(CNN) - As Newt Gingrich laid out his ideas for the future of the Republican Party on Saturday, a light bulb appeared next to his head - quite literally.
The former House speaker and 2012 presidential candidate brought the light bulb and a wax candle as props to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
"Now the whole of Washington in both parties are prisoners of the past. They are trapped in the ideas and technology and mindset," Gingrich said. "They're all trapped in the age of candles."
He called on the conservatives gathered just outside Washington at the annual conference to consider big ideas - akin to moving from the age of candles to embrace the light bulb. He showed off his props in a short video posted online Friday.
The big ideas he pitched were for both for the GOP and the country.
"We stand today on the edge of a great future, but Washington is blind to it in both parties," he said.
Gingrich said the Republican National Committee's post-mortem on the 2012 election to be released next week is a first step forward for the party.
"The changes we need are vastly bigger and vastly deeper," he said.
And he suggested his role in the party's future would involve what he described as university-style courses, perhaps similar to those he offered at the Republican National Convention this summer. He also suggested earlier that he would have taught online from the White House had he been elected president.
Gingrich, a convert to Catholicism, also invoked the new Roman Catholic pope, who he said can inspire U.S. political leaders to more deeply consider the poor and issue of abortion.
"I think if we're a party that believes both in the right to life and in the right to a good life, we will be inevitably the majority party in the United States," he said.