Poll-leading Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, sensing a rebound in public support, plans to spend his final week before the Iowa caucuses pressing his plan to fix the economy and curb unemployment, according to Republican surrogates for the former House speaker.
"He is going to stick with an economy and jobs theme," said one GOP source today. That is expected to be backed up with paid advertising.
Gingrich, who has suffered withering attacks from Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Perry, also plans to stick with his mostly positive message while ignoring the assaults and negative advertising directed at him.
"What people want to hear about is how these candidates will fix the economy and get them jobs. It's the most important thing. The rest is just a side show," said a Republican official.
Gingrich's plan is a continuation of his unorthodox belief that sticking to his big ideas message and not going negative will push him across the caucus finish line first. Republican officials said that recent Gallup polling appears to back up the Gingrich plan. According to a new Gallup survey, Gingrich has lost his big lead over Romney, but he has bounced back somewhat and still leads the former Massachusetts governor by 3 percent, 26 percent to 23 percent.
His associates say that Gingrich dropped from his 15-point lead over Romney when he was hit with a barrage of attack ads. But they say that as the caucus vote and New Hampshire primary near, voters are now looking at who has answers to solving the economic crisis gripping the nation and Gingrich is their choice.
"He had to absorb those hits, but in the end people want to know who's going to fix things," said a key GOP official.
In an email to supporters today Gingrich warned that the attacks on his campaign will get harsher in the coming week. But he said that he will stick with his message on jobs and the economy.
Just three days into the new year, the first votes will be cast in Iowa and we are facing a barrage of attacks trying to paint me as something other than the experienced conservative in this race. These misleading ads fail to mention the strategy I helped craft that led to the first Republican majority in the House of Representatives in nearly four decades. They also fail to mention that I balanced federal budgets, reformed welfare, made the largest capital gains tax cut in history, and saw 11 million jobs created, just to name a few of the conservative policies that I have helped champion for decades.
The choice of which candidate has the record and detailed conservative plan for the future could not be more clear.