Gingrich confident in campaign's staying power
December 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich confident in campaign's staying power

(CNN) - He's the fourth GOP hopeful to enjoy a surge in the polls, but Newt Gingrich thinks his frontrunner status will be longer lived than his rivals' bursts in the spotlight.

When asked Wednesday by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if it was possible he would make a blunder that would deflate his campaign, Gingrich acknowledged anything could happen.

"Is it possible? I guess," Gingrich said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"On the other hand, I've had a very long career, I have a very public record, and I think people are coming to decide they like substance."

He continued, "I think there's probably a little more resilience in my support than in the other folks who made a run for it."

Gingrich, who's took harsh criticism this week from former colleagues in the House of Representatives, said he wasn't worried about "bruised feelings" that were left behind.

"I think in a legislative body there's a 'go along to get along' collegial attitude," Gingrich said. "I wasn't there as in a collegial job. I was there as a leader and my job was to drive through change that Washington wasn't comfortable with."

He said he thought he would be more effective as president knowing things he had learned during his time as Speaker of the House.

"Look, I wish everybody had loved me, but I'd rather be effective in representing the American people than be popular inside Washington," Gingrich said.

As to the charge he was focused on making money after leaving government consulting for groups like Freddie Mac, Gingrich said his company had done well through hard work, not exploiting government connections.

"Another way you could say it is that I'm as good a businessman as Mitt Romney," Gingrich responded when asked if he had "cashed in."

Responding to a question about the role of ethics in selecting a presidential candidate, Gingrich said voters would take a person's morals into account, but would also look to how a candidate has matured.

"I think everything about a candidate has to be held into account," Gingrich said. "I think you have to look and render judgment. Is this a person who has grown? Is this a person who has led a better life? I mean, I suspect everybody who runs for office at this level has had some flaws at some point. Other than Christ, I don't think anybody has been flawless."

Despite past ethical questions, like his three marriages and House ethics investigation, Gingrich said his own life was an example of personal growth.

"In my case I'm 68 years old. I have a very strong marriage to Callista, as you know. I'm very close to my two daughters. Callista and I have two wonderful grandchildren, Maggie and Robert, who are my debate coaches. And people have to look at all of that and decide is he now a person who's mature and who I'm comfortable having lead the country."

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Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    â–ºGingrich confident in campaign's staying powerâ—„
    And he's hoping he'll meet President Obama in the last hour!!
    Bring it on – Mr. Arrogant – if you think you're all that
    You will be in for a SHOCK as a matter of FACT!!

    Obama 2012, because he will slaughter ginGRINCH – the last of the "Great RIGHT Hope!!!

    December 7, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. A disgusted former Republican

    Gingrich's campaign may have staring power. The problem is, that if by some miracle he is elected, the White House isn't large enough for his head. This adulterer is poison!

    December 7, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. Disenchanted75

    The only reason newt is ahead in the republican race is because he is a mangy angry dog that they hope will attack the president. Really disgusting that the only objective of the repubs is to dismantle and exponge a black man in the highest office, not actual issues.

    December 7, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Gingrich has about the same ratings, AND the same attitudes, of Gov. George Wallace, candidate for President in 1972.

    No way in hades wll I waste a vote on a bigot like him.

    December 7, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
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