ASPEN, Colo.—Newt Gingrich has seen the future, and it is on his—and your—smartphone.
The former speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate was at the Aspen Ideas Festival Tuesday to talk about his new book, which bears the impeccably Gingrichian title Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America's Fate. (The festival is hosted by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute.) Newt being Newt, his comments ranged from the penetratingly interesting to the digressive to the frankly confusing. Here are a few highlights of his wit and wisdom.
1. Gingrich opened with a rousing attack on lobbying and special interests, saying they are stifling innovation. He used a historical analogy: "Today, a carriage manufacturer would hire a lobbyist to make it illegal for a train to go faster than a horse!"
2. Congress has to be overhauled—and it's going to be a nightmare. About 80 percent of Americans believe government is corrupt, Gingrich noted. "I’m terrified by the numbers in the Gallup poll," he said. It's relatively easy to fix even a badly broken agency like the Veterans Affairs Department, but Congress? Not so much: “It’s going to be a huge fight. It’s much harder because it’s a sovereign power. It’s one thing to tell Congress to overhaul the VA. This is different.”