Gingrich Marches On Despite Reports of Campaign's Demise

Gingrich Marches On Despite Reports of Campaign's Demise

By Erin McPike - March 29, 2012

Newt Gingrich continues to vow that his campaign will go on -- and demonstrated as much with an event Wednesday at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. -- despite the media declaring his candidacy all but over.

After news broke Tuesday night that the former House speaker is laying off campaign staff and will "scale back" his travel schedule to focus on contacting and securing convention delegates, most news organizations rushed to print that his presidential bid was effectively dead.

Their coverage decisions reflected this assessment: To wit, C-SPAN did not air live the speech Gingrich delivered at Georgetown (though it posted video of it online, as did CNN Live).

Through social media, Gingrich and his staff have tried to refute the media narrative that his long and topsy-turvy campaign has come to an end. He wrote on Twitter, “I am @georgetown where there is standing room only for my speech on values, innovation and a personal social security savings account.”

His speech, however, indicated a shift in his campaign. Gone was the pugnacity with which he had expressed ill feelings toward Mitt Romney. In fact, he rarely mentioned his opponents for the Republican presidential nomination.

Instead, the speech reverted to what Gingrich’s campaign was based upon from the start: Re-establishing him as a thought leader for his party. In that regard, he assailed Washington for resisting new ideas during a question and answer session with the audience.

One student took issue with Gingrich’s controversial idea of making students serve as janitors in their schools to earn money and instill pride in work and in their schools; the questioner said he had to do just that before coming to Georgetown and found it demeaning.

In the event’s only heated moment, Gingrich responded that both of his daughters worked as janitors, too, and noted, “They didn’t think it was demeaning.” He added, “They thought work had inherent dignity.”

As he wrapped up the session, though, Gingrich admitted, “I haven’t done a very good job as a candidate, because it is so difficult to communicate big solutions in this country, and the entire structure of the system is so hostile to it.”

“Your generation is inheriting a dysfunctional country,” he said, noting that the problem transcends “Obama’s personality,” all of the Republican candidates and both parties.

Despite the media hullaballoo about the supposed demise of his campaign, Gingrich and his wife, Callista, have scheduled a series of campaign events in Wisconsin this week ahead of Tuesday’s primary there, including three Thursday in Milwaukee alone. 

Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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