Newt Gingrich tells Georgia Republicans he’ll be a candidate in ‘12

In the last 24 hours, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich has touched base with several prominent Republicans in his former home state, telling them that he intends to make a run for president in 2012 using Georgia as his base – and that he already has his eye on office space in Buckhead for a campaign headquarters.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich

Gingrich met on Thursday with Nathan Deal, whom Gingrich endorsed during a critical phase of last year’s Republican primary for governor.

House Speaker David Ralston introduced Gingrich Thursday night at a downtown Atlanta affair hosted by the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce.

The visits and conversations – some face-to-face, others on the phone — appear to be an attempt by Gingrich to revive his old campaign network and lock down as much support as possible in a state won by Republican Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential primary.

A spokeswoman for Johnny Isakson said Gingrich called the U.S. senator earlier this month – adding that Gingrich was not definite about his plans in that conversation. In an interview on Friday, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said he had not talked to Gingrich yet, but that the former U.S. House speaker had asked for an appointment in the near future. “He said, ‘I need a significant amount of your time,’” Chambliss said.

Gingrich, 67, is registered to vote in Virginia, and has a Virginia driver’s license. But he spent most of his adult life in Georgia, and from 1979 until 1999 — the last three years as speaker — Gingrich was a congressman from metro Atlanta.

Gingrich most recent visit here was clearly an attempt to lock down as much support as possible in a state won by Republican Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential primary. In a meeting with reporters, Gingrich emphasized his Georgia roots.

“My offices are here. My grandchildren are here. I’m here regularly,” Gingrich said at a Thursday news conference at his Center for Health Transformation in suburban Atlanta. “I helped create the modern Republican Party in Georgia starting in 1960. I have a certain fondness for being back in Atlanta.”

Perhaps more important, fundraising for Gingrich’s American Solutions organization is conducted out of Atlanta.

However, Rick Tyler, a spokesman for Gingrich, contacted Friday, said the former House speaker’s schedule for deciding on a 2012 presidential run had not changed. “His plans are to decide on whether to create an exploratory committee in late February, and make a decision about his candidacy in March,” Tyler said.

But Tyler said that Atlanta shouldn’t be ruled out as a headquarters – should Gingrich join the presidential contest.

For Gingrich, the key question is whether or not he can recreate an enthusiastic political base in Georgia more than a decade after he left it. There is no guarantee. Take, for instance, Saxby Chambliss. In a session with reporters, the U.S. senator said:

“Newt is my friend. He’s been a mentor, in some respects, since he was speaker when I got elected [to Congress].”

“But it’s a different world right now, and we’ve got to make sure that whoever the nominee is , that he can win in November. That’s the goal of every Republican right now. John Thune[, the U.S. senator from South Dakota,] is a very close friend. He’s talked to me about his potential campaign.

“I’m going to keep my powder dry.”

While Chambliss said he would pay good money to watch a debate between Gingrich and President Barack Obama, and has several strong points — his communication skills, and his familiarity with both fiscal issues and health care. But Chambliss has questions about Gingrich’s viability:

“Newt hasn’t said this to me, but he’s obviously aware of all the negative aspects of the campaign. And I’d be curious to hear from him why he thinks he can win in spite of that.

“In presidential campaigns now, you have to do something in Iowa. You may not have to win Iowa, but you’ve got to make a good showing in Iowa. Then you’ve either got to win or make a good showing in New Hampshire – if you don’t win Iowa.

Then if you don’t win New Hampshire or Iowa, you’ve got to win South Carolina. Can Newt do that?”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

577 comments Add your comment

Keith

January 21st, 2011
3:35 pm

Voters are looking to the future, and aren’t going to rally around the old guard.

xdog

January 21st, 2011
3:35 pm

Newtron must have another book coming out soon.

Seriously, who does he expect to vote for him, besides the Tofflers and Cobb County?

MarkG

January 21st, 2011
3:37 pm

Don’t bother Newt. What a waste of money. Your ego is grander than your abilities. And yes, I am a republican.

pete

January 21st, 2011
3:45 pm

Please stay where ur at.Nut case

sandie

January 21st, 2011
3:48 pm

I would be thrilled to have him on ballot over Palin!!

That's Newt's Problem . . .

January 21st, 2011
3:56 pm

Being over the female. Palin iss a female?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Galloway, laura myers, John Griffies, Peter Hamby, Andrew DeMillo and others. Andrew DeMillo said: RT @politicalinsidr: A Newt Gingrich presidential campaign out of Buckhead? http://bit.ly/f3LOgC [...]

