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 - NewtExplore2012.com. “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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs