Washington (CNN) - Newt Gingrich may have a new political focus, but the focus of his ire appears to be the same.
At various times during a roughly 50-minute appearance at Georgetown University on Wednesday, the Republican presidential candidate re-stated familiar attacks on the news media, President Obama and critics.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN
It was Gingrich's first public appearance since news broke that he had dramatically scaled back his presidential campaign.
The speech was light on barbs against his GOP rivals. But at one point, Gingrich did label them as being off their rockers for their response to one of his most controversial ideas.
"I talked about having colonies on the moon, and I talked about the importance of space, and all this stuff. And I just got really ridiculed, including by my two opponents," Gingrich said, "who just went sort of nutso on this thing."
After reiterating the need for bold new space ventures, Gingrich said, "We are surrounded by a news media that is cynical, and by consultants who are cynical, by lobbyists who are cynical.
"They think having big ideas are silly. And they think it's a waste of time."
As billed, the speech was to primarily focus on Social Security reform. But the candidate spent the majority of his address positing other oft-stated conservative positions. For example, Gingrich talked about the ideals of the nation's Founding Fathers, the threats of secularization, the need for energy independence and what he called President Obama's gross mishandling of the nation's economy.
Thirty minutes in, Gingrich began to tackle the entitlement program in earnest.
"According to the Social Security actuary, if we had adopted in 1983 a personal Social Security savings account model, we would today have over $16 trillion in savings accounts," Gingrich said.
"So your generation has a terrific opportunity."
At the end of his speech, the candidate opened the floor to questions. The first one was arguably the harshest.
"Back in high school, I was a janitor ... and, for me, it was embarrassing to be a janitor with all these other rich kids," the questioner began, an apparent reference to Gingrich's previous comments that poor children should be allowed to work as janitors in schools and earn money.
"I did not feel empowered by serving my classmates," the questioner continued. "Why not invest in these kids to work for law firms, hospitals and get paid to get a lot better skills?"
"I'm sorry if you're offended," Gingrich responded. "Both of my daughters worked as janitors at the local Baptist church. And they earned their money and they didn’t think it was demeaning."
As Gingrich spoke, the questioner interrupted a few times, causing a bit of a verbal scuffle.
There was also a candid moment.
While talking about the need for big solutions to the nation's problems, Gingrich acknowledged he'd fallen short in promoting what's best for the country.
"I haven’t done a very good job as a candidate. It is so difficult to communicate big solutions in this country," he said.
"We are in deep trouble as a people. This transcends Republicans, it transcends Democrats, it transcends Obama's personality, it transcends the Republican candidates. Your generation is inheriting a dysfunctional country which cannot communicate with itself and whose political leadership has no ideas to get us back on track. And that's why I decided to run."