A supporter told Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on Thursday that maybe Republicans should just skip the 2012 presidential election because the GOP candidates didn’t have the passion necessary to govern.
“Do Republicans want to be president next term because right now I don’t feel that?” the man asked Gingrich during an event in Sioux City, Iowa. “You’re an excellent candidate and I’m here to support you, but I don’t see a passion you got to have to make a small business in Sioux City work or a government.”
“I’m not sure what passion you want me to exhibit,” Gingrich replied.
“So far the media is killing the Republican Party,” the questioner explained. “And they’ll always kill the Republican Party because the media is there because they exist for the people and they’re supposed to tell the story. And sometimes they get a little aggressive, but most of the time they’re pretty accurate.”
He added: “At the end of the day, I’ve kind of felt like right now, as a citizen, the Republican Party says we still have a lot of big issues that face our country, and maybe it’s better to let the Democrats be in office next term.”
“No,” Gingrich quickly disagreed. “Virtually every Republican I know is desperate to defeat Barack Obama.”
“At this point in 1979, Jimmy Carter was 30 points ahead of Ronald Reagan. Now, what happens — and you saw this with the debates — no matter how distorted the news media was, once people could see clearly without editing, having ideas, being positive, having experience actually mattered.”
Attacking the media has been a campaign tactic throughout Gingrich’s presidential run this year.
At a debate in August, Fox News moderator Chris Wallace was booed after the candidate accused him of “gotcha questions.”
During a debate less than a month later, Gingrich threatened to “repudiate” the media for trying “to get Republicans fighting with each other.”
A CNN/Time poll released Wednesday showed that Gingrich had dropped 19 points in Iowa, from a frontrunner with the backing of 33 percent of Republican caucus-goers to a fourth-place candidate with only 14 percent supporting him.
Watch this video from CNN, uploaded Dec. 29, 2011.