One of the most distressing characteristics of many conservatives is their penchant for thinking that ANYTHING that comes from a liberal must inherently be evil and should be shunned in every way possible.
Back in the days of Jesus there was a sect of the Pharisees known as the Bruised and Bloodied Pharisees. They weren't that way because they were battle tested or anything like that. They were so intent on sustaining the purity of their faith that they didn't even want to risk the chance that they might look upon a woman with lust. So when they were walking along and came upon a woman they would instantly close their eyes and keep walking. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how they got their nickname.
Many conservatives treat their political views in much the same way. They want to maintain some sense of purity to their political views and thus whenever a liberal opens their mouth to speak they close their minds and reject even the possibility that they might say something of worth.
Newt is not one of those people. He is not afraid to let a liberal speak and should he find something of value in what they say, he is unafraid to admit it. Unfortunately for him, that makes him a bad person to our Bruised and Bloodied Conservatives. When explaining why on earth he would ever get on a park bench with Nancy Pelosi he said he thought, at the time, it was a good idea to let it be known that conservatives can show they are concerned about our environment and at least willing to at least identify conservative ways in which we can approach environmental issues...instead of summarily rejecting them simply because the left so ardently supports them.
The same thing occurred when Newt endorsed The Third Wave. The Third Wave is a semi-futuristic look at where American society is heading. Written by two extremely progressive authors, Newt found it deeply satisfying that even in their attempt to write about a future for America that they ultimately saw a future America with a far more decentralized government and far more individual liberty and responsibility.
It is not difficult to understand why many conservatives struggle with the way conservatives like Newt are able and willing to reach across the aisle to work with people with whom they fundamentally disagree on so many issues. For me, I find it refreshing when a politician can see the good even in something otherwise so deeply bad. That's a man who can more readily find solutions and find ways of acquiring the support he needs FOR those solutions.