Gingrich faces tough talk from Iowans
December 20th, 2011
05:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich faces tough talk from Iowans

Mount Pleasant, Iowa (CNN) – A couple Iowans weren't afraid to tell Newt Gingrich what they thought of him during his first campaign stop Tuesday at a local Hy-Vee grocery store.

Thirty-one-year-old Jenny Taylor is a "big fan" of the former House speaker but she doesn't think the Republican presidential candidate conveys enough humility.

"Do you think that somehow you're viewed as, and I mean this in the nicest way, as perhaps narcissistic or arrogant?" she asked Gingrich. "Do you think that? Do you feel that?"

"No, I don't. First of all, I work really, really hard and I need your help. I say that to everybody. I'm aware that I can only lead if people in fact want to be a part of where we are going. So I try very hard to reach out," Gingrich said.

The former speaker said he is assertive and added, "Sometimes when you're a little bit too assertive it's not too smart."

Their frank conversation followed a question and answer session with people inside the packed cafe area of the store.

Mount Pleasant resident Taylor stood up and told Gingrich she thought it was presumptuous of him to declare weeks ago during an ABC interview that he was going to be the nominee. Gingrich has since walked away from that comment.

"I used to be an analyst at Fox and every once in a while a reporter will ask me an analytical question and I'll forget I'm not an analyst, I'm a candidate," Gingrich said. "This will be decided by the American people, this will not be decided by any one person and that's what I should have said, and I wasn't very clever."

Taylor told reporters she wants to vote for Gingrich but is considering Mitt Romney, who her husband Ryan supports. They're worried Gingrich will not be able to "win the hearts of the American people."

Taylor said of Gingrich, "I'm voting for him with my heart but Mitt Romney's in the back of my head."

After their conversation, the former speaker thanked Taylor for her honesty. He worked the room signing autographs and asking people for their help and for their vote.

Just inside the grocery store next to Christmas displays, Tom Sorensen of Iowa City confronted the White House hopeful.

"We shook hands, I looked him in the eye and told him what I thought," said Sorensen, who called Gingrich an obscene name.

Sorensen, who is not sure who he's going to vote for, said he thinks Gingrich "represents everything that's bad about politics."

Gingrich, calmly said to him, "Well, luckily it's a free country" and moved onto the next handshake and plea for another vote.

– Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN.

Also see:

Bachmann: I'm not a politician, don't even know how to be one

Romney, on Letterman show, jokes about hair, Newt Gingrich

Perry: Romney and Gingrich backed the 'biggest act of theft in American history'


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Newt Gingrich / Darrell Issa

    The King and Prince of obstruction and deregulation !

    A winning ticket for a third world dictatorship !

    December 20, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    perhaps narcissistic or arrogant?" yep, that's Gingeritch.

    December 20, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Gingrich "represents everything that's bad about politics."

    December 20, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    he's a fool if he thinks he stands a chance....but let him waste the $ and time

    December 20, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. steve

    Ron Paul is in the lead but you wont hear it from CNN..... Ron Paul is in the lead but you wont hear it from CNN.....Ron Paul is in the lead but you wont hear it from CNN.......Ron Paul is in the lead but you wont hear it from CNN......Ron Paul is in the lead but you wont hear it from CNN........Ron Paul is in the lead but you wont hear it from CNN. .

    December 20, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rove and the Kochs will not let Paul win Iowa. Ron Paul may be in the lead, but you won't hear it on foreign owned media, Fox.

    December 20, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Iowans always vote religion in the primary, and then a different candidate will win the national primary.

    December 20, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    "First of all, I work really, really hard and I need your help."

    Yes, working so hard was the excuse Gingrich gave for having an extra-marital affair on Wife #2 with soon-to-be Wife #3, all while he was leading the charge against Clinton because of marital infidelity.

