Newt Gingrich May Still Enter Race
Dismissing the GOP presidential field as a "pathetic" bunch of "pygmies," Newt Gingrich hinted he might step in to beat Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. "If, in mid-October, it's quite clear that one or more of the current candidates is strong enough to be a serious alternative to a Clinton-Obama ticket, you don't need me to run," the former House Speaker said at a breakfast sponsored by the American Spectator. "If it becomes patently obvious, as the morning paper points out, that the Democrats have raised a hundred million more than the Republicans, and at some point people decide we are going to get Hillary unless there's a radical change, then there's space for a candidate," he added. "So you'll know by mid-October one of those two futures is real." Asked by reporters if he was prepared to commit to a run, Gingrich said, "I'm perfectly happy to do what I do," he said. "Whether that leads to the presidency is the country's problem, not mine." Gingrich mocked Republican presidential candidates for subjecting themselves to a May debate hosted by Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball."You're watching an utterly irrelevant, shallow television celebrity dominate everybody who claimed they want to lead the most powerful nation in the world," he said. Gingrich ridiculed "the idea of 10 or 11 people standing passively at microphones," and said he refused to "shrink to the level of 40-second answers, standing like a trained seal, waiting for someone to throw me a fish." He added: "These are not debates, these are auditions. By definition, the psychology of an audition reduces the person auditioning and raises the status, for example, of Chris Matthews." Pressed by The Examiner about whether his political baggage renders him unelectable, Gingrich compared himself to a famous French statesman. "This is like going to De Gaulle when he was at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises during the Fourth Republic and saying, 'Don't you want to rush in and join the pygmies?'" he said. "I have no interest in the current political process. I have no interest in trying to figure out how I can go out and raise money under John McCain's insane censorship rules so I can show up to do seven minutes and twenty seconds at some debate." Still, he said he might enter the race before the deadlines to "start filing petitions.