On Laura Ingraham’s Wednesday radio show, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said he is not clear on what the point of the Conservative Political Action Conference is anymore.
The event is scheduled to be held outside Washington, D.C. in suburban Maryland March 14-16, and Gingrich has been an annual presence at the event. But he said there has been a lack of transparency with the organization behind the conference, the American Conservative Union.
“I don’t know what the purpose of CPAC is anymore,” Gingrich said. “I’m going to speak there early on Saturday and of course, we’re showing a few movies for Citizens United that we’ve done — one on Reagan and one on Pope John Paul II. But CPAC at one time was sort of the militant wing of the conservative movement. It was a place where Ronald Reagan gave his famous speech about bold colors, not pale pastels. I don’t know what CPAC is today. It’s huge. It draws lots and lots of people, particularly students. It gets a fair amount of attention in the media. But I don’t know how they define who gets to come in and who doesn’t get to come in. And my sense is the board is not very open and not very clear about, you know whether its personality decisions or what they’re thinking.”
Among the prominent speakers not invited was New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, and Gingrich said a case could be made either way as to whether he should have been an invited guest at the conference. CPAC’s big, gay headache
“You can say first Christie wasn’t invited for it, but you could also frankly look at his record on controlling spending and reforming New Jersey government and say, ‘Well, he has a story to tell that’s pretty interesting,’” Gingrich said. “And for a northeastern governor in a heavily unionized state, it’s pretty courageous. You know, I could go either way on these things. I thought hugging Obama was a bit much during Sandy. But on the other hand when you look at the level of damage that had been done to the Jersey Shore, you can understand how emotional he was at that time.”
Ingraham noted Trump was on CPAC’s slate of speaker, and went on to ask Gingrich if he would ever appear on Trump’s NBC reality show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”
“Oh sure,” Gingrich said when asked. “I mean, why not? I’ve known the Donald. We’ve done fundraisers together. I mean … I think Republicans would be so much better off to relax and to go on shows like that and be interesting.”