(CBS News) In an interview on MSNBC's "Hardball," former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich sat down with host Christ Matthews in a lengthy, frank and fast-paced conversation. Here are some of the funny, provocative, or odd exchanges Gingrich had with Matthews:
- Gingrich on Romney as president: "He is a very methodical person. He is prepared to systematically do what he thinks is right for the country. And I think he might turn out to make a surprisingly good president."
- Gingrich on his use of the term "welfare queen:" "Never once had an ethnic -- I mean, it could have been any background," defending that his use of the term had no racial connotations.
- On why people don't believe Obama was born in the U.S.: "Beats me."
- On his potential speaking slot at the convention: "I will take whatever Romney thinks will help him win.... I'm not a supplicant, I'm a team player."
- On his favorite zoo: "Oh, San Diego."
- On why he likes reptiles: "They're astonishingly successful. They do it in a totally different way than we do, and they have been successful for a very long time."