By Justin Sink - 12/01/11 09:54 PM EST
Newt Gingrich’s surge in the national polls has been matched by a surge in the candidate’s confidence, with the former House Speaker saying Thursday that he will definitely be the Republican nominee for president.
“I’m going to be the nominee,” Gingrich told ABC News. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.”
Gingrich said his strategy of not attacking his opponents — part of the reason Republican voters have praised his debate performances — was possible because they had little chance of actually earning the nomination.
Gingrich has come into the crosshairs of his fellow candidates of late, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul releasing a commercial attacking the former Speaker’s “serial hypocrisy.” Mitt Romney, the presumed front-runner, also took swipes at the candidate.
Gingrich warned that although his opponents were welcome to take shots at him, he did not believe they would be effective.
“I don’t object if people want to attack me — that’s their right. All I’m suggesting [is] that it’s not going to be very effective and that people are going to get sick of it very fast,” Gingrich said. “And the guys who attacked each other in the debates up to now, every single one of them have lost ground by attacking. So they should do what they and their consultants want to do. I will focus on being substantive and I will focus on Barack Obama.”
Meanwhile, Gingrich attempted to shore up one vulnerability where his Republican opponents have gained traction in recent days. Campaigning in Iowa, Gingrich signed a pledge to construct a double-walled border fence along the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of 2013.
“We haven’t been able to build a fence on the border because we have not been a serious country,” Gingrich said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Gingrich is only the second GOP candidate to sign the pledge, joining Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. Herman Cain has previously said that he wants to build an electrified fence along the border.