As a higher level of scrutiny finds Mr. Gingrich in a top-tier role, he does have an advantage over some other candidates: his foibles are pretty well known. “Everyone understands he’s got baggage, and they’ve factored that in to their support for him,” said Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
The collapse of his campaign happened so swiftly earlier this year that Mr. Gingrich bypassed the extensive vetting that most presidential candidates face by this point in the nominating contest. His public record has been well examined from Congress, but his intricate collection of businesses, which are informally known as Newt Inc., have not been deeply studied in this campaign. An adviser said that Mr. Gingrich was under no illusions that his entire history would be open to a reinspection if Republicans decide to give his candidacy a second look.
In interviews, he has a ready response to questions about his past, which also include being fined $300,000 for an ethics violation while speaker of the House in 1997. “Somebody’s going to end up doing this; the person’s going to be human,” Mr. Gingrich said.