No votes have been cast in the Republican primary, but Newt Gingrich, one of the seven major candidates vying to challenge President Obama, is already asking for support for his 2016 reelection effort.

“I’m here to ask you to be with me,” Gingrich said Wednesday at a town hall in Mason City, Iowa. “We need you, Callista and I need you to be with us for the next eight years to stand side-by-side.”

The former House Speaker also told Iowans that he was confident he could beat Obama in a general election contest.

“I believe we will win the general election decisively and I will challenge the president to seven three-hour debates,” Gingrich added.

Gingrich gained attention earlier this month when he displayed a similar confidence in an ABC interview.

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