Gingrich said the movement is a "natural expression of frustration with Republicans and anger at Democrats," which is "more likely to end up as the militant wing of the Republican Party" than a third party.
A resident who attended the speech disagreed. "I wouldn't use the word 'militant," she said.
While liberals may be surprised at Gingrich's characterization, Politics Daily D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn thinks that Gingrich didn't see it as an insult. "I think there's always been a split personalty between the newt that wants to see himself as a statesman and the newt that wants to see himself as a bomb thrower," Corn told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell Thursday.