Newt's No 'Trained Seal' - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Newt’s No ‘Trained Seal’

Speaking to journalists at a breakfast hosted by the American Spectator this morning, Newt Gingrich predicted a Clinton-Obama ticket, said Republicans need to move beyond President Bush to have a chance to win in 2008, and remained coy about his own presidential ambitions.

“My personal guess is that the ticket will be Clinton and Obama and it will be a wonderfully left wing, deeply compassionate, Oprah Winfrey ticket,” Gingrich said.

Asked about his own presidential ambitions, he said he wouldn’t run just to “enrich” the race or to make it more interesting. He said there would be no reason for him to “shrink to the level of 30-second answers standing like a trained seal waiting for someone to throw me a fish” when he can make things “interesting” from the outside. However, if there is a genuine demand for him to get into the race, “then it’s not ‘interesting,’ then it’s real.”

He outlined a “simple formula” for getting into the race: “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…If at some point people decide, we are going to get Hillary, unless there’s a radical change, then there’s space for a candidate.”

As for the 2008 election in general, Gingrich said, “If we’re still in the Bush era next year, we lose. It’s just over. They’re no sense in worrying about it.”

On Thompson:

“I’m excited to see whether Fred Thompson turns out to be as decisive a frontrunner as John McCain, or better…”

“The guy who wasn’t even in the race is now the exciting new name, having decided that he would leave television for the purpose of entering television.”

On McCain:

He’s “on the verge of dropping out of the race once he collects his FEC money.”

He also said, “Romney and Giuliani are chugging around.”

Overall, he slammed the current nominating process as “insane” and said that “Imagine the country that watched Paris Hilton screaming on her way to jail and just understand that the politics is occurring in this pop culture. So for example, all the presidential auditions are happening within a culture that is used to watching ‘the Batchelor,’ and ‘American Idol’ and ‘Are You as Smart as a Fifth Grader?’ and it actually reduces the concept of national leadership to a kind of game show.”

Dave Weigel has more, including Newt comparing himself to Charles De Gaulle. Jim Geraghty has additional thoughts here and here

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