UNaffiliated Voter

January 21st, 2011
4:00 pm

I like Herman Cain and Allen West a lot. Newt is too establishment. Palin is refreshing but not qualified. I think a Herman Cain/ Ron Paul ticket would be optimum!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jmartpolitico and Jim Galloway, Republican News GOP. Republican News GOP said: A Newt Gingrich presidential campaign out of Buckhead? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) http://bit.ly/gDKEA8 [...]

Steve

January 21st, 2011
4:08 pm

This is going to be a textbook example of expensive and time-wasting political masturbation. Good luck with that, Newt.

Question Man

January 21st, 2011
4:15 pm

Doesn’t Newt Gingrich have about as much chance of becoming President as John Oxendine had to become governor of Georgia? For the record, wouldn’t that be: “Little chance?”

Beth

January 21st, 2011
4:19 pm

I will support your campaign!! Wow, a president that has held a job and understands business – great!

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

January 21st, 2011
4:20 pm

Hey, if Uncle Billy’s “boys” couldn’t keep Georgia beat down, maybe the Devil can get us to all vote into office his draft-dodging adulterating co-religionist to help us understand what’s really going on…as long as he isn’t caught in bed with any live boys or dead women. What a prize of a “man!”

Will

January 21st, 2011
4:34 pm

For some conservatives, character and morals still count.

Because of these feelings, Newt Gingrich will not be a viable option for the republican nomination for President.

grizzybear

January 21st, 2011
4:34 pm

sorry newt, you are to busy selling books like the rest of them! you did not fulfill your” contract with america”, i will be voting for fresh blood and ideas, i do not want old guard!

Dave

January 21st, 2011
4:37 pm

So right now we have ,Gingrich,Palin, or Obama as choices for 2012. I DO BELIEVE WE ARE IN TROUBLE.

gm

January 21st, 2011
4:38 pm

Hypocrite Newt, is this the same person lead the charge to impeach Clinton on cheating, and was cheating his self.
Please conservatives, you love Herman Cain as much as you loved Richard Steele, please stop using these black conservatives.

Real Athens

January 21st, 2011
4:39 pm

Beth:

Your claim is woefully uninformed. Newt has never ran a business and never held a job where the money didn’t come from tax dollars, tax write-offs, etc.

His “hometown” is Harrisburg, PA.

Republican

January 21st, 2011
4:40 pm

I’m worried.

gdog#1

January 21st, 2011
4:42 pm

please…somebody…tell me this is a joke.

Buckhead Resident

January 21st, 2011
4:43 pm

I’d bet Scott Rials Sonny Perdue’s old consultant and a former Gingrich hand will have a role in any campaign out of Atlanta

Newt Gingrich is in for 2012 | deuxballes

January 21st, 2011
4:43 pm

[...] Speaker (1995-1999), has more or less made up his mind: he’s running in 2012. So says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in any case: In the last 24 hours, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich has touched base with [...]

tk harty

January 21st, 2011
4:45 pm

God Bless Newt! We need patriots like him!

Beth

January 21st, 2011
4:45 pm

Real Athens: Did you go to UGA…you use bad grammar and you have no idea what you are talking about. Must be a liberal.

tk harty

January 21st, 2011
4:46 pm

Herman Cain for VP!

Tracy

January 21st, 2011
4:48 pm

It’s funny (and ironic) to see Newt want to be President when John Boehner is speaker of the house.

For those of you who don’t know…back in 1997 when Newt was speaker of the house Boehner was the driving force behind the Republicans forming a virtual “coup” against Newt to get him to step down.

Honorable Elijah Muhammad,

January 21st, 2011
4:50 pm

Hypocrite Newtis a chickenhawk and a cheater

gdog#1

January 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

the more things change,the more they stay the same…gop’ers all hopped-up on being “elitist”..thinking their “crap” is the best smelling stuff around..i love nothing more than watching this over-inflated ego windbag taking a whupping…again.

tk harty

January 21st, 2011
4:54 pm

Not gonna happen gdog

Charles

January 21st, 2011
4:55 pm

Republicans have had two ” throw away ” candidates , Dole and McCain, Newt would be a third ! He has NO chance due to two divorces , one to a wife with cancer . A marketable candidate is needed to win and Independents and moderate Democrats won’t vote for Newt, he is disliked by too many .

tk harty

January 21st, 2011
4:58 pm

He still loves his country Chuck, otherwise the coversation is mute.

Producer

January 21st, 2011
4:59 pm

Newt will always be the smartest man in whatever room he enters. He’s great idea guy and the Repubs should listen to whatever he says on any issue. That being said, the media and the Dems have made sure over the years that he is unelectable. Similar to the treatment that is currently being visited on Palin. It’s too bad.

gdog#1

January 21st, 2011
4:59 pm

tk,i’d vote for you over him,and i don’t even know you..yet

DW

January 21st, 2011
5:04 pm

@PRODUCER You’re an idiot

Producer

January 21st, 2011
5:06 pm

Great comeback, DW. Go back to eating you’re Cheetos! LOL!

barneyb

January 21st, 2011
5:06 pm

I agree with “Will: above.
Morals and character DO count. Newt’s scanalous affair and subsequent divorce from his previous wife while she was ill with cancer is reprehensible. Go take a hike, Newt. And your position on letting states go bankrupt is just another issue. You always take the easy way out, Newt. You won’t get my vote, and I’m a diehard Republican.

