NEW YORK – Newt Gingrich (search), rebutting criticism the GOP is hiding conservatives during its convention, accused Democrats Monday of shunting anti-abortion and conservative Democrats to the side.
There's "a party of narrow-minded bigotry," the former House Speaker said. "It's called the Democrats."
Speaking to the Republican Main Street Partnership (search), a group of moderate GOP legislators, Gingrich accused Democrats of excluding their conservative wing from their conventions and in Congress.
"They've not had a single right-to-life Democrat speak at their convention in three or four conventions now," he said.
"You ought to go talk to the Kerry campaign about why it is that the only pro-life Democrat to speak at a national convention this year is Zell Miller (search), and he wasn't in Boston," Gingrich added. Sen. Miller, D-Ga., is to give a keynote speech here Wednesday.
Gingrich was the architect of the Republicans' "Contract with America," which spurred his meteoric political rise that peaked in the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress, then flamed out after setbacks in the 1998 elections, when he left Congress.
Despite the lack of conservative GOP convention speakers, Gingrich said he wasn't worried the party would abandon conservatism.
"A party nominating President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is a relatively conservative party," he said.
However, Gingrich told reporters conservatives could not capture the White House and Congress without support from moderates.
"We can create a center-right majority in this country, but it is impossible to create a right-only majority in America," he said.