Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich looked to jump start his stalled campaign yesterday with a foreign policy speech in Los Angeles, just days after almost all of his key campaign staff resigned en masse.
Speaking before a friendly crowd at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Beverley Hills, Gingrich reiterated his dedication to his campaign and slammed President Obama’s foreign policy.
“We must reverse the Obama administration’s dangerous policies of incoherence and accommodation and implement instead a foreign policy that is clear about the evil that we face,” Gingrich said. “America is still the last, best hope of mankind on Earth.”
He only briefly alluded to the mass exodus of staff last week that crippled his campaign, but he said he would carry on.
“As someone who has been in public life for nearly 40 years, I know full well the rigors of campaigning for public office,” Gingrich said. “In fact, I’ve had some recent reminders. I will endure the challenges. I will carry the message of American renewal to every part of this great land, whatever it takes.”
For the rest of the speech, Gingrich threw read meat to the pro-Israel crowd. He sharply criticized Obama’s Middle Eastern policy, particularly with regards to Israel. He said returning to the 1967 Israel/Palestine borders, as Obama has called for as a starting point in negotiations between the two parties, would be a “suicidal step for Israel.” He also said he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if elected.
“Both Israel and America are at a dangerous crossroads at which the survival of Israel and the safety of the United States both hang in the balance,” Gingrich said.
The speech was scheduled long in advance but took on new dimensions in the wake of the resignations last week. For Gingrich, it was a chance to reassure potential donors and shore up his lackluster fundraising. A private fundraising dinner was held before his speech last night.
Also today, Gingrich’s new book “A Country Like No Other” will hit bookstores.
But books and policy speeches don’t win nominations. Gingrich is polling in the lower half of Republican primary candidates. In a recent Gallup poll, he was ranked eighth out of 11 candidates, some of whom haven’t even declared if they’re running yet, such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry.
Tonight’s GOP candidate debate in New Hampshire will likely be a make-or-break moment for Gingrich’s campaign.