From: Carin Dessauer
Subject: Gingrich Hits The Road For Image Trip
House Speaker Newt Gingrich begins a two-week tour Monday designed to improve his public image, bolster his political standing, and raise at least $1 million for House Republicans to help them keep the majority, Republican sources tell CNN.
With an emphasis on the first two points. "This is not about keeping the majority, it is about keeping the speakership," a Republican strategist who works with the congressional leadership told CNN.
Gingrich's aides are downplaying the idea that the trip is meant to be an image-resurrecting tour.
"Of course, with image it is an ongoing thing, but we did not put the trip together with that in mind," Gingrich campaign spokesman Mike Shields said. "We designed it to raise money for candidates so we can maintain the GOP majority we helped to create."
Gingrich, who recently survived an attempted coup to oust him as speaker, will visit 13 cities in 13 days, beginning in San Diego on Monday, where he will appear on NBC's "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
Gingrich will participate in a variety of events from town hall meetings to charity fund-raisers to going on an archaeological dig to touring national parks, ranches and mines.
Gingrich will try to raise "$100,000 at each fund-raising event" and a "total of at least $1 million for House Republicans," a National Republican Congressional Committee official told CNN. Gingrich officials would not confirm these amounts.
The speaker will divulge more detail about his congressional fall agenda during his Manchester, N.H., stop Monday, Aug. 25, according to Shields, who did not provide any details.
Several Republican sources said that there is no cohesive agenda, and that the agenda development process is "splintered."
"There are a number of different agendas being developed," one Republican operative said. "The sophomore Republicans are doing their thing, Armey and Gingrich are doing theirs, and still others are developing their own agendas."
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