Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes one central failure of his party's healthcare reform efforts could hinder the upcoming push for tax reform as well.

Speaking to Young America's Foundation's annual National Conservative Student Conference on Tuesday morning, Gingrich said the GOP's failure to sell its repeal and replace legislation to the public sunk its chances.

"In the end, Congress isn't the key, the key is the American people," the former presidential candidate explained. Gingrich contended that with a more vigorous campaign to confer with constituents and then market reform policies to people around the country, Republicans "would have passed Obamacare repeal with a bipartisan majority."

The party is going to "face the same challenge" with upcoming efforts to pass tax reform legislation, he added.

"Tax cuts have to be designed so they are understandable by the American people," Gingrich said, pointing to his involvement in passing tax cuts during the Reagan administration. To succeed legislatively, Republicans must "explain what we're doing with such clarity that the American people want us to do it," he argued.

"Power really does come from the people. That means you have to communicate with the people," the former speaker concluded.

Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.