It was pretty amusing last week when disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) made an odd declaration about his criticism of his own party’s budget plan. “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood,” he said.

The Republican presidential hopeful spoke at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning, and made an even more entertaining pronouncement.

As to his personal history, which includes multiple marriages and reports of infidelity, he said, “I’ve been very clear that I’ve made mistakes … I ask [voters] to look at who I am today.”

Gingrich added that he has cast so many votes, conducted so many interviews, and written so many articles and books (24, by his count) that he will no longer answer “gotcha” questions based on something he said or wrote in the past.

I see. So, voters are supposed to evaluate Gingrich on his record, but he’ll refuse to answer questions that reference things he said or written (i.e., his record).

And who gets to decide which parts of Gingrich’s record are eligible for scrutiny and which parts are “gotcha” questions to be ignored? Apparently, Gingrich does. (Note, last week, he characterized almost everything as a “gotcha” question.)

At the same event, by the way, Gingrich insisted, “I’m not a Washington figure.”

For the record, Gingrich was elected to Congress in the late 1970s, worked his way up to Speaker of the House, has lived inside the D.C. beltway for decades, located his businesses in D.C., has a home in one of D.C.’s wealthiest suburbs, and appears in D.C. media as a talking head on a nearly daily basis. Indeed, this morning, Gingrich made his 36th appearance at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast — a staple of the D.C. scene.

When the guy maintained a six-figure line of credit at Tiffany’s, he wasn’t shopping at the upscale chain’s locations in middle America.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.