Uncle D

January 21st, 2011
5:07 pm

Beth: I noticed you didn’t even attempt to refute what Real Athens had to say, you just called him names & attacked his spelling. Do we even need to wonder why you like Newt so much?

gdog#1

January 21st, 2011
5:09 pm

I second DW…Don’t blame others for the road you chose in life,or how you decided to drive on it…we all are responsible alone for where we stand(or fall) today.

Eon Rodeo

January 21st, 2011
5:10 pm

Just another Republican hypocrite. Good luck, Newt!

[...] AJC.com reports: [...]

Bobert

January 21st, 2011
5:11 pm

I like Newt, but would rather have a different candidate. I like Sarah but hope she isn’t the candidate. I like Herman, but don’t think he is presidential timber. We just haven’t had much to choose from, but it is still early. From the “old guard” I still like Mike.

Traci

January 21st, 2011
5:12 pm

This man is a serial Adulterer – No Way

Honorable Elijah Muhammad,

January 21st, 2011
5:14 pm

Newt is amazingly similar to Bill Clinton – both are pot smoking, draft-dodging adulterers from poor Southern families.Dead Beat Dad The hospital visit wasn’t the end of it, either. Jackie had to take Newt to court to get him to contribute for bills, as utilities were about to be cut off.Problems With Women He has said that he read a book called “Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them”, and “found frightening pieces that related to my own life.”
Remember the House Banking scandal, where so many congressmen wrote rubber checks on government money? Newt hopes you don’t, because he bounced 22 himself, which almost cost him reelection in 1992. His vote for the secret House pay raise, and the chauffeur who drove him around Washington in a Lincoln Town Car, didn’t help. According to the Wall Street Journal, a company hired Marianne Gingrich (Newt’s wife) for $2,500 a month plus commissions in September 1994 after he announced support for a free trade zone in Israel that they are trying to build. Her “job” for Israel Export Development Co. is to find tenants for the trade zone. Gingrich’s spokesman said that since her job did not involve working with the US government, there was no conflict of interest.

Producer

January 21st, 2011
5:16 pm

Traci, so was Clinton back in the day and folks give him higher favorable ratings today than Obama. It boils down to personality, I guess. Clinton is engaging and charming to many and Newt just isn’t as likable. It is what it is. I agree that Newt isn’t going to earn the job.

Diehard

January 21st, 2011
5:17 pm

Newt running is a good thing. He can give the eventual nominee a great set of speeches to use in the fall 2012 campaign and then the new GOP President can make him Ambassador to the Vatican since he’s a newly minted Catholic. Everybody wins.

Traci

January 21st, 2011
5:18 pm

If people say that his marriages are his “personal business”. they are not.
In fact its why he has never been able to run before. He is a Low Down Rotten Cheating Scoundrel.

1st wife ill with cancer in the hospital when he comes to her asking for a Divorce,
2nd wife (the one he cheated on with the 1st) finds out that their marriage is over – when the movers come to move him to Washington – after his failed election in Georgia.

the movers are packing his things on truck and not her packed up belongings, she finds that curious and asks why — she is deferred to him. Where he tells her — “ohhh, you arent coming”.

How about that one!

Proceeds to move to Washington to “shake up” with his 31 year old that he had been having an affair with.

he is not fit to be a Dog Catcher

Eon Rodeo

January 21st, 2011
5:18 pm

Read all about Newt from his second wife, Marianne’s, perspective:

http://www.esquire.com/features/newt-gingrich-0910?click=main_sr

Yeah, he’s a real prince of a man.

Producer

January 21st, 2011
5:18 pm

I do not see an engaging candidate on the GOP side. Similar to Dole in ‘96. Nobody came out to really challenge Slick.

Traci

January 21st, 2011
5:21 pm

@Producer Not voting for him – and will do everything I can -to see that this slimy dog comes no where near the white house.

Yeah even though Clinton was a no good skirt chaser – his wife stuck with him. In this case – he dumps the wives at his leisure. No Woman in her Right mind will support this Bozo.

I am not voting for an known Adulterer. Period. If his wife cant trust him – Neither Can I.

three jack

January 21st, 2011
5:23 pm

if gingrich is relying on advice from saxby chambliss, he might as well stick to selling books, dvds and the other stuff he puts out via his website.