Is Donald Trump ready to be president?

Carly Fiorina: Political office doesn’t alw... 02:31

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waded into hot water last week when an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt exposed some gaps in his foreign policy knowledge. For fellow GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, that's a problem. But 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says voters aren't concerned with those kinds of details.

"I think it's very difficult to lead if you don't have the requisite knowledge. And I think it's perfectly acceptable that you don't know the name of every terrorist leader. I don't always either. I do think it's important to know who our enemies are," Fiorina said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."

In a separate interview, Gingrich said the kinds of questions that Trump flubbed -- including one about General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iran Revolutionary Guard's Quds forces -- are "not presidential stuff."

Newt Gingrich defends Trump on foreign policy... 02:02

"The truth is, no national leader knows anything about the head of Quds force," Gingrich said. "He's going to hire a secretary of state, he's going to hire a national security advisor, he's going to have a chairman of the joint chiefs, he's going to have a Secretary of Defense. The real question is, so what would you do about [the Quds force]?"

One thing Gingrich and Fiorina agreed on is the fact that being a political outsider is a potent force in the 2016 Republican field.

"I do think we've come to a place though where people realize that running for political office all your life isn't necessarily the most qualifying set of experiences either.," Fiorina said. She argued that she understands the economy, America's friends and enemies, bureaucracies, technology and leadership.

Trump could make exploding noises and GOP wou... 01:55

"I think those are the necessary experiences and qualifications to become president of the United States," she said.

As for the question of whether Trump is fit to be commander in chief, she said, "That's not a question for me. That's a question for the voters of this country."

Gingrich said that Trump and Fiorina and GOP candidates Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, and Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, are having an impact on the election and "have to be seen as a team."

"They represent the, 'we're sick of all of you regular guys,'" he said. "The average American's going, 'I just want someone who's going to kick over the table, start a new game and I don't care about the details.'"

Newt Gingrich: Trump's running on winning 03:32

Though he's an established political hand, Gingrich said he's thought every day about how a candidate backed by the GOP establishment like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush operates, but "I don't have a clue."

"I think that there is a desire on the part of the American people, which I largely agree with, to profoundly change the current terms of American politicians and government," he said. "The heart of the Trump model is 'I will make us a winner again. Do you want to be a winner? If you'd like to be a winner, I'll make us a winner.' And then people come up with all these policy questions and he goes ' how'd you like to win?' And Americans out there go, 'I like winning, winning sounds pretty good to me.'"

Gingrich also said Trump's current immigration plan has "lots of problems" but said the effect he has on the race or his message could change in the coming months.

"The one thing I've always found to be true with Trump is I think he learns faster than any other political figure I've known except Bill Clinton. And I think it's a big mistake to assume that the Donald Trump that you saw yesterday is the Donald Trump that you're going to see a month from now," he said.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.