"Something magic" is happening with GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, the soft-spoken retired neurosurgeon, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.
"People who are sick and tired of Washington, but also sort of tired of noise, have found in Dr. Carson the alternative to [Donald] Trump," Gingrich said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor."
Gingrich offered up his analysis of all the candidates likely to appear in the CNN debate next week.
On the front-runner Trump, Gingrich said it will be the job of his rivals to take him out.
"I don't think he will implode. Somebody will have to beat him to stop him from becoming the nominee," Gingrich said.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appears "startled by the Trump phenomenon" and hasn't been able to find his footing, Gingrich said.
"He should still be able to have a shot at this," Gingrich said. "He is going to have to find some pattern that we don't see yet."
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is "stunningly talented," but is "almost a natural vice presidential nominee" because he hasn't broken out yet.
"His performance was fine in the first debate," he said. "People nodded yes, but they didn't then vote for him."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz "is doing something very clever," Gingrich said. Cruz is "riding right next to Trump" by inviting him to his anti-Iran deal rally.
"In the absence of Trump [Cruz] would have been the natural Tea Party candidate and maybe in the absence of Carson the natural Evangelical candidate," he said. "The problem he has got is both those guys are now bigger than he is. And he hasn't quite yet figured out how to get past them."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is quiet in a different way than Carson, but hasn't found his voice, Gingrich said. "And he hasn't communicated the kind of fervent, direct appeal that people want to hear. People want to feel it's in your gut."
Among the rest of the field, Gingrich said he is most impressed with businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
"Kasich has run a very smart campaign. He is in second place in New Hampshire, which was a deliberate campaign decision on their part," Gingrich said. "He has raised a good bit of money. He is the governor of one of the most important states in electoral politics. He is the only sitting governor who has a net positive. … And he is probably the most innovative governor in the country.
"So Kasich could break out presently."
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