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Newt Gingrich calls himself an 'outsider': Will voters agree? (VIDEO)

After getting hammered by Republicans for criticizing Paul Ryan's Medicare-reform plan, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says the controversy shows he's a Washington outsider.

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Former House Speaker and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, on May 23.

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor

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Coming off a week when he was hammered by members of his own party for criticizing GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan, former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich sought to frame the critical response as a sign that he is a Washington outsider.

Speaking at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters, Mr. Gingrich said, “I can’t thank the Washington press corps enough for the last week. It is impossible to have watched television for the last week and not get the conclusion I am definitely not the candidate of the Washington insiders.”

The questioner, Sam Stein of The Huffington Post, noted that Gingrich was making his 36th visit at the Monitor Breakfast forum since 1985. Mr. Stein wondered how, given that, he could consider himself an outsider.

“Everywhere I go across Iowa, everywhere I see people randomly, they have figured out I am the guy who wants to change Washington and they can tell it because the people they see on TV from Washington aren’t happy with me," Gingrich said.

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