12/16/2011 07:05 am ET

Newt Gingrich: Former House Speaker Takes Center Stage At GOP Debate (VIDEO)

Last summer, Newt Gingrich looked like he should throw in the towel. His staff bailed. His funding dried up. And few members of the media were giving him much attention.

In just a few months' time, however, all that has changed.

The former House Speaker took center stage at the GOP presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, on Thursday night. His newly achieved position of prominence was due to a sudden increase in polling numbers, which have him beating all the other contenders for the nomination.

If you don't know much about this candidate, last night's debate offered an excellent introduction. Gingrich discussed his platform, his background and his opinion of his rivals.

"These are all friends of mine," Gingrich said. "Any of these folks would be better than Barack Obama."