Watch CBSN Live

Gingrich: GOP Must Not Reject Bipartisanship

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
CPAC Convention, Washington -- Speaking before a conference of conservatives in Washington today, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich chastised the Democratic majority in Congress as "radicals," but also warned the GOP that it must be more than just "the Party of 'No.'"

"I believe we're going to control the House and the Senate by the end of this year," Gingrich said. "I believe we're going to elect a new president in 2012. However, history doesn't stand by... We can't just sit back and hope the world will let us wait."

This year's Conservative Political Action Conference is the most important in decades, Gingrich said, because the "secular, socialist machine" led by Democrats is "so dedicated to values destructive to America that if it is allowed to stay in power... that machine is antithetical to the survival of America as a prosperous, sound country."

He also called the Democrats' health care reform packages steps toward bureaucratic control in America, and accused the party of standing by in the face of systemic corruption within government employee unions.

Republicans, Gingrich said, should wage a campaign on a "simple premise": opposing bureaucratic systems that pay for teachers who are not contributing in classrooms.

He appealed to Republicans, however, to work with Democrats while challenging them. He harkened back to his years as House Speaker during the Clinton administration, when he worked with the president to balance the budget "by controlling spending while cutting taxes to raise jobs."

"My position was Reagan's position: trust, but verify," Gingrich said.

"Let's test the president's willingness to be bipartisan," he added.

Republicans should accept President Obama's invitation to a bipartisan health care summit next week, he said, but insist on bringing with them some Republican governors, as well as taking some control over the summit.

"We will bring our recommended agenda," he said. "We get to be for the things we're for," like litigation reform and stopping corruption within the Medicare and Medicaid systems.

"We have to stand up and have the courage to say... we know what's best for America," Gingrich said.

More Reports From CPAC:
Ann Coulter: Sarah Palin's Created More Jobs Than Obama
Breitbart: Conservatives to Go "On Offense" Against Media, Professors
Tim Pawlenty: Let's Get the 9-Iron, Like Tiger Woods' Wife
Obama Teleprompter Jokes a CPAC Favorite
Michele Bachmann: "Miss Me Yet?" Billboard is "Innovative" Political Message
Michele Bachmann: Obama Is "Intending to Fail"
Mitt Romney: Obama's Agenda Is "Reckless"
See All Coverage from CPAC

View CBS News In