Newt Gingrich at CPAC Says dominant wing of GOP Mired in Stupidity

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., is interviewed at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Saturday that “the whole of Washington is trapped in the past” and jabbed at senior members of the Republican Party, saying they’re “mired in stupidity.”

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Gingrich called for conservatives to introduce “new ideas” in the GOP.

“The Republican establishment is just plain wrong,” Gingrich said. “The Republican consulting class is just plain wrong in approaching politics.”

Gingrich echoed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who on Thursday said, “We don’t need a new idea. The idea’s America, and it still works.”

“You’re going to hear a false attack that we don’t need new ideas,” Gingrich said. “Let me draw a distinction. We don’t need new principles … but we do need new ideas to implement [those principles].”

Gingrich’s speech was largely a critique of establishment Republicans and their “anti-ideas approach” to governing. He recommended “all conservatives” read “Citizenville,” a book by California Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom about technology and government.

He complimented Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as the future of the GOP and said the current “dominant wing” of the party is “mired in the past and mired in stupidity.”

Gingrich, a convert to Catholicism, also said he’s “excited” about the newly-elected Pope Francis.

“He’s going to challenge the left on social policy and he’s going to challenge the right on thinking about the poor,” he said.

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