Newt Gingrich is not calling it quits, in the wake of the mass resignation of most of his top campaign staff on Thursday. And as he told ABC News Friday morning, in an interview outside his home in McLean, Virginia, we will soon find out whether the country will welcome the very different kind of campaign he wants to run.
“We had a strategic disagreement about how to run a campaign,” Gingrich said. “There have been very few campaigns that have been solutions oriented and that are oriented to every single American.”
Gingrich was asked about how committed he was to actually campaigning — having spent only about 12 days on the campaign trail in the 37 days since he declared his candidacy. (He has also just returned days ago from a two-week Mediterranean cruise.)
“Well, my response is that we live in a country where you have an ability to reach many people,” said Gingrich. “I did 17 towns in Iowa in one week. At every single town I went to in Iowa, we had bigger crowds than they planned for. In Ames, at 2 in the afternoon, when they thought there were gonna be 40 people, there were 178 people. I was just in New Hampshire, I’ll be back in New Hampshire on Monday. I’ll be in California on Sunday.
“The fact, is I’m prepared to go out and to campaign very intensely. But I want a campaign on ideas, and on solutions. And I’m gonna do it in a way that brings Americans together, into a large movement that is determined to change Washington.”
Gingrich was also asked about reports that staffers had trouble working with his wife Callista.
“Let me just say that there is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community, and the kind of campaign I want to run,” Gingrich responded. “Now, we’ll find out over the next year who’s right. But I believe we live in a time when Americans are genuinely frightened for their country’s future, and when the country really wants to have leadership that talks with them honestly, and isn’t automatically doing the old politics.
“We make decisions as a couple. I think most couples would find that refreshing, not a problem, and I think that what we’ve been trying to do is carry messages to the American people and listen to the American people. And you’ll see us over the next few weeks doing it in new and dynamic and much more open ways than the traditional consultants are comfortable with.”