Gingrich Criticized for Arrogance by Supporter, Says ABC News Comment Was a ‘Mistake’

Dec 20, 2011 10:44pm

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa — A Newt Gingrich supporter had some harsh criticism for her candidate of choice today, telling him she was disappointed in a comment he made to ABC’s Jake Tapper earlier this month, when Gingrich said, “I’m going to be the nominee.”

In the question and answer session at a HyVee grocery store, Iowan Jenny Turner told Gingrich she wanted clarification from the ABC News interview she saw.

“You did an ABC interview where you said ‘I’m going to be the nominee.’ I’m for you, I’m a big fan, but that felt a little bit presumptuous,” Turner said.

“He is going to be the nominee,” another crowd member yelled.

“It was a mistake,” Gingrich said. “Part of what I’m still getting over, I used to be an analyst at Fox, and every once in a while a reporter will ask me an analytical question and I’ll forget, I’m not an analyst, I’m a candidate.”

Gingrich said the nomination should be guided by the American people, not by one person.

“That’s what I should have said and I wasn’t very clever,” Gingrich said. “I will make mistakes, I have made mistakes. If I make mistakes, I’ll say to you ‘That was a boo boo.’”

Afterward, Turner told Gingrich she really appreciated his answer, but his comment worried her, “like Rick Perry worried, you know what I mean.”

“Do you think perhaps you’re viewed as, and I mean this in the nicest way, as narcissistic or arrogant?” she asked.

“Some people think that,” Gingrich said.

“But do you think that?” Turner asked.

“I don’t,” Gingrich said.

“Do you think you need to be a little bit more humble?” she said.

Gingrich told Turner that he is assertive, but sometimes being too assertive, and admitted: “It’s not too smart.”

Turner told Gingrich he just needs to be more humble on the campaign trail.

“Just the spirit of humility is all, that’s why when you say, ‘Be with me, not for me,’ that means a lot, I just want it to be in your heart,” Turner said. “I just want you to be humble, that’s all, but I think you’re great.”

Gingrich thanked her for her honesty and told her he needed Turner’s help in the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3. Turner said she will caucus for Gingrich.

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