Gingrich's big idea campaign takes a leap of faith

Lake in the Hills, Ill. - Whether it's high gas prices, social security, paying off the national debt, or encouraging innovation in America, Newt Gingrich has big solutions for them all: increased domestic drilling, private savings accounts, the vision of a settlement on the moon.

Now, after two humbling defeats in Alabama and Mississippi, Gingrich told reporters he is ready to make changes to his campaign, "I think what you'll see is a much clearer definition of a visionary conservative as compared to the more traditional Romney Santorum conservatism."

But prompted for more details - would he plan to hone his message so it doesn't sound like he has an array of ideas - Gingrich said, "No, I'm going to fine tune my message to say, without vision the people perish. We need a visionary leader with very big and bold ideas. This is a very big, very bold country."

Barring a miracle, it's virtually impossible for Newt Gingrich to amass the delegates necessary to become the nominee, but the candidate signaled Thursday he is ready to run his campaign on fumes in order to block Mitt Romney from getting the nomination and prove he is a more capable candidate than Rick Santorum.

"The scale of Romney's super PAC makes it really hard to knock him out," Gingrich said. "It's just a fact that he went to Wall Street last night to raise $3 million, so money will keep him afloat for a while longer."

But, he emphasized, "The fact that people can go online on Newt.org and give money for virtually nothing, it creates a low cost campaign. So it's hard for him to knock us out and it's hard for us to knock him out. And that gives us longer campaign than I would have guessed."

Ticking off a list of campaign hot topics including "very big ideas on brain science, on space, on for example, paying off the national debt with royalties on natural gas," Gingrich plans to tout them all but also said he would keep gas prices the focal point of his campaign.

He joked, "We're going to have a mouse pad, a coffee cup, a wall chart and desk top set that has algae with Obama and a drilling rig with Gingrich and $10 gas. We're going to give you an entire array of things."

Message discipline has never been one of Gingrich's fortes and Illinois campaign chair Keith Hanson said that the candidate's constantly rotating message actually highlights the candidate's preparedness to become president.

"The joy of that mind constantly moving and absorbing info - that may not be the best way to campaign but it's the best way to govern," Hanson said, arguing that no other candidate would have been able to adapt his message the way Gingrich had done addressing high school students in the morning.

Appearing at a rally at Barrington High School Thursday, Gingrich gave an improvised speech that challenged the audience to have the courage to dream big, work hard, find work they love to do, and enjoy what they're doing.

"You should define for yourself what your dreams are and I would argue that one of the great weaknesses of American culture right now is we haven't had a conversation about the size dreams we need for a country of 305 million people...You don't lead a country of this size with tiny things," the candidate said.

Referring to the self-motivated successes of the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford, Gingrich declared that an America that liberates its people and allows them to chase their dreams can invent almost everything.

He then applied his advice to his own life.

"I'm staying in the race to see if I can't... reset this whole race around the idea of really big ideas and really big solutions and insist that the American people have a chance to vote for a dramatically better future," the candidate said, to applause.