"We need to pick up 12 U.S. Senate seats. We need to pick up 30 to 40 seats in the U.S. House. And we need to strengthen our position with state legislators, with governors, with local city councils and county commissions," Gingrich said. "Obviously, we want to win the presidency. I certainly want to win the presidency. But we want to win it as a team."
"And the team arrives in Washington on January 20, 2013, the team begins to change everything."
Gingrich has always been one of the biggest idea men in the Republican Party, and he said his campaign would be no different. His stump speech, even to supporters who have heard him for years, is more similar to a favored college professor lecturing his acolytes than anything else.
"This is going to be a philosophical campaign. This is going to shock the news media. This is going to be longer than 9 second soundbites," he said Thursday. His tax policy changes alone, he claimed, would create 25 million new jobs and generate $800 billion a year in new government revenue.
But Gingrich faces a long, tough slog to move from the proverbial classroom to the main stage. For one thing, reports suggest his campaign is struggling to gather the contributions it takes to survive on a daily basis. For another, his chorus of adoring students may be shrinking; he got just two standing ovations during his 41-minute speech, including as he concluded his remarks.
Gingrich seems to acknowledge, however subtly, the challenge ahead: The politician who for years has entered crowded ballrooms of party faithful to the iconic song "Eye of the Tiger" picked a new anthem Thursday in New Orleans -- Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."