Newt raised $1 million this week

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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It wasn’t long ago reporters were noting that Newt Gingrich’s campaign was (gasp!) $1 million in debt. Well, I just got off the phone with Gingrich press secretary R.C. Hammond, who tells me Gingrich has raised 1 million dollars just this week (since Sunday).

That’s not quite as impressive as the fundraising pace Herman Cain has recently set — but it’s nothing to sneeze at, either.

He also noted that the new ABC poll shows Gingrich leading Cain and the rest of the field among tea party voters. (Read the complete poll (PDF).)  Asked why Newt is performing so strong with this voting bloc, Hammond said:

Who’s more likely to knock down federal agencies and make them into parking lots? — and who can lead that kind of big change? — and the answer’s Gingrich. He’s the only one who actually led a major change in the Republican Party. His ideas are a lot bigger than tinkering around with federal programs to make them somewhat — a little bit — better.

If the federal agencies line wasn’t enough, Hammond also seemed to perhaps take a veiled shot at Rick Perry, saying:

I think (conservative voters) look at Newt and they see somebody who stands up as his own man [and] delivers his own thoughts …

… the idea that Newt can stand up and be the one to debate Barack Obama — and you know, expose President Obama for what his administration’s done to the country — that’s a big motivator in a lot of people’s mind. Newt’s the one they can imagine on stage with President Obama next fall.

Sounds like somebody’s been working on sharpening their message…

Matt K. Lewis