Former House speaker Newt Gingrich pushed for a change of focus in the conservative movement today, saying that ideas, not opposition to the president, must drive the movement.
“We are not the anti-Obama movement,” Gingrich said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “We are for a greater American future.”
Like Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, he also called for conservatives to stop making fiscal matters the primary emphasis.
“We have to disenthrall ourselves of the establishment’s anti-idea approach,” he said. We must disenthrall from the accountant green-eye-shades approach to thinking about budgets. We must disenthrall ourselves from a consultant culture which politics can be reduced to raising money to run ads to attack somebody.”
“You’re going to hear a false attack that we don’t need new ideas,” Gingrich added. “We don’t need new principles, but we need lots of ideas about how to implement those principles in the 21st century.”
Gingrich, a Catholic convert, also praised the new pope.
“I am very excited to watch Pope Francis, who I believe is going to challenge all of us,” he remarked. “He’s going to challenge the Left on social policy, and he’s going to challenge the Right on thinking about the poor.”
If the GOP, Gingrich concluded, were a party that touted both the “right to life and the right to a good life,” it “will inevitably be the majority party of the United States.”