Gingrich 2012 a “Tea Party kind of story” (audio)

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stood in a room at the Pizza Ranch in Indianola this morning as the main speaker at a Tea Party bus tour event.  A Tea Party organizer asked Gingrich about his recent campaign melt-down, and Gingrich began by calling it “a Tea Party kind of story.”

“I had a fundamental disagreement with consultants,” Gingrich said.   Gingrich explained his vision for the campaign. “I’m willing to gamble and our campaign is going to survive and I’m going to be in it all the way and I believe I can win it…because people want substance more than baloney.”

AUDIO: Gingrich’s full answer 2:20

Gingrich later went on the Tea Party bus and answered questions from the media.  Kathie Obradovich asked Gingrich why he found himself surrounded by people who did not share his vision for the campaign, and how would he avoid the same mistake if he’s elected president.

“Well, as you can imagine, it was a very painful experience and it taught me a lesson that surprises me a little bit, but which I will apply to personnel as the president. My vision of where we’re going and the lessons I think I’ve learned from history is really very different from most Republican consultants and I didn’t realize how profoundly different,” Gingrich said.

I followed up by asking: “You considered running last time around, so you had four years — presumably — to think about the kind of campaign you wanted to run. Why, out of the gate, didn’t you have that firmly in place?”

Gingrich replied: “Because I thought it was much easier to translate what I did here today in a way that would be effective and it turned out that, think about it — these are very smart people who made a very good living doing something they’re good at and they were eager to do what they’re good at. What they’re good at didn’t happen to be where I think America has to go and it was a real revelation to me. This is going to be true across the board. I mean, this means that whether you’re trying to reform the defense department or you’re trying to reform unemployment compensation or you’re trying to reform the Federal Reserve , it’s going to be much more challenging to find people who both agree with the goal and have the technical knowledge and experience to do it and have the will power to get it done because obviously there’s…going to be enormous opposition to the level of change that I’m suggesting.”

AUDIO: Two questions and Gingrich’s answers 6 min

Gingrich told the Tea Party crowd he is the kind of leader who “will cooperate, but…not compromise” because Gingrich said people think a compromiser is a “sell out.”  In answers to reporters’ questions, Gingrich said his campaign “took some hits” but has “every opportunity to be competitive.”  Gingrich said his “bolder, clearer” approach would help him do well in Iowa’s Caucuses.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.