NEAR BALTIMORE, MD — Newt Gingrich still has a press guy. The staffer ended up waylaying some reporters briefly while they waited for the former House Speaker to walk from the VIP room to the banquet hall at the Maryland GOP’s annual Red, White and Blue Dinner here Thursday night. He slipped past.
Gingrich is the keynote speaker, and thanks to one wily member of the press corps from Huffington Post, Gingrich ended up taking press questions anyway. The theme, not surprisingly, was the viability of Gingrich’s lagging presidential campaign.
Rumors of its demise, Gingrich said, are greatly exaggerated.The epic collapse of his campaign — senior staff and his finance team bailed in the past month — is just a minor bump in the road, Gingrich said, and comes down to an argument over style.
“My style is to write books — I just produced a new book called A Nation Like No Other,” he said. “My style is to give major speeches like the [one] I’m giving tonight.”
“At at time when there are 14 million unemployed, it is really helpful to have people who are willing to talk about solutions as big as the problems,” Gingrich went on. “And that’s a very different style than we’ve had in recent years.”
A reporter asked if Gingrich will still be in the race by the time of the Iowa caucuses early next year.
“Sure,” Gingrich said. “Of course.”
Gingrich took some shots at the press, suggesting they’re the ones who’ve made the big fuss over his imploding campaign. As he has several times, he pointed out that Ronald Reagan lost a number of senior staff right before the 1980 New Hampshire primaries. Asked about his biggest regret of the presidential campaign, he again turned his ire on the fourth estate.
“Not getting the press to cover substantive issues,” he said.