The Wall Street Journal and the Des Moines Register are saying Newt Gingrich will announce in Georgia on Thursday that he’s taking the first step – an exploratory committee – toward a Republican campaign for president in 2012.
The Gingrich campaign issued a formal denial a few minutes ago from Rick Tyler, a Gingrich spokesman. But the protest may be less than meets the eye:
Over the past 48 hours, there has been much speculation in the press about former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s intentions with respect to a presidential candidacy. The attached article from the Des Moines Register which contains a significantly inaccurate statement is indicative of that speculation.
Speaker Gingrich’s long-standing visit to Georgia on Thursday has been on his schedule for months. As a senior fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, Gingrich will participate in the Annual AEI World Forum. He accepted that invitation last spring.
His plans for being in Georgia also include an event for his American Solutions organization. As a regular part of his travel schedule in his role as general chairman, Speaker Gingrich holds meetings with potential supporters and concerned citizens to raise the resources necessary to fund American Solutions’ mission and its important projects like Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less and Jobs Here, Jobs Now, Jobs First.
Gingrich will also visit the State Capitol in Atlanta to discuss with Gov. Nathan Deal the American Solutions “Replace not Reform” project. As part of the project, he will ask the governor to establish a “Tenth Amendment Team” within the governor’s office that focuses on defending Georgia’s 10th Amendment rights under the Constitution.
Gingrich is not travelling to Georgia to announce that he will form “an exploratory committee” as stated in the Des Moines Register. To be clear, while Speaker Gingrich is in Georgia on Thursday, he will NOT announce the formation of an exploratory committee.
One suspects that a possible conflict has been detected between’s Gingrich’s private affairs, involving American Solutions, and his public aspirations. Bottom line, reporters on Thursday will ask Gingrich whether he’s entering an exploratory phase of a presidential campaign. What he answers is his business.
Tyler, the Gingrich spokesman, specifically cited this specific article:
Republican Newt Gingrich plans to announce Thursday he is taking the first formal step toward running for president in 2012, the former U.S. House speaker’s senior political adviser told The Des Moines Register Tuesday.
Gingrich is expected to report during a public appearance with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal at his home state’s Capitol in Atlanta that he is forming a federal exploratory committee, said Joe Gaylord, a Des Moines native who has been Gingrich’s top strategist for 20 years.
“It is exactly that, an exploratory committee,” Gaylord said in an interview. Gingrich would be the first better-known Republican in the gathering field to take the step.
“But you can’t say that this is tantamount to an announcement of candidacy,” Gaylord added. “It is the announcement of an exploratory committee that says, ‘is it really feasible for me to do this, and let me check this out in the next six or seven weeks, because I want to find out if it’s real before I do it.’ ”
Gaylord said the development will allow Gingrich, who has said he would announce his plans in the coming days, to raise money, conduct polling and hire staff to be dispatched to early nominating states, including Iowa.
Iowa’s precinct caucuses are expected to start the 2012 Republican presidential nominating sequence in less than a year.
GOP caucus campaign strategists have said Gingrich’s announcement could accelerate the Iowa activity of others weighing 2012 bids.
“I would be surprised if he didn’t do it. I think he really wants to,” Gaylord said about a full-fledged Gingrich presidential campaign. “So, he’s got to be able to do that in a legal fashion. And the law calls for setting up an exploratory committee for doing that.”
Gingrich is planning to make his 10th visit to Iowa as a 2012 presidential prospect next week, when he and other prospective Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to speak at a candidate forum in Waukee.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider