Gingrich's 'great experiment'
December 31st, 2011
04:27 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich's 'great experiment'

Atlantic, Iowa (CNN) - Here in Iowa, just days before the first votes are cast in the 2012 presidential election cycle, Newt Gingrich is gambling that he can stay competitive with a "positive, solutions-oriented" campaign that the candidate himself is dubbing a "great experiment."

"It's a little bit daunting but we're going to continue to be positive," said Gingrich, after citing a recent survey analyzing political advertising that found nearly half of the ads in Iowa have been attack spots against the former House speaker.

Gingrich was speaking to a packed room at Tish's restaurant in Council Bluffs Saturday morning, the fifth day on his bus tour that he'll continue into the January 3 caucuses. Later in the day, he held a town hall at Coca-Cola Atlantic Bottling Company in western Iowa.

Gingrich is resolving to close 2011 by staying positive in the face of withering attacks that have eroded his support in the polls.

"We have positive ads about how to create jobs and how to balance the budget," he said at the Council Bluffs stop. "And I feel like I can afford to be positive - this may be a comment on our competitors - I'm very comfortable being positive because starting with when I was a very junior congressman working with Ronald Reagan we actually achieved positive things."

The former speaker is getting a boost from Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, who suggests in a half-hour special that Gingrich is the candidate to carry on the legacy of his father. The conservative publication Newsmax will broadcast "The Newsmax 2012 Election Special" on "major broadcast outlets" in Iowa throughout the weekend.

The Gingrich campaign, which says it has raised $9.5 million in the fourth quarter, sent out a fundraising pitch on New Year's Eve urging supporters help him raise $500,000 to reach $10 million.

The e-mail acknowledged the campaign's "fair share of highs and lows" over the last few months.

"This has been a tumultuous quarter, with its fair share of highs and lows. The media is less than thrilled with the idea of an experienced conservative systematically dismantling the failed liberal policies that they champion," the e-mail said. "This election is a historic clash of ideology, and if the ideals of liberty are going to carry the argument, our nominee must not timidly pull his punches."

Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Jilli

    Oh the irony...Gingrich, the godfather of scorched earth politics now calls a truce and requests civility. You reap what you sow Mr. Gingrich, you reap what you sow.

    Let's hope this forary is the last we have to see or hear from this phony.

    December 31, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    He thinks all the people of the U.S. can be used in one of his "experiments" - jerk us around and see how far into poverty and serfdom he can push us.


    December 31, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. m

    gingRICH has taken this approach because if he goes negative things will really go badly for him. He's nothing other than a conniving, lying, mean little man who refuses to face the fact no one wants him to be president. A freight train can't handle his baggage.

    December 31, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Gingrich is a desperate joke of a man. He should look in the mirror if he wants to know the reason for his falling poll numbers – that, and leaf through a book on his own history.

    December 31, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. ZnHcats

    His pea size brain supporters think his experience is the "best".

    December 31, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |

    He's sinking after his kids for janitors and rounding up judges ideas. There have been no ads in NH but he's flatined there too. America finally woke up Lizard. There aren't enough teabaggers to carry him to the nomination. Ask Witch ODonnell,Sharon Angle and Joe Miller about that.

    December 31, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Bruce

    Well, cry me a river. The poor candidates don't want to play by the rules. See, politicians think rules/laws are 'for other people'. They are above it all. You idiots DIDN'T qualify–end of story. Violation of free spech?? Yeah, RIGHT.

    December 31, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Quest

    WOW !!!

    I Love IT !!!

    If you are not Winning.....

    Just Change the Rules in the Middle of the Game !!!!!!

    December 31, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Christopher Tracy

    Seriously?? Mr. Gingrich wants to run positive ads. Hmmm. Isn't that akin to Satan turning over a new leaf? I'm just saying...

    December 31, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    No more contracts ON America, and no more grandiose republican schemes (experments).

    We have the man we need in the office now.. HE works for all of us, not just one ethnicity or one political party.

    Vote the baggers out and next year will see better times for all of us. They've voted NO on every jobs bill and every good idea put forth. If they hate government so much, why do they try so hard to be in it? Oh, BENEFITS FOR THEM.

    December 31, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |

    Oh please go away. You look like a beached beluga albino whale. What experiment? In how one cranky white male can age ungraciously after three marriages and a religious conversion. Your ideas are stale, your hypocrisy is without equal, and frankly your new wife scares me to death. Maybe she is dead and that's just a ton of plastic surgery and bionics that make it move in that cyborg way

    December 31, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Michigan Jim

    Newt is the one candidate who has a record of federal spending cuts and consecutive years of balanced budgets. That is the biggest problem with American economics right now, and he's the one candidate who has a record of success in that area.

    December 31, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. Granny to 22

    " We the people" have to follow all rules and you dont? awwww

    December 31, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. GOP = Greed Over People

    It is not "negative" or a "smear" campaign if it states the truth.

    It is called a "reminder".

    December 31, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. A former republican

    Gingrich is not a serious candidate. He just wants to sell books like Sarah Palin!

    December 31, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. Marry

    Newt Gingrich with 12%, Rick Perry with 11%...
    This must be the greatest insult to Newt = same level with Rick Perry! LOL!

    January 1, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  17. kat

    You are a patriot Sir, but I think the media and the BHO campaign would run you out. You are so much smarter than our current president, but too much baggage.

    January 1, 2012 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  18. bp

    Just a few more weeks and the political career of this liar, hypocrite, serial adulterer and sociopath will be over. I just hope he lives long enough to see the damning verdict history will render on him.

    January 1, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    This, coming from arguably the most negative politician in history. The sad thing, is that there are voters (albeit right-wing knuckle-dragging droolers with the IQ of a squirrel) who actually buy into what Gingrich is peddling.

    January 1, 2012 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  20. Anonymous

    This is all staged political theater. Newt will walk away with a nice chunk of cash after making the necessary endorsements, For months Karl Rove's sleazy neocon tentacles have been slithering around the gullible GOBP sheeple and their oh-so-precious primary.

    January 1, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |