All eyes on Newt Gingrich in GOP race
A new phase of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign begins today, complete with his first TV ad in Iowa and a visit with Donald Trump.
The former House speaker plans to hold a news conference in New York City today. He's also getting more buzz, in part because of his lead in the influential Iowa Poll.
STORY: GOP race sharpens
Nate Silver, who writes the popular 538 blog in The New York Times, gives Gingrich "a 45 or 50 percent chance" of winning the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. Silver writes that "the candidate leading in the polls a month in advance won them 8 times. That's a pretty good batting average for Mr. Gingrich."
Gingrich is the latest presidential hopeful to meet with Trump. The real estate developer-reality TV host told USA TODAY's Jackie Kucinich that he hopes to make an endorsement in the next few weeks but doesn't rule out his own independent presidential bid.
Meanwhile, a top aide to Herman Cain shot down an Atlanta TV station's report that the businessman plans to endorse Gingrich today. Cain, who suspended his campaign on Saturday, is close to Gingrich and has said nice things about him in the past.
Gingrich's ad was produced by Lionel Sosa, a veteran of GOP presidential campaigns including Ronald Reagan's. Sosa also advised Republican standard-bearers such as George W. Bush and John McCain on reaching out to Hispanic voters -- an important bloc in this election.
Sosa was critical earlier this year of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who came out swinging against Texas Gov. Rick Perry for signing a law that allows some children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state college tuition. Sosa told The New York Times that Romney "can write off the Hispanic vote" with that kind of view.
Gingrich has called for a more "humane" approach to dealing with illegal immigrants, especially those people who have been in the United States for a long time and who have families.
Sosa, who also produced Gingrich's web video promoting his new Contract with America, said on his website that the formerHouse speaker is "the smartest and most experienced candidate". Sosa says Gingrich "brings new thinking and new solutions to the table. Because of him, I got back into the game."
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