Gingrich, rightwing icon, once ran as a moderate

CARROLLTON, Ga. (AP) -- The young political candidate sought support from labor unions. He castigated corporations for "raping" the environment. He demanded that big oil companies open their financial books for inspection.

So this was the platform of what liberal Democrat?

Think again.

It was the agenda of Republican Newt Gingrich when he ran for Congress in west Georgia in the mid-to-late 1970s.

Now as a presidential candidate, Gingrich calls himself a true conservative and derides rival Mitt Romney as a "Massachusetts moderate."

Long before Gingrich reached the national spotlight, he embraced many moderate and even liberal policy positions that would be anathema in this year's White House race.

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