Gingrich touts experience over Cain’s
October 29th, 2011
08:22 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich touts experience over Cain’s

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) -– Claiming he and Herman Cain are from “two different worlds,” Newt Gingrich questioned Cain’s readiness to lead by emphasizing his own Washington experience to a South Carolina voter torn between supporting the two presidential candidates.

The former House Speaker told a jam-packed Chick-fil-A here Friday that he considers the businessman, a fellow Georgia resident, a good friend. “But I think in terms of practical, deep understanding of America that we just operate in two different worlds, we’ve had two different career tracks,” said Gingrich.

“The biggest difference I think is pretty straightforward: trying to fundamentally change America is really hard,” he said. “Talking about it is really easy.”

The man who asked the question appeared to be skeptical of Gingrich’s background, referring to him as an “experienced politician, and that’s what’s gotten us in the fix we’re in right now.”

That kind of anti-government sentiment might explain Cain’s rise to front-runner status with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Gingrich, however, argues his government experience is what makes him more qualified than Cain to be the next president of the United States.

“I’ve seen the legislative branch where my record is reasonably real and I’ve seen the executive branch, and I have a pretty good idea what doesn’t work,” said Gingrich. “And I’ve had a lifetime of studying history to try to understand what are the lessons of history and what are the lessons of America.”

Gingrich challenged the Chick-fil-A audience, many armed with his Contract with America pamphlets, to think about the following scenario when considering whether to support him or Cain.

“If you think to yourself it’s October of next year and President Obama has a billion-dollar war chest with which to try to destroy his opponent with advertisements and you’re down to the debates, who do you want standing on that platform opposite Obama explaining America so the American people decide that’s the future they want?”

Despite his poll numbers hovering in the single digits in the early primary states, Gingrich is confident he’ll come in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire, and win South Carolina where he’s spending the next two days campaigning

“I think people are more worried about this country today than any time in my lifetime. Now, I actually think that’s the only time I make sense as a candidate because I’m a really serious person,” said Gingrich. “I mean, you’re not going to hire me to cheerlead at your birthday party but you might hire me to save the neighborhood.”

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • South Carolina
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. sensible

    Ahhh, there's nothing quite like going to one of the nation's most obese states and holding a rally at a fast food restaurant!!

    October 29, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When he loses all the primaries, I will be happy to see Newt go back to Fox, as you can then turn him off.

    October 29, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Justaminit

    Let me interpret, "He's black and I'm not".

    October 29, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. sensible

    “I mean, you’re not going to hire me to cheerlead at your birthday party but you might hire me to save the neighborhood.”.....but keep him away from your wife!!!

    October 29, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Izzat

    When will this arrogant a#$%ole understand that he has so turned off the vast majority of not only Americans, but people in his own party, that he has ZERO chance of winning? Newt is the poster child for government gridlock, which is exactly what we don't need at this point in American politics.

    October 29, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    If newt rises any higher in the polls, the political discussion will focus more on newt's record in Congress. While sensible voters will applaud the tax hikes coming through newt's Congress, tax hikes that led to a balanced budget for a few years, those tax hikes won't fare too well with the repugs.

    October 29, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Marie MD

    Experience in what exactly? Cheating on your cancer ridden wife? How to leave congress gracefully after being disgraced? Going on a vacation to the Greek islands when most people can't put food on the table? How much money do you have in that Tiffany's account?
    Get real and get lost!

    October 29, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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