Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says the Republican race for the White House is "wide open" and Saturday’s Republican Straw Poll will be an important measurement.
"Mitt Romney had better win by a big margin. When you out-spend your competitors by 35-to-one, you know, his campaign will be over if he doesn’t come in a substantial first," Gingrich says.
Whichever candidates come in second and third will get a good boost from the Straw Poll, according to Gingrich. Gingrich says the candidate who should emerge as the party’s nominee will be the one who has the courage to break from the Bush administration and its failures.
"One of these Republican candidates has to step up to the plate and say it’s time for a clean break, it’s time for fundamental change," Gingrich says.
Gingrich even levels some blame at Bush for what happened in Minneapolis last week. "Bridges in Minneapolis shouldn’t fall and we need to get back to a system where the federal highway agency and the state highway agency are doing their job," Gingrich says.
That I-35 bridge collapse and the failure of levies in New Orleans two years ago are examples of how the federal government that can no longer function properly, according to Gingrich.
Gingrich says he’ll decide in early October whether he’ll run for president. Gingrich made his comments on the Iowa Public Television program, Iowa Press. Gingrich will be in Ames tomorrow for the Straw Poll, conducting workshops for his "American Solutions" group.