LOS ANGELES -- Just days after his top staff resigned en masse, Newt Gingrich sought to reboot his troubled presidential bid Sunday with a foreign policy speech accusing the Obama administration of placing "political correctness above common sense" in its dealings on the world stage.
The address before the Republican Jewish Coalition, scheduled last night in Beverly Hills, is Gingrich's first since he was rocked by the sudden exodus of 16 senior strategists and advisers. They bolted Thursday, less than a month after his White House campaign was formally launched.
Pledging to soldier on, Gingrich vowed to start fresh in Los Angeles, where he said his campaign "begins anew." In remarks provided in advance to The Associated Press, Gingrich makes only a passing reference to the upheaval, vowing to carry his message of renewal around the country "no matter what it takes." The West Coast speech had been planned well before his campaign imploded.
As the former House speaker scrambles to prove he remains a viable contender, the appearance allows him to showcase the strongest sides of his personality: policy heavyweight and verbal bomb thrower.
Gingrich argues that "both Israel and America are at a dangerous crossroads at which the survival of Israel and the safety of the United States both hang in the balance."
He was also set to deliver red meat to the pro-Israel audience. He will pledge that, if elected, he would sign an executive order on his first day in office moving the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Palestinians contend moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be recognition of Israel's claim to the city. Gingrich argues that Israel has every right as a sovereign nation to choose its own capital and Americans should respect that choice.
In the remarks, Gingrich says his decades in public life mean that he's familiar with the rigors of the campaign trail. Still, even for the veteran politician, the path forward is challenging.
Gingrich heads to New Hampshire for a debate tonight among GOP White House hopefuls. Also today, his book, "A Country Like No Other" is to hit bookstores. It's his 24th book. Gingrich has also been making political documentaries with his wife, Callista, since resigning as House speaker in 1999.