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 British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid