As others have mentioned, I thought Gingrich had two very bad answers. He suggested that he left Congress to start businesses or some such. That’s nonsense and everyone knows it. He left the speakership and Congress on bad terms and he should be comfortable simply acknowledging that as painlessly as possible while touting his many real accomplishments.
Second, his stuff about not being a lobbyist of any sort is just silly. Why else bring in a lawyer to explain to him how to avoid the label? You could see it on his face that he regretted bringing that up the moment he said it. Look, Freddie Mac hired Newt Gingrich for a reason. It wasn’t as an historian. They wanted his name on the shingle for a reason.
I disagree with my friend Hugh Hewitt about how much damage Newt did to himself however. If NBC’s post-debate discussion is any indication, the press is more fascinated with feeding on Romney and his tax returns than they are on Newt and his “historical consulting.” The press has sated itself on Gingrich many times, Romney is still more exotic fare.