Newt University is in session at GOP convention in Tampa

Historians in the News

TAMPA, Fla — Newt Gingrich kicked off "Newt University" — a characteristic hybrid of a campaign event, business venture, and effort by the Republican Party to keep Gingrich busy — in a modest-sized, half-full hotel ballroom today, a room dominated by a large stand of cameras.

The event is the beginning of a sort of intellectual track of Republican politics, financed by the Republican Party and slated to last through the election. It's carried by KAPx, the distance-learning platform of the Washington Post-owned for-profit education company Kaplan, Inc., though a Gingrich spokesman said Kaplan was just a vendor, not a partner, in the effort.

The aim, Gingrich spokesman RC Hammond told BuzzFeed, is to allow Republicans to understand "why we say these things" and to "win arguments in their communities." It's modeled, for Gingrich, in part on his GOPAC tapes, training cassettes for electoral politics that were the viral media of their day, the 1980s and 1990s....

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