The Tea Party movement is a good thing for the Republican Party, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says. It toughens up the GOP.

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Rather than fragment the Republican Party in the coming November elections, the conservative anti-tax, small-government Tea Party movement will rev it up,  says Gingrich, who helped orchestrate the 1994 Republican Revolution when the party won control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections.

And wins by Tea Party-supported candidates in the primaries leading up to the November midterms will benefit the Republican Party, “if the Tea Party movement and the Republicans stay together to defeat Obamaism,” Gingrich said on NBC’s “Today” show.

“The Tea Party movement adds energy, it adds drive, it adds a toughness that the Republican Party needs,” he said.

The Kentucky Republican primary for Senate today will be one test of how well a Tea Party supported candidate (Rand Paul) can fare against a party establishment supported candidate (Trey Grayson) at the ballot box. USA-POLITICS/TEAPARTY