegal immigrants killing Mollie Tibbetts is dispositive."

Mollie Tibbetts was first reported missing in late July, she was last seen alive jogging on July 18 near Brooklyn, Iowa. Police later found her body in a cornfield nearby. A Mexican citizen living in the U.S. under a false name, 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera, has been charged with killing the young college student.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds blamed the murder on a "broken immigration system" and promised she would "bring justice to Mollie's killer."

At a rally in West Virginia Wednesday, Trump used the alleged murder of Tibbetts as a rallying cry for tougher immigration policy, according to the Associated Press. "You saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should have never happened," he said before calling current immigration laws a "disgrace." He continued that "we're getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans. We have to get 'em."

On Wednesday, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick took to Fox News to blame MSNBC, CNN and Democratic politicians for the death of Tibbetts, The Hill reported. "The CNNs, MSNBCs, most of the print media and Democrats are all accomplices in the death of this young girl and the death of everyone else," he said. In the past, Patrick publicly blamed gun violence in American schools on abortion and video games and a lack of religion in public schools.

On Wednesday morning, Fox & Friends spent 14 seconds discussing the Manafort and Cohen trials and instead led with news about Tibbetts.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that immigration is the number one issue that Republicans and Democrats want to hear politicians talk about going into the Midterm elections.

Rivera is being charged with first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison in Iowa.

Multiple studies have found that an increase in immigration is not linked to an increase in crime, violent or otherwise. Some studies have found that violent crimes decrease as immigrant populations increase.