Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich thinks the system is ‘stupid.’ (John Starks/AP)

“The thing I find most disheartening about this campaign is the difficulty of talking about positive ideas on a large scale because the news media can’t cover it, and the other candidates, my opponents, can’t comprehend it,” Gingrich said in a “gloomy” speech, according to our colleague Felicia Sonmez.

He also called the political system “stupid.”

So there.

Republicans are pretty “meh” about their options, reports our colleague Chris Cillizza. New polling data are showing an enthusiasm dearth about the GOP candidates — the excitement is even lower than it was in 2008,

And the drain of colorful characters from Congress continues. Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Democrat whose district encompasses parts of Queens and Long Island, is retiring. We’ll miss that jaunty carnation he always wore as a boutonnière — and the funny old car he tooled around in on Capitol Hill.

And here’s a quote of the day, from a story by our colleague Nia-Malika Henderson about Rick Santorum’s possible future on the teevee (since he won’t be doing Rose Garden speeches): “It’s not like he is going to get the leading role in a new Whitney Cummings sitcom, and I can’t imagine him having something like Sarah Palin’s reality show,” said Robert Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.