WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich blames Mitt Romney for being a bad candidate.

More than that, he blames the Republican party for fostering a corrosive culture that produced Romney as its candidate. The former House Speaker argued that the GOP has grown stale and introverted, putting itself on the wrong side of history on issues like immigration and painting itself into a corner on others, like gay marriage.

Romney’s failed candidacy was just the latest illustration of this, the 69-year-old Gingrich said in hour-long interview that dealt, in large part, with the GOP’s problems and what he hopes to contribute to their solution.

Gingrich, whose staying power in the Republican primary has surprised many observers, was Romney’s most acerbic critic during that intraparty contest. He would go on to play the role of dutiful soldier during the general election, only to revert back to form a month and a half after the national contest ended with Romney losing handily.

“I think either [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry or I would have probably done better [against Obama],” said the former speaker, exhibiting a bit of his trademark braggadocio.

Read more at huffingtonpost.com . By Sam Stein and Jon Ward.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

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