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Wednesday
May112011

Gingrich Takes to Airwaves First Time as Official Presidential Candidate

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hours after announcing his candidacy via Twitter, Newt Gingrich took to the airwaves Wednesday night for the first time as an official presidential candidate, acknowledging the political landscape has changed since his last time in office 12 years ago when Seinfeld, the Spice Girls and pagers reigned. 

“A lot has changed, and I think for the country the fascinating thing is that there's a lot of principles that haven't changed,” Gingrich said on Fox News' Hannity show.  “I think if you apply the right principles to achieve the right results, that we can win the future together.  I don't think that having a president who applies the wrong principles and gets the wrong results is going to lead to winning the future.”

Gingrich credited his desire to be the next president to his family's commitment to “duty, honor, country,” the need to rid the country of liberal policies, and his dedication to citizenship.

He conceded President Obama will be tough to beat in 2012, saying the president will “say whatever he needs to win” and will be aided by the mainstream media, left-wing billionaires, unions and the Hollywood crowd working to pump money into the billion-dollar Obama campaign.

Gingrich has faced criticism of his own as media reports of his murky past have increased in the lead up to his announcement, but the former speaker declared he's learned from his past.

“If you're a conservative, you have to start with the assumption that you're not going to get an even break from the elite media,” Gingrich said. ”It's fair to say that I am more mature.  I've had time to reflect on what worked and didn't work.”

Gingrich touted initiatives from his time as speaker of the House, from welfare reform to balancing the budget, and argued leadership experience equips him with the ability to bring the country back to economic prosperity with conservative principles.

Gingrich said he hopes to establish another “Contract with America,” and thinks the Gingrich presidency could balance the budget in five years.

On the foreign policy front, Gingrich commended Obama for making the tough decisions on Osama bin Laden while criticizing him for not taking a more forceful approach with Iran and Gadhafi in Libya and Iran.

Gingrich did not poke at any other potential 2012 Republican candidates but said he is keeping a steady eye on Obama.

“The only competitor I think about is President Obama,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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