A hard-hitting Politico interview with "ideas machine" Newt Gingrich

Mike Allen asks Newt Gingrich why he likes zoos

By Alex Pareene
Published August 30, 2012 8:36PM (EDT)
   (AP/Chuck Burton)
(AP/Chuck Burton)

Here's what I learned when Mike Allen interviewed Newt Gingrich at the Politico Hub: Newt Gingrich loves zoos because he loves animals, and many zoos are private-public partnerships.

Also: Newt Gingrich's wife, Callista, has a new children's book coming out, and it was more challenging to write than her earlier children's book. Newt's next book is about George Washington. (It is a novel.)

Newt Gingrich enjoyed Paul Ryan's speech, but he wishes Paul Ryan had said "Mr. President, she did built that" after he introduced his mom.

Here is an actual question Mike Allen -- Politico superstar reporter -- asked Newt Gingrich: "You have always been the ideas machine in the Republican Party. Are you worried that now that's going to be Paul Ryan?" Newt Gingrich, for the record, thinks there is room for two ideas machines in the Republican Party.

Here's another actual question Mike Allen asked Newt Gingrich: "You recently made a very fundamental change in your life: You switched to an iPhone from a BlackBerry." Wait, sorry, that's not a thing Mike Allen asked Newt Gingrich. That's just a thing Mike Allen said to Newt Gingrich while he was interviewing him.

Mike Allen makes around a quarter of a million dollars a year.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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Mike Allen Newt Gingrich Politico Republican National Convention