SALEM, N.H. (CBS/AP) – Not committing to be a presidential candidate — yet sounding a lot like one — Newt Gingrich says New Hampshire voters should remember some of the accomplishments in Congress when he was speaker of the House: controlled spending, a balanced budget, and a cut in taxes to create jobs.
St. Patrick’s Day and politics go together in New Hampshire and Gingrich is making the rounds. He made his comments to reporters Thursday before attending a luncheon at the Boys and Girls Club in Salem.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.
Newt Ginginch has lined up an experienced political team in New Hampshire. He has the name recognition. Gingrich said Thursday, “If we find enough volunteer support and financial support, I would most certainly run.” A decision could come in May.
Gingrich calls Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee the front runners in the race right now. He wouldn’t criticize any possible GOP contenders.
When asked about Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan, he said, “Governor Romney is going to have to explain the Massachusetts plan what he did and tried to do.”
When asked what he thinks about Romney’s explanation, Gingrich said, “My primary interest is in debating President Obama who I think is so far to the left that I don’t think I have any particular objections to the Republicans, my concern is to focus on the President.”
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.
Gingrich’s past he speaks so highly of is also a challenge for him. The Executive Director of the NH Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College Neil Levesque says, “I think his challenges are: is this someone for the future or is this the Speaker of 1995? He certainly is a well known name, but that has to do with the 1990s.”
He also must deal with controversy about his past infidelity. We asked Gingrich, “A lot of the news recently has not been on your politics but your personal life. Are you concerned this will be too much to overcome in an election like this?” His response: “I think the American people are very fair. The American people are render judgment about the total person. They can look at everything in my life, what I’ve done right, what I’ve done wrong, and I trust the American people to measure me as the person I am today not stories about 15, 20 or 25 years ago. So we’ll see.”
Levesque says Gingrich will have an opportunity in the Granite State. “New Hampshire is a perfect state for him. You don’t need a lot of money to get your message out. He can go door to do or small speeches, and he’ll attract crowds. I think he’s a perfect candidate for New Hampshire.”
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.
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