WASHINGTON—Expressing a reaction similar to millions of other dismayed Americans, Newt Gingrich admitted Monday that he too was feeling "pretty bummed out" about the prospect of a Newt Gingrich presidential campaign.
Enlarge ImageGingrich calls talk of a Newt Gingrich presidential campaign "pathetic, frankly."
While confirming his ardent desire to be president, the former Speaker of the House told reporters the mere fact that American voters were seriously considering Newt Gingrich to be a viable Republican candidate in 2012 was a fairly distressing development that made him question the direction the country was moving in.
"Even when I see my name on a list of potential candidates, I think, you gotta be kidding me—Newt Gingrich?" said Gingrich, frowning and shaking his head in disbelief. "People are actually getting excited about the guy who engineered the 1995 government shutdown? I'm sorry, but that's just sad."
"It's 2011, for God's sake," Gingrich added. "Can't we get a fresher name to represent the Republican Party in the 21st century than Newt Gingrich?"
Though he acknowledged a Gingrich candidacy would definitely fire up certain segments of the conservative base, and likely build up a fair amount of momentum on name- recognition alone, Gingrich said that knowing we lived in a world where these kinds of political realities existed at all was a rather grim and sobering thought.
Enlarge ImageThe former House Speaker says this is just about the last thing Americans need to see on their TV screens.
In addition, the retired Georgia representative expressed a sense of deep disappointment that people actually seemed this willing to throw their support behind a past-his-prime reactionary with an anti-everything stance and a history of marital infidelity.
"Hell, look at me: I'm a public relations nightmare," said Gingrich, adding that, for many years in the late '90s and early 2000s, his name was basically a punch line. "Remember that whole thing with me divorcing my wife while she was still in the hospital recovering from cancer? For my campaign's sake, I hope people have forgotten about that. But c'mon, it's a pretty bleak political landscape when the presidential campaign of a known philanderer is actually getting off the ground."
While Gingrich maintained that he does indeed want to win the presidency, he said that actually deciding to form a presidential exploratory committee and working on a campaign strategy for the election of Newt Gingrich made him slightly sick to his stomach.
Contemplating dozens of dreary appearances at political rallies in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich told reporters that he could already feel his soul "dying a little inside" every time he thought of going out there and delivering overly rehearsed speeches about the burden on American taxpayers, Obamacare, and his national security qualifications.
Gingrich also claimed he was dreading the inevitable prospect of Newt Gingrich launching pointed yet patently unfair attacks on Obama's lack of clear leadership in the economic crisis, while simultaneously having to repeat some stupid campaign slogan like "Taking Back America's Future" over and over until he was completely sick of "everything coming out of Newt Gingrich's fat face."
"Oh, God, I don't even want to think about all the awful things I'm going to have to say," said Gingrich, adding that he cringed when imagining the "unbelievably phony" patriotic rhetoric that he would likely be uttering constantly. "All those empty promises and misinformed statements used to mask a selfish agenda or stir up people's fears. I already want me to just shut the **** up."
"To be fair, I guess it's possible that I'll force some of the younger candidates to step up their game and once again generate some real interest in the core values of the Republican Party, but…ugh, who am I kidding?" Gingrich continued. "I'm the worst."
Mark Kebler, campaign strategist and loyal aide to Gingrich for the past 20 years, strongly agreed that a Newt Gingrich presidential run "would be some really depressing ****, for sure."
"Interestingly enough, it's not just about Newt's slim chances, polarizing character, irritating voice, or lack of charisma," Kebler said. "When you get right down to it, Newt Gingrich just kind of sucks. When I tell people I work for him, they give me this look, and I'm just like, 'Yeah, yeah, believe me, I know.'"
Even winning the Republican nomination would be "a downer," Gingrich said, since he would then have to select a running mate every bit as lame as he is, such as Tim Pawlenty or Michele Bachmann.
Like much of the voting public, Gingrich also expressed concerns about an unlikely yet disturbing scenario, one that ends with Newt Gingrich in the Oval Office.
"What if I win? Do I really want to live in a country where I'm president?" Gingrich said. "Obviously, yes, but it doesn't mean I should be."
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