MANCHESTER, N.H. – Speaking to a crowd of mostly Republican activists, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he is seeking to organize meetings in all of New Hampshire’s 234 cities and towns this fall that he hopes will “revolutionize” the presidential primary campaign.
On a day when Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed legislation placing his state’s presidential primary earlier than ever, Gingrich was not talking tactics of how to win early states, but big ideas on how to reform government and change the way Americans talk about government.
He was in New Hampshire for two events in Manchester. The first was a book signing event at Wal-Mart. At the second event, with activists at the Chateau Restaurant, he said lawmakers need to use the language of business to derive solutions: How can we offer more choices? How can we offer higher quality? How can we lower costs? How can we offer greater convenience?
Gingrich wants these principles to be the focal point in workshops he is convening all over New Hampshire and the nation. The workshops will be held on September 27 and on the following Saturday, September 29.
Gingrich believes that if he can get like-minded individuals in a room to begin talking about how to solve big problems with big ideas, these meetings can have a big impact on the race for president and change the discourse of the campaign.
“This is not a look-at-me Newt Gingrich type of event,” said Gingrich.
But if he can pull it off, he would have the equivalent of 234 city and town chairs to launch a presidential campaign if he does decide to go forward and seek the GOP nomination.
Newt Gingrich, the former US House Speaker and potential presidential candidate, will be in New Hampshire next week meeting with Republican activists as he considers a run for president.
Gingrich will be in Manchester for at least one event next Monday. It will be his first visit to the state this year.
On Monday he told ABC News there was a “great possibility” that he could enter the presidential race.
BEDFORD, N.H. – Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich said both Massachusetts politicians considering presidential bids have challenges in the next year, but they can be overcome.
During a two-day swing through New Hampshire, Gingrich said in an interview that will air on WBZ Channel 4 tonight that Governor Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith “of course will be an issue” but no more an issue that John F. Kennedy’s being Roman Catholic in his run for president in 1960.
He described Romney as “interesting” and as “the most conservative governor Massachusetts has had in a long time”. That said, Gingrich thinks Romney made a critical mistake by not running for re-election earlier this month.
“Had he run and won re-election he would probably be the front-runner for the nomination right now,” said Gingrich.
When asked if John Kerry was “dead politically”, Gingrich said that he, too, was considered politically dead and that Americans love a good comeback story.
“John Kerry had a bad Fall; he said a dumb thing,” said Gingrich. “If he would go away for six months, then find two or three things that really matter to the American people he could be among the front-runners.”
As for his own prospects of a presidential run, Gingrich said he is more concerned with injecting ideas into the campaign than himself. Monday night at a First Amendment dinner in Manchester and again Tuesday morning he said he will not consider running for president until September 2007, a relatively late date.
In the meantime, he has formed a new non-profit group – technically a 527 – called American Solutions that he promises will be “10 times bigger than the Contract with America” and “50 times larger that the 53,000 people associated with GOPAC”, the political organization he founded that helped with the 1994 Republican take-over of Congress.