Elections 2012: ‘I am Going to Be The Nominee,’ says Newt Gingrich

A very confident New Gingrich asserted to ABC News Thursday afternoon that he will be the Republican presidential nominee.

Newt Gingrich about other GOP candidates: “They are not going to be the nominee. I don’t have to go around and point out the inconsistencies of people who are not going to be the nominee. They are not going to be the nominee.” Photo: New Hampshire Public Radio/Flickr

“I’m going to be the nominee,” he told told ABC News’ Jake Tapper on Thursday. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.”

Gingrich declared that in response to a question from Tapper about whether he would start being more aggressive toward his GOP rivals, who have ramped up attacks on the former House Speaker as his campaign has built momentum.

Gingrich refused to criticize the Republican challengers who have begun attacking him and his record.

“How do you respond to Republicans who say if you don’t draw distinctions with Mitt Romney and others who are attacking you, if you don’t point out their perceived vulnerabilities, Barack Obama and the Democrats sure aren’t going to share that same reluctance and you are doing Obama a favor by staying positive?” Tapper asked Gingrich.

“They are not going to be the nominee. I don’t have to go around and point out the inconsistencies of people who are not going to be the nominee. They are not going to be the nominee,” Gingrich responded. “You are going to be the nominee?” Tapper countered.

Gingrich confirmed that he would be, and continued: “And by the way I don’t object if people want to attack me, that’s their right. All I’m suggesting that it’s not going to be very effective and that people are going to get sick of it very fast.”

“And the guys who attacked each other in the debates up to now, every single one of them have lost ground by attacking. So they should do what they and their consultants want to do. I will focus on being substantive and I will focus on Barack Obama,” Gingrich said.

After headlining the Polk County GOP dinner here this evening, a beaming Newt Gingrich said the whirlwind of his newfound frontrunner status was “disorienting” when asked if he was prepared for the change in attention to his campaign in just the last few weeks.

“No, look, I have to confess: This is disorienting, OK?” Gingrich said. “This is such a rapid change that we are having to re-think our own internal operations right now and where we are.”

“I would not have given this speech two weeks ago because it wouldn’t have seemed to make sense for this guy who is an underdog to be up here talking about the totality of the future, but the fact is, given where we are, I think this is the right setting to start saying to people, ‘This is what a Gingrich presidency would look like. This is how really different it would be,’”  Gingrich said.

Given his pledge not to attack his rival Republicans, Newt Gingrich has found a new way of drawing a contrast between himself and his main rival Mitt Romney.

“I’m not interested in distinguishing myself from Romney,” Gingrich told reporters after a speech to the Polk County Republican Party in Johnston on Thursday night. “I’m happy to be who I am. I think that distinguishes me from Romney.”

Gingrich, whose campaign was riven by staff departures and media mockery in June, has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in recent weeks as Herman Cain’s star has dimmed.

A national poll of Republicans released by Rasmussen on Thursday gave Gingrich a commanding 21-point lead over Mitt Romney–38 percent to 17. [via Huffington Post, ABC and The Washington Post]

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