Gingrich lowers expectations, shoots for top three or four in Iowa
December 22nd, 2011
12:21 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich lowers expectations, shoots for top three or four in Iowa

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday seemed to be lowering expectations for the upcoming Iowa caucuses, saying he'd be happy with a third or fourth place finish.

"My goal is to be the top three or four [in Iowa]," the former House speaker said at a campaign stop in Richmond, Virginia. "I'd love to win."

His comment comes one day after a new poll indicated that Texas Rep. Ron Paul now holds the top spot in the Hawkeye State, with 28% of Iowa Republican caucus goers saying Paul would be their first choice.

Meanwhile, Gingrich came in second with 25% of support, a three percentage point margin well within the poll's sampling error.

The results reflect a slip in the polls for Gingrich, who was ahead in the Iowa race earlier in the month according to several surveys.

Also in early December, Gingrich made headlines when he told a reporter he would win the Republican nomination, saying, "It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee."

The comment was quickly criticized as presumptuous among Republican circles. Later that day, Gingrich dialed back his confidence, saying the GOP nomination was up to the voters, not him.

While Gingrich expects to come in third or fourth in Iowa, he said he has higher predictions for other early voting states.

"I probably will be in the top two in New Hampshire, and then to win South Carolina and Florida," Gingrich said.

Gingrich has tried to maintain a positive campaign as his opponents attack his recent frontrunner status.

Playing defense, Gingrich held phone conferences with supporters and media availabilities with the press in the last week to answer some of the ads launched against him.

For example, on Monday, Gingrich took an apparent swipe at opponent Mitt Romney, who's repeatedly called Gingrich an "unreliable" conservative.

"Now I don't want to get into any attacks so I'm not going to comment on people who are suggesting I'm not a consistent conservative. Although one wonders how they would know one if they saw it," Gingrich said at a campaign stop in Iowa.

But on Thursday, Gingrich denied that his response to the attacks has caused him to go negative, saying he is simply being honest.

"I don't regard telling the truth as an attack," Gingrich said. "It may feel like an attack to people who are lying, but I think telling the truth is a legitimate part of politics."

The Iowa caucuses, the nation's first Republican presidential contest, are set for January 3.

Also see:

Ron Paul defensive over past newsletters

Gingrich to Romney: Let's meet in the kitchen

Pro-Romney super PAC slams Gingrich


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. realitybites

    He's good at lowering things. This should not be a problem. Lowering his moral standing, pants, integrity, standing in US House, etc.

    December 22, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Stop the Charade

    So long, Newt. Keep pushing those book sales.

    December 22, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. susan leonhardt

    That was what Gingrich thought when he had the rise in the polls, that he was a shoe in for the President. But all a long those who have risen to the top of the ladder, has had to step back down it. Gingrich attitude is what did him in.

    December 22, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "My goal is to be the top three or four [in Iowa]," the former House speaker said"

    Works for me, Newt. Not that it matters, but looks as if Ron Paul will take Iowa. Gotta ask Newt how that whole Karl Rove thingy is working out for him, though. Probably not quite how he expected ... or how old Herman expected, either.

    December 22, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Expectations can kill ya !

    I asked Santa for Tiffany s cufflinks for Christmas !

    December 22, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I am just glad that he stopped complaining about all of the negative campaigning against him. He re-invented negative campaigning to a new art form. He should ought to be proud of the permanent mark that he has left on American politics.

    December 22, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. skipper

    Ron Paul for 2012
    Lets get America back on the right track, back to the principles and values that made America great. Ron Paul for a Government of the people, by the people, for the people. Lets restore true capitalism and let us retire crony capitalism, there is no such thing as too big to fail, and Wallstreet banks do not deserve a get out of free jail card.

    December 22, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We need to get back to what made America great: FDR, Harry Truman, Ike, LBJ, JFK and democrats made government for ALL people, by ALL the people, and for ALL the people. There is not one republican candidate that can be a president for ALL people.

    December 22, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Logic in LA

    Newt is proof we need a test for those running for President. First IQ ( for the Perry's, Palin's and Bachman's) and then one on the roll of the President . Even one answer that says he would ignore a Supreme Court of fire judges and abolish court systems entirely, should make them ineligible for the office.

    December 22, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When the foreign owned media (Fox), the Kochs, and Rove are spending millions on behalf of Mittens to destroy Newt, 7th place would look good.

    December 22, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. ST

    Is this not the man who was boasting himself: "I will be the nominee". Now he is lowering himself?? The nominee always is on top of everyone.

    December 22, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. V in Chicago

    Guess Newt is finally realizing that people don't trust him and don't want him in any office. But, in typical Newt fashion, he will want us to think it was a strategical manuve on his part and that this is exaclty what he was expecting. Is he still touting that he "will be the nominee"? Newt need to go back to that small local college he taught at and leave the politics to – well, Obama I guess, because the only person running as a Republican that would even be a consideration is Huntsman, and he is just not crazy enough to be one of the front runners. Maybe in about 8 – 10 years (like Romney) he can give it a real shot.

    December 22, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. skipper

    Reply to Wire Palladin, S.F.
    Obama, true change we can believe in – LOL, what a joke! The new boss is not too different from the old boss.

    December 22, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. V in Chicago

    @ Skipper – no thank you! I do not want to go back in time. Paul does have "some" good ideas, the problem is he is so extreme and out of touch with reality that he will never be elected President.

