From NBC's Will Brown
Former House speaker and possible 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich offered a wide-ranging rebuke of President Obama and the Democratic Party in his speech to the CPAC conference Saturday afternoon.
Gingrich referred to the Democratic agenda as "a secular socialist machine," and insisted that Republicans would benefit at the ballot box this November -- and beyond.
"I believe we're going to control the House and the Senate at the end of this year. And I believe we're going to elect a new president in 2012."
Gingrich echoed the conference's previous speakers, criticizing Obama on jobs, a lack of bipartisanship, and broken promises.
"President Obama has created three jobs that I know of," he said to growing applause. "Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Scott Brown. Without Barack Obama, Scott Brown couldn't have won in Massachusetts."
Gingrich also focused on "principled bipartisanship," as he recalled his efforts with President Clinton and ticked off accomplishments as speaker.
"We did this when I was speaker. We passed welfare reform. We passed balanced budgets. We passed tax cuts. We did things that were very serious. But we did it in a way that said we're going to be principled." And: "As long we stuck with our principles, it was the right thing."
Gingrich entered the room in dramatic fashion. Unlike other speakers, Gingrich walked through side double doors and made his way through a standing ovation, shaking hands on the way to the stage (didn't see any baby kissing, though).
Then as he left, Gingrich issued a challenge to Democrats: "Let's get it on. Let's debate anywhere in the United States."