Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said his campaign was “alive and very well” despite a number of recent troubles.
“It’s going to take a while for the news media to realize that you’re covering something that happens once or twice in a century, a genuine grass-roots campaign of very big ideas,” Gingrich told the Associated Press while campaigning in Iowa. “I expect it to take a while for it to sink in.”
Gingrich announced he was running for president on May 9 and has had a rough time ever since.
Columnist Charles Krauthammer, who previously hailed Gingrich as a bastion of big ideas, declared that “he’s done,” and “it’s over.” Talk show host Bill Bennett had him on as a guest and tore into him. Across the web, conservatives who seldom lay a glove on the ex-speaker were furious. An Iowa voter even walked up to him and called him an “embarrassment to our party.”
Conservative columnist George Will said Gingrich was “not a serious candidate,” noting that Gingrich accused President Barack Obama of having a “Kenyan anti-colonial mentality.”
To top it all off, just before Gingrich spoke to the Minnesota Family Council on Tuesday night, an LGBT activist dumped rainbow glitter on him and shouted, “Feel the rainbow, Newt!“
Gingrich was confident he could overcome his first week of stumbles.
“Ronald Reagan’s opening week in the 1980 campaign was filled with bumps” said Gingrich. “It happens if you’re the candidate of ideas.”
With prior reporting by Sahil Kapur