Nice Gingrich

Former House Speaker and potential presidential contender Newt Gingrich showed his compassionate side last night at the New School, discussing educational opportunity for poor people and ways to close the income gap.

“I am very concerned about the disparity of income in America between top and bottom,” he said. “The difference is I think it’s mostly a function of productivity.”

Despite a couple of disturbances — protesters were escorted out and a fire alarm was tripped — the event, including a discussion with New School President Bob Kerrey, went pretty smoothly.

Afterwards, at a cocktail party and dinner, Gingrich told the couple of reporters who were there that he didn’t intend to make up his mind about running for president until well into next year.

But he did volunteer that he had had some nice things to say about Hillary Clinton in a taped interview on NY1.

(“She had the courage to say to the Left Wing of her party: ‘that’s wrong’,” he told Domonic Carter in an interview to air this evening. “Any Republican who thinks they can beat her with a cheap and nasty campaign is crazy.”)

As Gingrich also noted, kind words from him may be the last thing Hillary needs.

–Jason Horowitz