NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Newt Gingrich had harsh words for his party's establishment leaders at CPAC Saturday.
"I ran for Congress the second time in 1976. I lost twice and finally won in 1978. And let me tell you: it is sobering to be to be standing here as a senior member of this party telling you from 1976 to 2013 we have the dominant wing of this party which as done nothing and is as mired in the past and as mired in stupidity as it was [then]," Gingrich said.
Gingrich, who was often mocked on the presidential campaign trail in 2012 for promising to build a moon base if elected, tore into the GOP for failing to embrace innovation and use their control of House committees to highlight technological change.
Gingrich also praised the RNC's push for innovation led by chair Reince Priebus. And though he dismissed the GOP's "establishment" and "consulting class," there were some political consultant types he said were worthy of attention.
"People who have been here, people like Pat Caddell, Dave Bossie, Greg Shirley, the work that Alex Castellanos is doing on the concept of the new republic," Gingrich said. "All of these are beginning to raise the right kind of questions."
Caddell is a former Democratic pollster and a fixture on Fox News. He wasn't the only Democrat to get praise from Gingrich on the podium.
"The best single book on moving out of bureaucracy and into a Toquevillian society where you the citizen are empowered to solve your own problems… the best single book is by Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco and Lt. Gov. of California," Gingrich said. "It's called Citizenville, and every single conservative in this conservative in this country should read it because it is ia practical textbook on all the opportunities in the information age to get rid of government and replace it with citizen activism exactly in the Toquevillian model."
Evan McMorris-Santoro is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News.
Contact Evan McMorris-Santoro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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