Newt Gingrich: ‘I’m not a Washington figure’

Amanda Carey Contributor
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As the Republican field gets smaller, the competition is on to claim the title of most anti-establishment candidate. At an event Monday morning hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich attempted to do just that by casting himself as a Washington outsider.

“I’m not a Washington figure, despite the years I’ve been here,” said Gingrich. “I’m essentially an American whose ties are across the country and is interested in how you change Washington, not how you make Washington happy.”

Gingrich went on to say, “Everywhere I go across Iowa…they figure out I’m the guy who wants to change Washington, and they can tell it because the people they see on TV from Washington are unhappy with me. And if you look at my platform, I’ll clearly be the most change-oriented, the most fundamental reform candidate in this race.”

Gingrich, however, has had a career in Washington since 1978 when he was elected to represent Georgia’s 6th district, after running unsuccessfully in 1974 and 1976.

Gingrich ultimately became House speaker after Republicans took control of Congress in 1994.

After leaving Congress in 1999, Gingrich founded several organizations based in D.C. and has even been a fellow at the D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute.

He also has a home in the suburbs of Virginia.

Despite his ties to the nation’s capital and political scene, Gingrich was very adamant that he’s just a regular American. And according to the former speaker, all one needs to do is watch the media to confirm that.

“I can’t thank the Washington press corps enough for the last week,” he said. “It is impossible to watch the television in the last week and not get the conclusion that I’m definitely not the candidate of Washington, D.C.”