Gingrich confident in campaign's staying power
December 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
11 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."

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. normajean @ verizon ,com

    This person wouldn't have a chance in" H_L "of even RUNNING for president if the voters would just take the time and concern to read up on his deplorable background. If he ran the country as he's run his own life. we'd be lucky to even live through it!!!!...What's the matter folks??? Things aren't bad enough for you.? want to make them worse???

    December 7, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. sequoia

    Ummm, this guy is disgusting, corrupt, wildly hypocritical, elitist, bigoted and intellectually dishonest. Now, he might make a perfect Republican candidate, but there is no way he can beat Obama. Newt? Really Republicans? Mmmmkay.

    December 7, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Gingrich confident in campaign's staying power"

    Ummmm...someone tell Newtered that if his megalomaniacal ego erection lasts longer than 4 hours, he's supposed to go see a doctor.

    December 7, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Jamie from Riverside

    Staying power? This fat, blowhard will also be on the scap heap in a month.

    December 7, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "I think people are coming to decide they like substance."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA...maybe if that substance is feces...after all, the GOP/Teatrolsl have done nothing but spend the past 3+ years flinging it. Lord knows they must actually truly love the stuff.

    December 7, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. ST

    "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." said Gingrich.

    Oh! man, all these were known to people since you joined the campaign. You are enjoying the frontrunner because other candidates who were infront of you, did mess up. You must be thankful to them because of their negligence!

    December 7, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Baby Boomer

    If this guy gets the Rep. nomination, it will be the most telling moment in U.S. history. It will me that not only did we not take a big step forward in 2008 but we have now chosen to undo 60 plus years of progress. I sure hope we are better than that.

    December 7, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Fury

    If this is what the Tea Party wants. FAILURE.

    No One but Paul.

    December 7, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Frank

    Only a fool would support this unethical and habitual crook and serial adulterer.

    December 7, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Lilie

    Hang in there, folk! This balloon will be deflated in the next few weeks....

    December 7, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. skalamba

    I don't think so imagine linked to Freddie Mac, Americans be wise in voting and make sure you are voting the right candidate!!!!.

    Romney is the man who will turn this nation around.

    December 7, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Voice of Reason

    Well he's certainly got no problems with self-image. This guy is so arrogant, and the funny part is that we all see how transparent it all is.

    Do your homework, and see what kind of person Newt really is. The records on this guy are long and detailed. He is 1) incompetent: He presided over the GOP losing control of congress after one term for the first time in like 60 years... 2) untrustworthy: The whole Freddy Mac and Fannie May thing – how many millions did they pay him for not lobbying? Yeah right. 3) a dirtbag. Just ask his first two wives what he thinks of fidelity in marriage. 4) a pompous windbag: Every question put to him is followed by lofty accusations and pontifications about how much smarter he is than you.

    Newt, just go away.

    December 7, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. NO WAY

    Sorry Newt, I am not buying the new Newt. You are an embarrasment to the GOP... Don't worry though you should be able to cash out on this run at the nomination after the voters wake up.

    December 7, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. New

    As a newly converted Republican, there is no way I can support Gingrich or Romney. They both remind me of my former liberal roots. Why doesn't the rest of the GOP see that. Gingrich supported an individual mandate to buy health insurance. Obamacare is just a copy of Mittcare. Why would any decent Republican vote for either of these two???

    Ron Paul 2012 – the best choice to take the White House back and restore American values.

    December 7, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. skalamba

    Newt won't be the nominee.

    December 7, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. LegendRx

    This is some very scary nightmarish bizarro world altered reality.

    December 7, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  17. GonzoinHouston

    I'm old enough to remember when Newt was Speaker. In '98 the GOP lost several seats in the House when Newt was confidently predicting a gain of 20-60 seats. By this time he had made himself a virtual tyrant in the House and had already been fined $300 grand for campaign finance crimes. When republicans began to insist on a reduction in his authority (although still Speaker), he quit. At his first major setback. He quit, cut and ran. He'll quit at some point in this race, too.

    December 7, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    I looked ... I decided ... I pass.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    December 7, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Eventually Republican voters will figure out that Gingrich is a status quo politician. He was thrown out of Congress b his own party in part because he was a control freak but mostly because he was corrupt..

    December 7, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    @ New-is there such a thing as a decent Republican? I don't think you can use decent and Republican in the same sentence-biggest oxymoron ever! bad...second biggest oxymoron-Compassionate Conservative would be the biggest oxymoron ever!

    December 7, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. Riley

    President Romney will likely put Newt in his cabinet.

    December 7, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. Slightly Left of Center

    The new Newt. Same as the old Newt.

    December 7, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. Tough USA

    Media pushing filthty Newt on me and my family. Thanks CNN. But I don't think so !!!!!

    December 7, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. MidwestMountainMan

    Evangelical conservatives, please be intellectually honest when choosing between Gingrich and Romney. Gingrich is at least as much of a flip-flopper as Romney. So scratch that as a deciding factor. According to Bob Jones University, Gingrich belongs to a cult (Catholic), and Romney belongs to a cult (Mormon). So scratch that as a deciding factor. If, after honestly weighing all of your other considerations, you decide on Gingrich, then I respect that.

    December 7, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. Squigman

    Narcissist, thy name is Newt.

    December 7, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
1 2