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The Next Act For Newt Gingrich? It Could Be A TV Talk Show

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., on March 7.
David Bundy
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., on March 7.

After serving as speaker of the House, publishing several historical novels and running for president, what's next for Newt Gingrich?

One possible third act, Gingrich told NPR staffers on Friday, could be sharing a television studio with his wife, Callista.

"We're kind of intrigued with the idea of doing a daily show, which would change our lives pretty dramatically," Gingrich said. "But if we do it, we want it to be closer to Regis and Kathie Lee than to Bill O'Reilly or Hardball."

The former GOP presidential candidate, keenly aware of popularity ratings, said he and Callista are working with professionals to decide if a show would be a hit or "an irrelevancy, sort of like home movies."

Until then, however, Gingrich has another role in the 2012 campaign cycle: speaking in support of his former rival, Mitt Romney. During the GOP primaries, Gingrich had tough words for Romney. He says now, however, it's all about beating President Obama in November.

"It's a comparative business," he said. "I think I would have been a better president than Mitt Romney. I think Mitt Romney will be a much better president than Barack Obama."

Gingrich weighed in on the debate over Romney's tax returns, saying Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is being "dishonest." Gingrich said Reid's claim — that Romney hasn't paid any taxes for 10 years — is one way Democrats are trying to discredit Romney and push the conversation away from the economy.

"They have to create a Romney who is utterly, totally unacceptable or they're going to lose," Gingrich said. "You can't carry the worst economic record since the Great Depression and be the most radical president in American history and think you're going to put those two things together into a victory unless your opponent is just wiped out."

Recent polls show that President Obama is increasing his lead over Romney in several key battleground states, and he has a higher favorability ratingas well.

Despite losing the GOP race to Romney, Gingrich continues to make news on his own. Earlier this month, he defended Rep. Michele Bachmann's statement that Huma Abedin, assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, should be investigated for possible ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

"It is a mistake to deny the requirement that we understand radical Islamists and that we understand how the Muslim Brotherhood operates and that we understand how certain decisions are made," said Gingrich, who added that the media lacks an "appetite" to "have an honest conversation about radical Islamists."

"I'm not picking a fight about a particular person, but I must say everybody who's rushing to her defense doesn't know anything either," Gingrich said, referring to Abedin.

GOP Sen. John McCain is one of many politicians who have defended Clinton's longtime aide, saying the request for an investigation is an "unfounded and unwarranted attack."

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Padmananda Rama