    December 20, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Gingrich isn't humble because he has a dictator mentality. If elected POTUS, he says he'll sign 100 executive orders within hours of being sworn in; if judges make rulings he doesn't like, he'll fire them; if the Supreme Court makes rulings he doesn't like, he'll ignore them.

    This man's ego and thirst for power knows no bounds .... kinda reminds me of that North Korean guy who died recently ...

    December 20, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Squigman

    Who would God vote for? Oh, thats right he shouldn't be a factor in politics since there is a separation of church and state.

    December 20, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. lonestarst8

    everyone knows Ron Paul will fix what is wrong with America. He is the only choice, provided peoples own narcissistic patterns do not prevent them from seeing what is real and what is fake.

    December 20, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. thom ohio

    Ron Paul represents the ideals of America.....which America was created from. It is time to restore our values and freedoms that have been stolen from us. Everything Newt and all others(excluding Ron Paul) have a progressive and a sly way of using political language to sound as if they are for restoring America. Take a step back and look at all candidates and and write down the top ten things each candidate advocates. Then write down what your views are and where you would like this country to move forward with.

    December 20, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. R.Merrell

    Republicans will vote for anything with an "R" next to their name on any ballot – regardless of what that candidate has done or plans to do (Gingrich: remove judges he disagrees with, regardless of the Constitution). They really don't have the country's best interests at heart – only their pocketbook and their religion (as long as it's not Muslim). Gingrich represents the dregs of politics. His record is replete with shenanigans and doublespeak all in the name of "Conservatism".

    December 20, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. loathstheright

    Gingrich faces tough talk from Iowans – What? Like, "How many other times have you cheated on your wives that we don't know about?" or "Are you still disgraced as ex-speaker or are you just still an ex-con?" or "How much money have you really pocketed from your Lobbying?" and "How much did you know when you took that 1.5 million? You should have known a lot, but you told no one, does that make you a criminal for the 85th time?"
    Those kind of questions?

    December 20, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. jason

    The numbers are there; Ron Paul is going to win Iowa and when he does it will cause a fracture in the GOP, or rather reveal one that is already there. I'm not saying thats good or bad, but its coming

    December 20, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. The Left Wing

    Why does it always take about a month for the majority of the Republican base to figure out that they've supported a loser? I find this particularly confusing with respect to Gingrich. He has been an open book for decades.

    December 20, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. Rich (in name only) in Reno

    If by some bizarre alignment of the stars (or another “once-in-a-lifetime” Supreme Court decision,) Gingrich were to make it all the way to the White House, three guesses which particular Iowan’s tax returns will be audited by the IRS until the Second Coming?

    December 20, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  18. kenny

    Like "The Eye of Newt" says, that guy is lucky it is a free country because under President Gingrich, he would have had that guy shot or put in prison at GITMO.

    December 20, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. Bob Sletten

    Gingrich is the only candidate that can stand up to Obama. He tells you how it is. He is the only one with the experience to balance the budget and make sure the government says out of our lives.

    December 20, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  20. hank

    It is about time that the GOP see this clown for what he is

    December 20, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. Morpunkt

    I like a previous post from someone. Gingrich is the GOP's Kim Jung Yuk.

    December 20, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  22. Larry L

    Can a person who gives a crap about morality or honesty really vote for Newt Gingrich? Do family values mean absolutely nothing? Is racism the reason why they don't consider voting for President Obama? He remains the only advocate for Americans who aren't fabulously wealthy.

    December 20, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. Reefer Power

    Did Newt try to pick up that young woman with that – I am assertive line?

    That was some steamy eye contact there – yikes!

    No kidding he's assertive, I might even say audacious.

    December 20, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Pimpson

    Gingrich is the ONLY intelligent choice for us right now. Voting for any of these other unqualified idiots (that would be YOU Romney/Obama) is pure stupidity.

    December 21, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    In your FACE!! How does it feel GRINCH? It does not matter that you are being NICE now, we all remember you!!

    Obama 2012

    December 21, 2011 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
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