ABC News’ Michael Falcone and Elicia Dover report:
DES MOINES — Though recent polls show him among the top four candidates favored by voters in Iowa, Newt Gingrich conceded on Saturday that he would not win this state’s first-in-the nation caucuses if the election were held today.
When he was asked by a reporter whether his Iowa organization was “where it needs to be,” Gingrich didn’t mince words: “No.”
“We need another three or four weeks,” Gingrich said. “If we were having the Caucus tonight we wouldn’t be ready.”
The former House Speaker, who made the comments after a presidential candidate forum here where he appeared alongside five of his rivals, said his campaign would be opening “five to seven” offices in the state “in the very near future.”
He also celebrated the return of two of his top Iowa campaign aides who left his team earlier this year amid a wave of other defections. One of them, Craig Schoenfeld, who once served as Gingrich’s Iowa state director, went to work for an independent group supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry this summer. This week he returned to the Gingrich campaign as a senior adviser.
“We’re very delighted that the team we assembled in June is coming back together,” Gingrich said on Saturday. “As you know, we ran out of money and the media declared us dead.”