News / USA

Gingrich Brings Strengths, Weaknesses to US Presidential Nomination Bid

Voters in the United States will begin the process of choosing the next president January 3rd in the state of Iowa, where Republicans will gather in groups and vote for candidates running for their party’s nomination.  One of the leading contenders is Newt Gingrich.

For decades Newt Gingrich has been one of America’s best known Republican politicians and now, at the age of 68, he wants the nation’s top job. “I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” he announced.

Gingrich says he has the best chance among Republicans of beating the incumbent.  “Barack Obama will not have a leg to stand on in trying to defend a record that is terrible and an ideology that is radical,” he stated.

Gingrich burst on the national political scene when he led Republicans to success in the 1994 congressional election, ending 40 years of majority rule by the Democratic Party.

He was rewarded by being elected Speaker of the House.

A self-described revolutionary, he is known for coming up with big ideas to solve America’s problems.

“The energy and the revolutionary character are the strength, but there are some doubts as to whether he will be a stable, solid candidate who will withstand a long campaign because of those same traits,” Political scientist John Fortier said.

Early in his campaign Gingrich had to answer questions about a high flying lifestyle, including millions of dollars in private jet travel.

That includes a million-dollar home outside of Washington and expensive jewelry from Tiffany’s for his wife.

A luxury cruise through the Greek Isles during the campaign led much of his senior staff to resign, and his campaign plunged into debt.

“Newt Gingrich is a wonderful off-the-cuff [impromptu] guy.  He is a horrible political organizer and does not have any [campaign] money," explained Professor Allan Lichtman of American University.  

Gingrich has also had to deal with questions about his personal life.

He has been married three times and has acknowledged having extramarital affairs.

“In my case I have said up-front openly I have made mistakes at times," Gingrich acknowledges. "I have had to go to God for forgiveness.  I have had to seek reconciliation.”  

In early December, Gingrich had a strong lead in opinion polls, but that advantage eroded recently following a furious barrage of negative ads from his opponents.

Ron Paul Campaign Commercial: “Newt Gingrich, this guy hasn’t got skeletons in his closet; he’s got a whole graveyard in there.”

Through it all, Gingrich has pledged to remain positive.

Gingrich Campaign Commercial: “These are challenging and important times for America. We want and deserve solutions. Others seem to be more focused on attacks rather than moving the country forward.”

Republican voters have changed their minds repeatedly in the early months of the campaign.

As Gingrich heads to the first contest in Iowa, two-thirds of likely voters in a CBS News survey say they are still willing to change their minds. 

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs