Republican Newt Gingrich sought to restart his foundering 2012 presidential bid Sunday in a speech that sidestepped last week's exodus of 16 top aides from his campaign and hammered the Obama administration over its Middle East policies.

Appearing before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Beverly Hills, California, the former U.S. House Speaker made just one vague and indirect reference to the campaign controversy.

"As someone who has been in public life for nearly 40 years, I know full well the rigors of campaigning for public office," Gingrich said. "In fact, I've had some recent reminders. I will endure the challenges. I will carry the message of American renewal to every part of this great land, whatever it takes."