Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich did an excellent impromptu impression of himself today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, urging conservatives in a fact-filled speech to focus on transformational innovation and technology that can produce “breakouts.”
“Breakout” happens to be the name of Newt’s most recent book, the full title of which is “
He marveled at the fact that maps are now essentially obsolete because, thanks to the advent of smart phones and navigation apps, “you have some women telling you where to go.” He joked, “I know a number of you guys have already had that experience” long before the advent of GPS devices.
“We can break out if we combine American exceptionalism, science and technology, and entrepreneurship,” the former congressman said. He began with praise for Texas governor Rick Perry’s proclamation yesterday that it is “time for a little rebellion on the battlefield of ideas,” and then punched it up a bit, calling for a “big rebellion.”
Gingrich faced off against Perry in the 2012 presidential primaries, and both of them led at various points. Gingrich won the South Carolina primary and later carried his home state of Georgia, landing him in third place at the end of the primaries. He hasn’t held political office since 1998, when he was forced to resign his speakership after a poor Republican performance in the midterm elections.
The congressman, who was widely praised for his performances in the 2012 primary debates, clearly delivered the speech off-the-cuff, and stuck mostly to his talking points that he’s delivered elsewhere. He even ended with a line that he explained he’d told on his CNN show, Crossfire, the night before: He defended President Obama’s taking a week to vacation in Key Largo, Fla., while Eastern Europe is in crisis. The president tried to be “effective” last week from Washington, he said, and failed spectacularly. “I believe he can be as ineffective in Key Largo as he was in the White House,” Gingrich joked.