In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Newt Gingrich was grilled over ethics violations and asked to defend himself against those in Congress who believe he is too arrogant and erratic. Newt first defended himself against the ethics charges saying he was vindicated after 2 years but also saying that he paid the fine in the end just to get past the issue so that he could get things done in Congress.
As to those who didn’t like how he operated as Speaker and criticize him for that now, he argued that the only way he was going to get Bill Clinton to sign legislation was through compromise, and there were those who certainly disagreed with that.
Given that he was able to work with Bill Clinton to pass entitlement reform and balanced budgets, he asserted that he is the most practical hardline conservative since Reagan:
UPDATE: Newt also answers the question “Which Newt are we getting?”: