Newt Gingrich: Ted Cruz Is A 'Dramatic Dissenter To The Washington Establishment'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) appeared to lash out Sunday at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for dragging down the Republican Party's ratings.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday found the GOP's approval rating was only 24 percent, the lowest it's ever been in that poll.

"Ted Cruz is a very aggressive articulator of a hardline position that probably 20 or 25 percent of the country agrees with," said Gingrich on CNN's "State of the Union."

The former Georgia congressman was responding to a question from moderator Candy Crowley about whether Cruz's uncompromising stance on Obamacare is damaging the Republican Party brand.

But Gingrich also seemed to praise Cruz for for his unrepentant far-right stance.

"He is a dramatic dissenter to the Washington establishment," Gingrich said. "That also means ... he's really infuriating defenders of the Washington establishment. I don't think Ted minds that at all."

Sen. Ted Cruz