Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich defended former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain on Monday, saying Americans might be more interested in finding a “solutions-oriented leader” than obsessing over another political scandal.
“What does it mean to the elite news media that nobody in the country ever comes up to us and raises questions you all raise?” Gingrich told NBC’s Ann Curry when asked what the Cain sexual harassment scandal could mean for the Republican ticket in 2012. “I went through two months in June and July where folks in New York and Washington said my campaign was dead, I was gone, that it was hopeless. Nobody in the country said that.” (RELATED: Angry Iowan confronts Newt)
“Herman Cain, I imagine, is getting far fewer questions from citizens about these things than he is about jobs, about other things,” Gingrich continued. “And I just think there’s this huge gap between the gossip that fascinates political reporters, and the average person’s concern about the price of housing, the availability of jobs, solving the budget deficit without crushing the middle class, a lot of things that are, frankly, at a substance level are dramatically more important for most Americans.”
Gingrich, who has seen is standing in the polls rebound in recent weeks, made his statement a day after Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman both said Cain needs to be more forthcoming about the scandal.
“Bad news is not like fine wine,” Barbour said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “It doesn’t improve with age.”
Although most polls show he is still a frontrunner for the Republican nomination, a Reuters survey released this weekend indicated that the sexual harassment allegations have begun to hurt Cain. According to the survey, 35 percent of Republicans have a less favorable opinion of Cain then they did before the allegations first came to light last week.
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