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 Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs