Gingrich says campaign exceeding even his expectations

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“The electability thing is a question of how you think the environment -- how you think elections work.  I think, in the Reagan tradition and in the tradition of 1994 and the Contract, if you get a real contrast in a country which is more than two to one conservative, the liberal loses," Gingrich said. " But you have to have the courage to fight your way through "The New York Times" and through CBS News and through MSNBC and -- and be steady in drawing the contrast. So I think the person who is able to debate Obama and draw a sharp and defined contrast has an enormous advantage."

He also addressed a report from one such source - The New York Times - that revealed that that the the former Speaker pushed lawmakers to consider clients for government contracts. Gingrich has adamantly denied lobbying on behalf of his clients, who paid him millions in consulting fees after he left Congress.

"Some elements of the press, largely the Obama reelection team, are determined to distort everything they can," Gingrich said.

But Gingrich played up his recent rise in the polls, and said that conservative voters were consolidating around his candidacy.

"It's clear that across the country, people are saying, you know, I think we need Newt Gingrich because we need somebody who can debate Obama, we need somebody who has actually done it before, we need somebody with very substantial big ideas," Gingrich said.

He also praised his fellow candidates, despite a day that saw Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Michele Bachmann all take swipes at his campaign.

"I look at my friends and I think of them as my friends.  I have one opponent, Barack Obama," Gingrich said.