Former President Bill Clinton praised his erstwhile nemesis former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, crediting Gingrich’s strong debate performances with propelling him into front-runner status for the GOP presidential nomination.

“It’s not any traditional charisma,” said Clinton, who discussed his new best-seller, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy,” in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV. Instead, Clinton believes Gingrich is emerging because “he thinks about this stuff all the time.”

Clinton’s praise for his one-time rival, whose willingness to interrupt normal government functions temporarily in 1995 and 1996 contributed ultimately to balancing the federal budget, came in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview.

In a September interview with Newsmax, Clinton had predicted that Gingrich, who at the time was polling in the single digits, would make a comeback.

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