Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, insists that his presidential bid is still very much alive, although his top staff have resigned en masse.
The most immediate sign of his seriousness is his intention to go ahead Sunday with a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s "Summer Bash" in Los Angeles.
The RJC bills it as as "major policy address regarding the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy-making."
Among the seven declared candidates for the GOP nomination, Gingrich, a historian, is considered perhaps the best read and most knowledgable — on foreign policy, especially.
Will this speech turn his fortunes around?
Also appearing at the RJC event: "House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and noted conservative blogger, commentator, and author Andrew Breitbart."
That’s quite a line-up.
UPDATE: The verdict still is out, obviously, on the question I pose above — but Gingrich got national attention for his speech, with an excerpt broadcast on CNN. He also joked about events of the past week, saying he’s had "some reminders" of the ups and downs of campaigning.
I briefed the speech; my jey takeaway was his pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem on his first day in office.
His campaign sent over some excerpts of his speech before delivery; here they are:
Expressing concern about safety of US
While the United States and her allies have won important victories in the war on terrorism, it is impossible to look at the totality of the world ten years after 9/11 and conclude that we are on the winning path, or that the world is a safer place.
Evaluating the Obama Administration
The President’s decision to adopt a policy of accommodation, using the political objectives and code-words of those who wish to drive Israel into the sea, affirms the administration’s radicalism in its headlong flight from the legacy of U.S. Presidents from Truman to Bush, and is leading Israel and the Western democracies toward ever increasing danger.
Our policies must reflect the fact that there is no moral equivalency between terrorist regimes and a legitimate self-governing country that abides by the rule of law.
A foreign policy based upon this moral distinction is increasingly critical during a moment many have termed the "Arab Spring." The uprisings in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya are evidence of the fact that there are indeed millions of peace-loving Arabs who resent the brutal oppression of their leaders’ dictatorships and long for a future of freedom and peace. These uprisings are tremendous opportunities for the advancement of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.
At the same time these developments are fraught with danger, and bring with them the possibility that radical Islamist terrorist factions will capitalize on the upheaval and take control.
Our commitment to condemning and confronting terrorism in the world must be matched by an equal commitment to affirm the efforts of oppressed Arab citizens who are taking extraordinary risks to seek true peace, freedom, and democracy.
Take the Offense against Evil Regimes
We first need to acknowledge that 20 years of trying to negotiate peace with evil regimes and organizations dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and in many cases our own destruction, has been a failure, and the time has come to clearly and decisively take the offensive against them.
Move Embassy to Jerusalem
The United States should move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Israel has every right as a sovereign free nation to choose its own capitol and we should respect that choice. As President, on my first day in office, I would issue an executive order directing the U.S. embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem as provided for in the legislation I introduced in 1995.