Newt Gingrich is confidently wearing the mantle of perceived front-runner in the Republican presidential race.
Riding high in the national polls, Gingrich returned to the Iowa campaign trail today for a series of public events and interviews. Gingrich told ABC the “odds are very high” that he is going to be the GOP’s nominee. During an interview with Radio Iowa, Gingrich suggested his candidacy has been revived because voters considered “outsiders” — but then decided the country needs an experienced hand.
“They’re sort of peeling back the layers and saying, ‘Now wait a second. Nice slogan. What’s the policy?'” Gingrich said during the Radio Iowa interview. “Nice policy. Could he really get it done?”
Gingrich suggested the country is having its own “999” moment, a reference to Herman Cain’s “999” tax plan, but the nines represent things like the very high unemployment rate and the very low percentage of Americans who approve of congress.
“It’s sort of being in a card game where they want to kick over the table,” Gingrich said. “They don’t want to be told, ‘Just deal another hand.’ They want to say, ‘Wait a second.’ And I think the country’s right. This is a mess.”
The Gingrich revival follows a summer in the wilderness. Most paid staffers abandoned the Gingrich campaign. Fundraising dried up. After a series of notable debate performances this fall, Gingrich is now fending off rivals who’re trying to raise questions about his long record in congress and in the 12 years since he left. Gingrich is raising a lot of campaign money these days and, by his own account, collected more donations yesterday than he did in the entire month of July.
Why the turn-around? Gingrich suggests: “The way I think, the degree to which I challenge the establishment and the degree to which I’m willing to follow ideas and solutions to their natural consequence without regard to Republican or Democratic political correctness makes me probably the most experienced political outsider in modern times.”
According to Gingrich, he can “be competitive everywhere” now and get his campaign organization up to the level of “sufficiency” just in time for the voting. The Iowa Caucuses are 33 days away, on January 3, 2012.