Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – As he fends of charges of shifting on key positions, embattled Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says he will allow his ideas to evolve openly throughout the course of his campaign.
"Normally campaigns are very secretive, they don't reveal anything until they're totally ready and then they spring something," Gingrich told CNN after a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa Monday night. "I really think you're better off when you engage the American people in a dialogue where they get to participate in the development of the ideas."
Listen to a conversation about the state of the 2012 race with CNN Radio Washington Correspondent Bob Costantini and CNN Lead Political Anchor Wolf Blitzer:
"The evolution may be more open than anything you've ever seen in a campaign," the former House Speaker and onetime college professor added.
The comments come as Gingrich faces criticism from several members of his party for comments he made during an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, in which he took aim at provisions of GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal and appeared to support a health care mandate.
Gingrich later walked back both comments, saying he largely supports Ryan's proposal and has long been for an appeal of the health care law.
"Let me just say I think Paul Ryan did a great job overall but I think the Medicare part needs to go through a public process, discussion, and improvement and modification and I think it can," Gingrich told CNN. "I think he has the beginning of what could be an extraordinary plan."
But he did reiterate he is taking a cautious approach to the Medicare proposal...
"I think that it's something so big and so central to people's lives that we need to make sure we do it right. And we need to make sure people understand and approve it."
Gingrich added he will state his final positions well before voters head to the polls.
"Long before we get to the election we'll lock down," he said. "We'll have a specific list of bills."