Newt Gingrich said his campaign will likely join Rick Perry in challenging Virginia’s complicated elections rules, which allowed only two of the seven leading GOP candidates to get on the ballot for the Republican primary in that state.
The former House speaker and the other candidates except Mitt Romney and Ron Paul failed to collect the required 10,000 signatures.
“Gov. Perry filed a lawsuit, I think, where the judge has invited the other candidates to join the lawsuit, and I think we are going to, although that’s a lawyer conversation,” Gingrich told Fox News today. “I’m not in charge of that sort of thing. I’m focused on Iowa. But clearly we would like to have the right to choose between all of the candidates. And we think having only two of the candidates on the ballot limits the people of Virginia from having a real impact on the presidential selection process.”
Gingrich also acknowledged that the negative ads of his political opponents have taken a toll on his presidential campaign, but he insists that he plans to stay positive.
“I keep emphasizing that I’m going to stay positive, that I think we have big challenges and that we need to create jobs and we need to get the economy moving,” Gingrich told Fox News this afternoon. “I’m getting a lot of positive feedback from people who walk up to me and say, ‘You know, I’m really glad that you’re not like the politicians who are running all of this negative stuff.’ So we’ll see what happens caucus night.”
Gingrich estimated that his opponents have spent $8 million to $9 million on negative advertising aimed at his campaign since he surged into the frontrunner’s position in Iowa.
While one poll now shows Gingrich trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the latest Newsmax/InsiderAdvantage poll released Thursday finds that Gingrich has bounced back into a statistical dead heat with Romney and Paul just days before Tuesday’s caucuses.
Gingrich pointed to support from President Ronald Reagan’s son, Michael, in a Newsmax 2012 Election Special video and from Art Laffer, an economist and adviser to President Reagan, as evidence that he is the candidate who best embodies the ideals of the former president.
“Ronald Reagan was seen as an outsider just as I am,” said Gingrich. “It’s no accident that Michael Reagan endorsed — or did a movie about me — that’s now running in Iowa. It’s no accident that Art Laffer, who helped develop the Reagan economic program, has now endorsed me and said my economic plan is vastly better that Mitt Romney’s.”
Asked about the potential repercussions of a possible Paul victory in Iowa, Gingrich called such a scenario unfortunate.
“I think his positions both on legalizing drugs and on ignoring an Iranian nuclear weapon are both the wrong positions. I think in the case of Iran it’s a dangerous position for America, so we’ll see. I think people, as they learn more about Ron Paul’s positions, are probably a little more skeptical of whether or not he’s really the right person.”
Heading into the final weekend of campaigning before Iowa, Gingrich said he believes the race is still up for grabs.
“This race is wide open,” he predicted. “I think that maybe as much as half of the people who walk in next Tuesday night will either not yet have made a decision, or will be very lightly attached to their decision and the conversations in the caucuses, I think, are going to make a big difference.”
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