News / USA

Newt Gingrich Explores US Presidential Bid

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference in the Governor's office March 3, 2011 in Atlanta.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference in the Governor's office March 3, 2011 in Atlanta.

Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich took a small first step Thursday toward a possible bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination next year.

During a visit to his home state of Georgia, former representative and House Speaker Newt Gingrich told reporters that he is in the early stages of exploring a run for the presidency next year.

Gingrich announced the launch of an exploratory website - “We will look at this very seriously and we will very methodically lay out the framework of what we will do next.  And we think the key is to have citizens who understand this is going to take a lot of us for a long time working together,” he said.

Potential presidential candidates often take early steps to gauge public support for a White House run and the potential to raise campaign money, a key requirement in presidential campaigns.

Gingrich is a former representative from Georgia who became a national political figure in the 1990s, after he helped Republicans win back control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years in 1994.

Gingrich became speaker of the House in 1995 and later clashed with then Democratic President Bill Clinton over government spending. That clash led to the last major federal government shutdown in 1995 and 1996.

Gingrich resigned his seat in Congress in 1998, after Republicans suffered losses in the midterm elections that year. Since then, Gingrich has written books, given public speeches and appeared as a political commentator on television.

Gingrich is popular with many Republicans and he has high name recognition - two factors that could help him in what is expected to be a crowded primary field next year.

But Quinnipiac University political pollster Peter Brown says that aside from Republican voters, Gingrich is seen as a polarizing figure by many Americans.  “Mr. Gingrich’s poll numbers are not particularly good. Voters view him in a somewhat unfavorable light - not gigantically unfavorable, but their memory of him is not a net positive,” he said.

So far, the field of potential Republican presidential candidates is slow to take shape.  That is a big change from the last election cycle in 2008, when virtually all of the major candidates had announced their campaigns by this time in the election cycle.

Public opinion polls show that the most popular potential Republican candidates include former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

But Washington-based political analyst Rhodes Cook says the Republicans head into next year’s election without a clear front-runner. “There is no real heir apparent there and in past election cycles the Republicans have been known for having an heir apparent, kind of ready to go,” Cook said.

Even among the better known potential Republican candidates many questions remain unanswered, says pollster Peter Brown.

“Former Alaska Governor Palin has a very strong following among some Republicans. On the other hand, survey data indicate that there are an awful lot of Americans who are not very happy about the prospect of her sitting in the Oval Office. [Former Arkansas Governor] Mike Huckabee is probably the most popular of the well-known Republicans, but it is not clear whether he is going to run,” Brown said.

Perhaps a dozen Republicans are considering a run for president next year, and those who are serious are expected to formally announce their intentions within the next few months.

The Republican nomination contest will begin in earnest early next year with caucus and primary elections in the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.  But some debates are already scheduled for this year, including one on May 2 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs