WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich insists that the Republican Party needs his hard-line conservative views and sharp debate skills to wrest back the White House from President Barack Obama.
During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" today, the former House speaker said he is the only GOP candidate who he can go "toe to toe with President Obama on big things."
Political leaders in Washington and New York don’t understand “the level of anger at the national establishment," Gingrich said. “There’s something real and deep there. People really are hurting.”
He said he represents "the largest amount of change of any candidate."
Gingrich criticized rival Mitt Romney, whom he trounced in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, as a moderate whose record on healthcare and other issues is too close to Obama's to invigorate GOP voters.
Gingrich said his views on lower taxes, less government regulation and foreign policy put him in stark contrast to Obama, and that the dynamics of a Gingrich-Obama fight are much more alluring to voters.
Addressing the next challenge on the calendar, the Florida primary on Jan. 31, Gingrich said, “My job in Florida is to convince people that I am the one candidate who can clearly defeat Obama in a series of debates and the one candidate who has big enough solutions that they would really get America back on track. We’re a big country, we have big problems, and we need big solutions.”
The Sunshine State "has suffered terribly through bad government policies as it relates to housing,” Gingrich said.
“Whichever person we nominate had better be able to take Obama head on because they’re going to throw everything they can at them,” Gingrich said. “One of the reasons people in South Carolina voted for me was a belief that I could debate Obama head to head, that I could convey conservative values.”
In a separate interview today on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Gingrich said he isn’t surprised by criticism in the media because “we intend to change the establishment, not get along with it.”
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