The answer should be easy. Since the Party's primaries are supposed to allow voters to decide the GOP candidates, Gingrich surely doesn't mean to suggest that conservatives should not run in the primaries. After all, at the primary stage there is not yet a party nominee to oppose, so they aren't being destructive. But there is a candidate preferred and backed by the GOP leaders. (In Kentucky, for example, that's Trey Grayson.) Does Gingrich mean to suggest that even at the primary stage, conservatives should simply accept whatever RINO the leadership pushes? I suspect that he does, though in the context of the race in NY's 23rd district, his words could be otherwise construed.
Of course, the outcome in NY's 23rd District doesn't support the notion that fielding conservative candidates is destructive. On the contrary, it reveals the truth. Support from GOP leaders like Gingrich gives crypto-leftists like Scozzafava (or for that matter, Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney) the clout to thwart the election of good conservatives. What appeared in the three way race in New York is actually the ongoing reality of the situation within the GOP itself. The GOP base is conservative. A solid majority of voters in that base want candidates who oppose abortion, support the God-ordained natural family, favor limited government, free market economics and respect for the Constitution of the United States as written (not as fabricated by elitist judges.) But the GOP leadership favors blank slate mediocrities. They can then write them up as conservatives for the primaries, while secretly assuring that once nominated they will run and govern as 'moderates' (a term that refers to their dilution of conservatism, as I make clear in How GOP party bosses betray grass roots.) These anti-conservative leaders pretend that they favor 'moderates' because conservatives are unelectable. In fact, as we saw in NY's 23rd district, they favor moderates in order to make sure conservative candidates don't win elections. This is the goal and purpose of their "moderate" inclination.
This reality within the GOP is the reason I feel sorry for people who think that they can somehow reclaim it from within. I constantly get emails and other communications from sincere conservatives, deeply concerned to stop the slide into socialism, suggesting that Gingrich, Huckabee, Palin or even Michael Steele and Romney will somehow join forces with conservatives like me to restore the GOP to its principles. They haven't yet realized that the GOP leadership is now dedicated to the goal of making sure that real conservatives become obsolete. The greatest fear of the GOP leaders now is that the intense rejection of Obama's national socialism will somehow catch fire enough to lift up real conservatives to replace the phony, manipulated, sham that presently uses conservative voters to put crypto-leftists (wearing the Republican label) into power. Since Reagan left office, this has been the main purpose of the GOP party machinery, perfected in that regard by the shrewd maneuverings of people like Karl Rove.
The Politico article refers to the GOP's "center-right" coalition. This is quite simply deceitful. The GOP consists of a conservative majority being ruthlessly exploited and betrayed by a tiny, parasitical, crypto-leftist minority that relies on pro-abortion money to create a media megaphone that drowns out the voices that speak to and for the conservative heart of America. Sadly, Newt Gingrich now seems determined to speak for this minority, and its successful abuse of the decent conservatives who, but for the abuse, would join together to save the Constitution and our liberty. While people like me work to revive and restore the republic, they have apparently cast themselves as the undertakers of its demise, content to prepare the body for viewing by carefully preserving the outward appearance of life until the time comes to fulfill Khrushchev's boastful communist prediction, "We will bury you."