Huffpost Politics

Newt Gingrich Compares Himself To Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher

Posted: Updated:
SEPTEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich debates the Ronald Reagan Centennial GOP Presidential Primary Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on September 7, 2011 in Simi Valley, California. The debate is sponsored by POLITICO and NBC News. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich compared himself to former President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a recent interview with CNN.

"I think a big mistake on my part was to try to bring in conventional consultants," said the former House speaker. "Because I am much like Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, I'm such an unconventional political figure that you really need to design a unique campaign that fits the way I operate and what I'm trying to do."

New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat explained how Gingrich's historical posturing appeals to Republican voters: "And after the implosion of so many alternatives, his Churchillian posturing might be all the reason they need to embrace him as the anti-Romney, even if doing so requires overlooking his various ideological deviations."

Gingrich has been surging in recent polls, which at least partly has to do with the collapse in support of his rivals. The Huffington Post's Power Outsiders poll, measuring appeal from local Republican activists, party officials and officeholders, showed that while many respondents thought of Gingrich as "smart" and "intelligent," fewer thought he could beat President Barack Obama.

Gingrich has also faced questions in recent days over his role as a consultant for Freddie Mac before the housing collapse, which Gingrich has criticized, along with Fannie Mae, for contributing to the crash.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that he made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in fees to promote Freddie Mac to Republicans on Capitol Hill, significantly more than the $300,000 Gingrich was asked about in a Nov. 9 Republican presidential debate.

To The Huffington Post's Jon Ward, Gingrich said he offered "strategic advice" but denied he ever lobbied Congress.

The thrice-married Gingrich also said Tuesday that voters would have "to come to their own judgment" about his personal life, amid a recent poll showing almost half of Republican voters in Iowa would not vote for a candidate who has been married multiple times or admitted to having an affair.

Around the Web

Newt Gingrich rises to the top tier in two new polls | The Ticket ...

Newt Gingrich back from the brink -

Newt Gingrich Faces Questions About His Past (The Note)

Why Newt Gingrich won't last