Former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich still seemed slightly bitter over his loss in the Republican primary last spring to eventual nominee Mitt Romney in an appearance on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Thursday evening.
During the appearance Leno told Gingrich that it seemed to him that Gingrich and fellow Republican candidate Rick Santorum were “killing” Romney in the primary debates over not paying enough taxes, which the late night talk show host said he thought was “the funniest thing he’d ever heard.”
“Did you think you were hard on him during the primaries,” Leno subsequently asked Gingrich.
“Not enough,” Gingrich replied with a straight face. ” I mean, he won the nomination.”
Gingrich added that, “If you can’t get through the nomination process, then you shouldn’t be President. It’s a tough business.”
The former Speaker of the House acknowledged that this year’s primary had “some qualities” that made it ‘nastier’ than previous elections, but he pointed out that tensions were incredibly high between then Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008, and Clinton went on to be Obama’s Secretary of State. Likewise, Gingrich campaigned for Romney during this year’s general election despite the fact that the two men clearly do not get along.
Thursday’s interview was not the first time since the election that Gingrich has lashed out at Romney. After Romney ascribed his loss to the “gifts” President Obama promised his supporters earlier this month, Gingrich called Romney’s comments “nuts.”
During the Leno interview Gingrich congratulated President Barack Obama on his unbelievable win on Election Day, saying he “hated being that wrong” in his prediction of who would win the presidential election.
“I give Obama a lot of credit that he defied all the probabilities, and he won.”
And while he was wrong about Romney’s chances of being elected, Gingrich used the interview as an opportunity to remind Republicans why he was right about the GOP’s need to approach immigration reform with more humanity.
“I took the very bold position that we would not deport grandmother,” Gingrich said, inadvertently reminding Americans why they ultimately chose not to support the former Congressman in his bid for the presidency.
Watch the relavent portion of the interview below.