One problem Newt Gingrich doesn’t have is name ID; that much is clear by the almost in-awe patrons of Geno’s Chowder House in Portsmouth, where we sat down with the former Speaker of the House to talk 2012, foreign policy, and faith.
Gingrich is candid when discussing his strategy to raise his substantial unfavorable ratings if he decides to run for President. “I hope to run a very, very positive campaign,” he says, stressing that his candidacy would focus on indentifying solutions rather than harping on problems.
When discussing the rest of the potential field of candidates, the conversation naturally turned to New Hampshire frontrunner Mitt Romney, and his most controversial campaign trail issue, ‘Romneycare.’ “It depends on how he reacts to what is happening in Massachusetts,” says Gingrich when asked whether he thinks the issue will be a liability, “It’s my understanding that the cost of the plan keeps going up, the problems keep getting bigger.” However, he is far from writing Romney off as a legitimate candidate, “Governor Romney is a very smart man and he simply has to explain to what degree is this different that what he hoped for.”
With the interview coming just a day after President Obama’s speech on Libya, we asked Newt to explain his position on the issue, particularly as he has received some flack for lacking a consistent message. He hits back at that charge, saying that there has been a clear continuity to his stance from the get-go, and calling the current operation a “muddled, confused, coalition-led mess” that has ultimately “reinforced the morale of Gadhafi’s troops” through its lack of focus.
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Newt Gingrich is a straight shooter and a forceful personality, and will be sure to shake up the 2012 campaign trail if and when he enters the race.
See below for full video of our interview:
Amelia Chassé also contributed to this report.