    December 22, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Rudy NYC
    I am just glad that he stopped complaining about all of the negative campaigning against him. He re-invented negative campaigning to a new art form. He should ought to be proud of the permanent mark that he has left on American politics◄

    He did sound like a "whining" baby and he stopped just in time or it would have completely destroyed him. As a result of his ranting, he did manage to get all candidates to "suspend" negative ads during the holiday season. Also, his ad with Calista also caught on – now all of the others are doing it!!!

    Third or fourth place is a "safe" thing to say right now for ginGRINCH. If he keeps driving the fact that he will be FIRST and/or he will the NOMINEE – no matter what – is not and will not work for him. He had no choice but to place him 3rd or 4th; if he does better, then that is all good too!!

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS – Obama 2012!!!

    December 22, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    skipper

    Ron Paul for 2012
    Lets get America back on the right track, back to the principles and values that made America great. Ron Paul for a Government of the people, by the people, for the people. Lets restore true capitalism and let us retire crony capitalism, there is no such thing as too big to fail, and Wallstreet banks do not deserve a get out of free jail card.
    ---------------–
    Would that include slavery, too? The Founders seemed to like the idea of slavery. Slaves built the building that houses the NY Stock Exchange and many other buildings in lower Manhattan from that era.

    Would that also include interpreting the 2nd Amendment to mean that everyone can own a hand-crafted, custom built musket rifle that shoots lead balls, which didn't use bullets but rather a bag of gun powder? Instead of the high-powered modern gun of day that uses bullets and has interchangeable parts, thanks to the industrial revolution that came a century later?

    December 22, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Dec 1, 2011 – "I’m going to be the nominee,” the former Speaker told ABC News. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.”

    Dec 22, 2011 – "My goal is to be the top three or four [in Iowa]," the former House speaker said at a campaign stop in Richmond, Virginia. "I'd love to win."

    Feb 5, 2012 – "The people have spoken and I am suspending my campaign. My goal was to bring my Conservative ideas to the forefront of the political dialog and was never to be the nominee. I have run a very successful campaign and now throw my support behind (fill in the blank)"

    Mar 22, 2012 – "ShamWow! cloths wash, dry, and polish any surface. They are like a towel, chamois, and sponge all in one–except they're extremely absorbent and can be used over and over. Calista an I use ours all the time!"

    December 22, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Ferret out the B.S.

    Unfortunately all of these candidates stand for some kind of discrimination against various segements of the population. They just don't get that this country is diverse and that is what makes it great. A vote for freedom does not include Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michell Bachman, Rick Perry, Joe the Plumber, or Sarah the Dumber.

    December 22, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Richard Przybylski

    I have serious concerns that the media is dictating which candidate they want us to vote for. Is this because of money, misguided information, opinion, or personal grudge? I an very confused by the statements being made by many journalists today. Opinion onTV can be a bad thing especially when we are talking about who may be the most powerful man in the fre world. We hear about issues related to the Muslim community in the US which is larger than the Polish community in the US today and we discount the fact that many Muslims in this country haven't been here that long and may or may not be terrorists. How can we discount that? How can we be so forgiving? I understand that not all are bad and believe me I have many friends that are Muslim. I wonder why Muslims can freely come and go to Canada and I am the negative profile and have to be searched and detained when crossing? I am now the minority in the US, without the benefit of being the minority. All of that aside, as I digress, my concern is the presidential race that seems to be malaligned by the media. The media wants Mitt because they want Obama in the Whitehouse. I want Obama out of the Whitehouse and I am one that voted for him after listening to the media and being swayed. I am requesting all of my friends out there that they vote for whoever the media doesn't want to be president, "We the People". Mitt doesn't known left from right, Obama wants us to spend spend spend, Gingrich wants what most of us need but is a bull in a China factory, and Hillary is a criminal. The media loves what sells or makes them money. I want truth. I want properity for everyone. I want to see the power shifted to where it was 200 years ago.

    December 22, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Face it Libertarians, Rove and the Kochs, as well as foreign owned media, Fox, will not let Ron Paul anywhere near the presidency.

    December 22, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "Gingrich lowers expectations"

    yes...yes he does

    December 22, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am quite happy with the change, thank you. When the president took over in January 2009, the stock market was below 8000. The drop from over 14,000 to 7800 under Bush nearly destroyed my retirement. We had lost 8 million jobs in Bush's last three years, our national debt had risen to $11 trillion, and that did not include Bush's TARP. We were involved in 2 wars with no way to pay for them, 50 million Americans were uninsured, and 48000 were dying annually without being able to see a doctor. The American auto industry was going under. Over 3 million jobs were created in the stimulus, 2 million auto related jobs save, and we are out of Iraq. President Obama deserves a second term. That is change I believe in!

    December 22, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Would that include slavery, too? The Founders seemed to like the idea of slavery."

    Oh, and let's not forget that nifty little 3/5ths of a person thing, which if applied by the conservative nutjobs literally, woudl require them to take the position that 3/5ths of minority pregnancies are allowed to be aborted.

    December 22, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Excuse me...bad math...that should've read "2/5ths of minotirty abortions..."

    December 22, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. NVa Native

    For the Iowa caucus the same out come as for all the GOPT debates – Obama wins!

    December 22, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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