Gingrich: Voters like my "positive" message

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appears on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, December 18, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
CBS News photo / Chris Usher

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says it's his "positive ideas and positive solutions" that have led voters to give him a second chance.

In a Sunday interview with CBS' "Face the Nation," the candidate - who until recently was largely considered an afterthought in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination - said that during a previous slide in the polls, "I thought I could fight my way back up to being in the top three or four."

Now, the candidate ranks first place in most polls.

"I think positive ideas and positive solutions, the contract we laid out at has attracted people," he told CBS' Bob Schieffer, by way of explanation. "I think they like the idea of somebody who is determined to be positive."

The former House Speaker extended that "positive" attitude having recently been passed up by the Des Moines Register for the paper's endorsement for the Republican presidential nomination.

"I'm actually delighted," Gingrich said, when asked for his reaction to the fact that the paper had endorsed his chief competitor, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

"Because the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, which is a reliably conservative newspaper, endorsed me. The Des Moines Register, which is a solidly liberal newspaper, did not endorse me. I think that indicates who the conservative in this race is," he continued.

Gingrich, who has pledged to run a positive campaign, declined to take shots at Romney when asked about his hard-line stance on immigration.

"I'm not going on comment on Governor Romney," Gingrich said.

He did not shy away, however, from attacking Romney's position on the question of immigration: "I will say that I do not believe that the American people are going to tolerate going after somebody who has been here 25 years, who has a family, has children and grandchildren, belongs to a local church. What I proposed is very standard things," he said.