(CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pushed back against comments made by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Monday, in which Bush argued Ronald Reagan would struggle to fit in with what he described as today's partisan-charged Republican Party.
"I'm not sure what Jeb's referring to," Gingrich said on CNN's "John King, USA." "We just had a pretty grueling campaign, which had a fair amount of disagreement, a pretty wide range of views from Ron Paul to say Tim Pawlenty."
He continued: "In that framework, you see us come together as a party. I think there's plenty of room in the Republican Party for a wide range of candidates."
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Earlier Monday, Bush told Bloomberg editors that Reagan and his own father, former President George H. W. Bush, would not mesh well in a party that some say allows little room for dissension.
"Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad – they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party – and I don't – as having an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement, doesn't allow for finding some common ground," Bush said, according to the website Buzzfeed.
Gingrich, however, took issue with that assertion, saying he sees more tolerance in the GOP than among those on the left.
"I would argue in many ways we have a more diverse party today than the Democrats. It's much easier to be of a different view as a Republican, without having the kind of pressure you would have if you were a pro-life Democrat," he said.
Also in the interview, Gingrich came to Mitt Romney's defense over comments the presumptive GOP presidential nominee made Friday, remarks that have since drawn fire from Democrats.
Taking questions after an event, Romney faulted President Barack Obama for wanting more government spending to stimulate the economy and create more jobs in the public sector, notably more teachers, fire fighters and police.
Opponents quickly seized on the remarks and accused Romney of wanting to cut those jobs, rather than stop them from growing.
Gingrich, however, said he understood what Romney was saying, arguing that the candidate was simply being realistic about the consequences of reducing the deficit.
"Does that mean there will be fewer teachers? The honest answer is yes. Does it mean you're not going to be getting quite the same pension plan people have been getting? The honest answer is yes," Gingrich said.
The former House speaker further predicted the public sector versus private sector jobs debate would continue to amplify this election year.
"It's going to affect Senate races, Houses race, the entire national dialogue," he said.
Gingrich appeared at a private fund-raiser with his one-time rival, Romney, in Georgia Monday night.