"I am running for president to represent you, not to represent the Washington lobbyists, not to represent Goldman Sachs, not to represent the people who have been ruining this country," he said.
"The Republican establishment is just as much of an establishment as the Democratic establishment," he said. "And they're just as determined to stop us. .. This is the desperate last stand of the old order."
Romney supporters say it's ludicrous to hang an outsider label on someone who has lived in Washington more than 30 years, once was behind only the vice president in line for the presidency, and made millions of dollars advising groups such as mortgage giant Freddie Mac in government circles.
"It's so absurd it's laughable," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told NBC in Mount Dora, where he monitored Gingrich's appearance. "He is the epitome of career politicians."
Chaffetz, first elected in 2008, said many House newcomers back Romney "because we want someone from the outside."
The apparent contradictions don't bother some voters. Several Republicans in Mount Dora embraced Gingrich's outsider image while others praised his Washington experience.
"He pulled us out once before, he can do it again," said Patti Wood, 66, giving Gingrich credit for the balanced budgets of Clinton's second term.
Barb Johnson, 52, dismissed pro-Romney ads that show Gingrich sitting with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to discuss a joint effort to combat climate change.
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