Surging for the moment into a front-runner position in the Republican presidential race, Newt Gingrich is trying to insulate himself against the attacks that are sure to accompany his rise in the polls.

The former House speaker pitches himself as the most accomplished member in the 2012 field. By the campaign’s count, he has cast 7,000 votes, delivered 1,500 speeches and written “thousands” of articles as well as two-dozen books.

That record is fodder for opposition researchers, as much as it is resume material for his presidential bid.

The campaign has now launched a website that bluntly tackles a host of controversies that have followed Gingrich and will likely pop up again in the run-up to the leadoff Iowa caucuses.

The first item on Gingrich’s “Answering the Attacks” site deals with a hiccup Gingrich had at the very beginning of the campaign season, when he described the House GOP budget plan as “right-wing social engineering.