By Jake Tapper, ABC News
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA â€” A very confident New Gingrich asserted to ABC News Thursday afternoon that he will be the Republican presidential nominee.
â€œIâ€™m going to be the nominee,â€ the former Speaker told ABC News. â€œItâ€™s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high Iâ€™m going to be the nominee.â€
The bold assertion came after Gingrich refused to criticize the Republican challengers who have begun attacking him and his record.
TAPPER: â€œHow do you respond to Republicans who say if you donâ€™t draw distinctions with Mitt Romney and others who are attacking you, if you donâ€™t point out their perceived vulnerabilities, Barack Obama and the Democrats sure arenâ€™t going to share that same reluctance and you are doing Obama a favor by staying positive?â€
GINGRICH: â€œThey are not going to be the nominee. I donâ€™t have to go around and point out the inconsistencies of people who are not going to be the nominee. They are not going to be the nominee.â€
TAPPER: â€œYou are going to be the nominee?â€
GINGRICH: â€œIâ€™m going to be the nominee. Itâ€™s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high Iâ€™m going to be the nominee. And by the way I donâ€™t object if people want to attack me, thatâ€™s their right. All Iâ€™m suggesting that itâ€™s not going to be very effective and that people are going to get sick of it very fast. 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.â€
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