“There’s no compulsion to get out of the race, except in the heads of writers and talk-show hosts,” Gingrich said in an interview. “And nobody runs up to me and says, ‘Please get out of the race.’ They have come up to me and said the opposite: ‘Please stay in the race.’ . . . People walk up again and again and say, ‘Please stay in and please fight for conservatism.’ ”
Gingrich plans to start by lobbying for some sturdy planks in the party’s platform — a document that is usually ignored by all but the most stalwart of Republicans, but one that he insists “can shape how the campaign unfolds.”
He wants to build in a strong commitment to the 10th Amendment, which assures power for the states, rather than Washington; a balanced-budget provision that would include a fund for debt repayment financed by royalties from oil and gas; a plan for energy independence; and a science research project to map the brain. Maximizing understanding of how the brain works is an idea he believes voters will find relevant in their own lives, given the aging of the population and the increasing incidence of such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
‘If you find the right issue’
“If you find the right issue, it suddenly becomes not just the platform. It suddenly becomes a thematic,” Gingrich insisted.
Gingrich has taken to highlighting the issues on the stump and is hoping to enlist some party leaders, such as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in the effort. But it remains unclear what influence, if any, Gingrich will wield over his party or its stances.
Gingrich hasn’t won a contest in over a month, and it’s been nearly that long since he came as close as second. As often as not lately, he has placed last behind Romney, Rick Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
Gingrich recognizes that this makes it exceedingly unlikely that he will win the Republican nomination. But he also said he sees no reason to drop out.
Still, having scaled back his schedule and let go much of his campaign staff, Gingrich has been spending a fair amount of time lately catching up on his sleep — 13 hours a few nights back, when his allergies got the better of him.
He has also been trying to figure out what went wrong, and to ponder his options.
The former speaker acknowledges that he hadn’t fully understood how the political system had changed in the 14 years since he had last seen his name on a ballot.
In the fall, as his campaign was lifting itself from the ashes and he was rising in the polls, Gingrich shrugged off the prospect of going up against Romney’s better-financed operation. He was confident, he said then, that he could overcome any advertising blitz with his own abilities to promote himself through talk radio and other conservative media outlets.