Gingrich will declare 2012 run soon
WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, intends to take a formal step toward entering the 2012 presidential race within the next two weeks, after months spent traveling to important primary and caucus states, Republican officials said yesterday.
These officials declined to say precisely what type of announcement the 67-year-old former Georgia lawmaker would make, but added they expect him to make clear his determination to run.
If so, he would be the first Republican to do so in a slow-to-develop field of potential challengers to President Obama.
Gingrich became the first Republican speaker in 40 years after he led his party to control of the House in the 1994 elections.
He left Congress two turbulent terms later, intensely controversial and under pressure from disillusioned one-time supporters in the rank and file.
In the years since, he has developed something akin to a one-man political brand, speaking out on health care and other issues, building a fund-raising operation, traveling widely, and offering advice privately and publicly to Republicans in office.
Among the other potential Republican presidential contenders are Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts; Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota; Rick Santorum, former senator of Pennsylvania; Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah; Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas; and Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi.
Also considering candidacies are Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and the party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska.