(CNN) - Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich credited his recent rise in the polls to being the "adult in the room" at presidential debates, watching on as front-runners engage in bitter arguments that took center stage.
"People like Rush (Limbaugh) began saying I was the adult in the room and people watched and some of my colleagues began bickering," Gingrich said on CNN's "John King, USA" Friday. "I think the bickering really shrank them."
While not naming names, Gingrich pointed to presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, who got locked in a fiery match over immigration at the CNN Western Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas last month. The verbal brawl was thought to signal a brewing feud between the two candidates.
Meanwhile, writers and pundits have given Gingrich strong marks for his debate performances, highlighting his professor-like qualities and detailed knowledge of the issues. He's scheduled to debate with front-runner Herman Cain on Saturday in Texas.
In October, the former House speaker saw a large spike in fundraising, as well as a significant boost in the polls.
According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Friday, Gingrich came in fourth place, taking top choice among 12% of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, up 6 percentage points for Gingrich since the last poll was conducted in September.
Gingrich was in third place at 10% support in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday, up 7 points from late August. He stood at 12% in a recent Fox News Poll and at 10% in a recent CBS/New York Times survey.
But his campaign got off to a rocky start this summer when Gingrich faced criticism over credit lines of up to $1 million at Tiffany & Co.
And shortly after Gingrich took a nearly two-week absence from the campaign to go on a Mediterranean cruise, seven members of his senior campaign staff resigned en masse, citing the "commitment of candidate time to the campaign trail."
Speaking to CNN Chief National Correspondent John King on Friday, Gingrich said the early campaign phase was painful, but he believes he's now back on track.
"It was painful at the time," Gingrich said. "It helped us to sort out what we're doing, why we're doing it. This is a much better campaign for having gotten through the summer, and I actually feel that we've got a very good base to be competitive in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and on to Florida."
– CNN's Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.
Pro-Cain group attacks media over controversy
Perry: Our campaign didn't have anything to do with it
Lawyer for Cain accuser hopes to release statement Friday
Still a no vote. Never going to vote for a man who left his dying wife and drummed out of Congress for too many ethics violations. His character is a no go.
I gotta hand it to him....he was about the only "adult in the room" during the debate. Can't say what the other children were doing. This will be an interesting debate on Saturday.....Da Grinch is going to rip Cain apart. You're a mean one, Mr Grinch!
You're a mean one Mr Grinch..you really are a heel
You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel
Mr Grinch....you're a bad banana with a greasy peel!
Rooting for Mr. Gingrich!
Well, if the rest of the field coming back to you is considered to be "momentum", then yes, Gingrich has momentum. But garnering the support of 1 out of 10 Republicans can't really be spun in much of a positive light...
Super Ego !
When Rush Limbaugh calls, the hogs come to the troff .
Will they put Newt's brain in the Smithsonian ?
Newt Gingrich / Lawrence Welk
this guy needs to go home and retire from politics. I would never trust him with anything.
He introduced the nasty partisan politics and went after Clinton while Newt was having affairs.
He is power hungry and he does not care for the country as much as for himself.
Are the republicans REALLY so desperate that they will return to the most corrupt republican ever kicked out?
Newt you were quiet only because you had the MOST skeletons in the closet...nothing adult about that at all! They would have made mince-meat out of you had you opened your trap and you know it!
I think Newt is going to pull one out of his rear and win Iowa and then go on to win the nomination. He is exactly what conservatives have been searching for in an "anti-romney" candidate. When he does rise in the polls, as he eventually will, there is no way such a substantive candidate can't, he will have staying power at the top, unlike Bachmann, Perry, and Cain. All Newt's baggage has been aired over the past 30 years. Voters, specifically Iowa caucus goers, who are much more serious about politics than your average voter, will value Newt's credentials. Newt not only talks the talk like Herman, Perry, Bachmann, he walks the walk. Where Cain only has 9-9-9 and his likeability and absolutely nothing else to offer, Gingrich literally has a plan ready for every possible situation that could arise. Newt's substance and experience will not go unnoticed by Republican conservatives, the anti-romneys. Add in Republican voters imagining Newt mopping the floor with Obama in debates is the icing on the cake that will inevitably propel him to the nomination and the presidency.
....................Otherwise, don't bother.
The Ideal Republican ticket would be President Mitt Romney & Vice President Newt Gingrich! I'll post signs, knock doors, do what ever it takes to help that ticket win. I'll take all my independent friends with me!
Cain is making newt look good. I'm even liking Perry better because of Cain. Nothing will make Santorum or Bachman look better. Paul is still scary, Romney hasn't changed - at least not in the last hour or so.
"'ADULT' may be the term Newt Gingrich uses to describe himself, but with his disgraceful ,notorious background.....that is not what I'd call him. When push comes to shove he will disappear into the sunset, hopefully to never be heard from again.
I think he meant to say the "adulterer" in the room.
He will beat obama in the debates. He seems to be to much of a politician.
I think the majority in this country are trying to move AWAY from corruption and unethical behavior, not leap head-long further into it. gingrich was kicked out as being corrupt and unethical decades ago.
A leopard does not change it's spots.......................
If philanderer Newt thinks he is a grown up he must be on the prowl again for his next spouse or mistress.Newt forgets his age he probably could be a neutered Newt.No one addresses him so he has time to think of a smart alec comment that draws laughs,unfortunatley this is not comedy central and the voters know Newt from his past and it isn't pretty.
I would love to witness Gingrich mop the floor with Obozo in a presidential debate!
He's still the fat guy who cheated on two wives, had numerous affairs (because he was so "passionate about his country"), was involved in financial scandal(s), and left his previous political career in shame. But Hey! He's a repugnicant. They forgive all THEIR wayward sons. He may be the only "adult" among the republican candidates, but he's ethically bankrupt and has the morals of an alley cat.
HA HA.....Who is voting for this facade again?
Wait, did Newter just imply he was endorsed by Flush Dumbo? The guy who's losing his radio audience in droves? Newter is a pompous gasbag with the morals and ethics of a snake, though that's probably an insult to snakes.
A child like Limball claims you are the adult in the room – and you some how feel it justifies your arrogance and stature? That's not an oxymoron – that's just being a pompous ass! But why would the queen of the square heads change now?
He calls himself the adult in the room then he uses Limbaugh as proof that he isn't. Why can't people see that if he is this delusional about his prospects of becoming POTUS that his other ideas are probably delusional too?