This morning I had the privilege of conducting the first interview with Newt Gingrich in Atlanta, Ga. following the primary elections in Arizona and Michigan. The former speaker seemed resigned to the results and matter-of-fact about Tuesday night’s results, emotionless about facts he can now do nothing about. He spoke quietly and calmly with intensity, if not energy.
I started our interview asking him about his path to victory, given he is now behind Rick Santorum in delegates. He pointed out how few primaries we have had compared to prior years and how many delegates are up for grabs still.
Calling Rick Santorum a “big labor Republican”, Gingrich made clear he thought neither Santorum nor Romney would play well in deeply red states, as we saw in South Carolina — states that are about to be up for grabs on Super Tuesday and shortly thereafter. He views Mitt Romney as someone who cannot sell himself to the voters because Romney does not know himself who he is.
In the interview, more to be aired tomorrow, Gingrich also responded to Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) claiming Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney are at war with Islam. We delved into Operation Fast and Furious, energy prices, and Gingrich’s plan to save upwards of $500 billion a year by transforming the federal government with Lean Six Sigma.
There was one question, though, with an answer that really stood out. I asked Speaker Gingrich if the economy does improve and the Republican rationale this campaign season has been that they will fix the economy, on what turf do Republicans try to win the 2012 election if suddenly the voters think the economy has turned the corner.
You can hear that answer and more in my exclusive interview with Newt Gingrich.
To watch part two of Erick’s interview with Newt Gingrich, click here.