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Tamar Hallerman

Newt Gingrich on anti-establishment wave: ‘We need it’

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista leaves a closed-door meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Washington, Monday, March 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista leave a closed-door meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Washington, Monday, March 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Georgia’s own Newt Gingrich, the former speaker and 2012 presidential candidate, has recently returned to the national spotlight.

While he isn’t giving his own stump speeches this time around as a candidate, Gingrich has taken to Twitter and cable news to defend Donald Trump in particular, as well as Ted Cruz, and to analyze the seismic shift their candidacies have prompted within the GOP. (He hasn’t formally endorsed anyone.) He notably huddled with Trump as part of a small gathering of Republican lawmakers and other figures Monday on Capitol Hill.

The progressive news site Slate posted an interesting Q&A with Gingrich this afternoon.

Read the full interview here, but here are a few interesting tidbits.

On whether he’s more “sanguine” than others in the party about the rise of Trump:

“I came in as a Reaganite, Kempite when I helped lead the effort in 1994. And I have consistently been in favor of a more aggressive, more active Republican Party that reaches out and expands its base and that is very, very idea-oriented. I think Washington is a city with enormous problems. I think we need somebody—and both Cruz and Trump fit this—who is going to break up the old order and insist on real change. It’s not that I am sanguine. This will lead to a period of very real challenges, but I think we need it.”

On whether the GOP is in crisis:

“I don’t think it’s in crisis. It’s in a period of change. It wasn’t in crisis when Reagan ran. The old-timers had as big a problem with Reagan as they are having with Trump. It is the nature of the old order to be scared by something they don’t control and don’t understand.”

He also discusses some takeaways from Monday’s meeting with Trump.

Earlier Wednesday, Gingrich said the recent Brussels terrorist attacks “in many ways validated Donald Trump’s entire candidacy.”