Newt Gingrich: Running for president is ‘harder than I thought it would be’

Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News Sunday yesterday and admitted a hard truth: Becoming president is actually kind of hard.

Running for president “turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be,” he told the show’s host, Chris Wallace.

While it’s amazing that anyone would think that a run for the White House would be anything near the same zip code as “easy,” the admission does help explain a lot about Gingrich’s campaign style. For example, it might help explain why he decided to stick to his plan to take a cruise vacation around the Greek islands last June, even as his recently-launched campaign was catching PR hell over his million-dollar credit line at Tiffany’s and even though the vacation caused his entire staff to quit en masse.

Though it almost caused his entire campaign to implode at the time, Gingrich’s apparently blase attitude about running for prez didn’t stop him from enjoying a major surge later in the race. Republican voters shone their spotlight on every candidate in the race, looking for any option other than Romney, and Gingrich enjoyed his moment last fall, polling neck and neck with the former Massachusetts governor.

But the spotlight moved on just as quickly and settled eventually, inevitably, on Romney—a reality Gingrich acknowledged yesterday.

Romney is now “far and away the most likely” nominee, Gingrich told Wallace. “I do think there’s a desire for a more idea-oriented Republican Party, but that doesn’t translate necessarily to being able to take on the Romney machine,” he said. It’s still not clear exactly what Gingrich’s big ideas are, but, he acknowledged “It turned out, we didn’t have anything like his capacity to raise money…He’s done the fundraising side brilliantly.”

Romney’s shortcomings are plentiful and widely discussed so I won’t even touch them here, but you do have to hand it to the guy—especially on the fundraising side, he hasn’t treated the campaign like someone who expected it to be easy.