Newt Gingrich knows how to sit on a fence -- 'cause he's now defending Al Franken ... while also bashing him for thinking he could go the distance in politics.
We got the former Speaker of the House on Capitol Hill and asked about his recent defense of Franken on TV ... where he said the guy deserved his due process before being forced to resign.
Newt breaks it down rather simply -- Americans are innocent until proven guilty, regardless of party ... period.
Still, he couldn't help but leave with a parting shot to the SNL comic-turned-senator ... and any other comedians who think they're cut out for D.C.
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